Kids in the Kitchen – Seafood tortellini

Tortellini a la Raffles

Before having any actual children Mr Eats World and I, staunch pacifists, made a vow that we would keep our offspring’s childhoods free of toy guns. But in all our idealistic fantasies of a violence free kiddy utopia we never anticipated that we might produce a child obsessed with Vikings, samurais and ninjas… and all their sharp and pointy accoutrements.  

So, though I can proudly say Raffles has never owned or played with (at least on my watch) a toy gun, he has managed to build an arsenal of swords and daggers roughly similar in size to the armory of a small country. And, though they’re all foam and plastic, I guess that’s what’s known as a parenting fail.

What is most ironic about Raffles penchant for weaponry of the cutting and stabbing variety is, that though he spends quite a lot of time in the kitchen, he’s never even been allowed to hold or use a kitchen knife. Something I told him he wasn’t going to be allowed to do until he turned six.

Needless to say when the folk at Barilla sent us some samples to try around the time of his sixth birthday, Raffles immediately put his hand up to take over the test kitchen. Not only did he want to make dinner for us, from scratch, WITH A KNIFE, but he wanted to come up with the recipe too. And, he declared, Sugarpuff would be waiting tables. Aide moi!

His father and I feared that blood would be shed at Casa Eats World but, nervously, gave him the go ahead and, under very strict supervision, allowed him to do his culinary thing.

He chose to make Barilla Tortellini, already a fave, and prepared a shopping list of ingredients for his “creation” which was to include fish, prawns, canned tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cream, parmesan, parsley, peas and broccoli –  a strange combination and not the first items to spring to my mind when dealing with tortellini but this wasn’t my gig and really, who was I to question his art?

We set up all the ingredients for Raffles and gave him a few tips on safely handling a knife which he tried his best to implement while I, terrified he would lose a finger, hovered nervously. Given this was his first time using a sharp knife I confess to having pre-chopped a little onion and garlic for his sauce before he started so it didn’t begin and end in tears. But it was Raffles who carefully sliced the cherry tomatoes and prawns in half and the fish into bite-sized chunks.

Raffles first attempt at using a kitchen knife

He roughly (very roughly) chopped parsley and broke of small sprigs of broccoli and carefully shaved some slices of parmigiano reggiano while Sugarpuff set the table… and ate most of the cheese.

Happily, with all the cutting out of the way, our dinner-to-be remained digit free.

At the stove he carefully added the pasta to boiling water, browned the fish and prawns and then removed them to one side. He sautéed the onion and garlic and added a half a cup of  crushed tomato and a pinch of sugar (a tip from mummy) then the broccoli, a half a cup of frozen peas and a wee splash of cream. This kid has been paying attention!

For safety sake I drained the pasta and popped it into his simmering pan of sauce but let him carefully stir it and the pre-cooked seafood through. A quick taste test and he decided to sprinkle in a few chilli flakes and a pinch of salt “to give it some bang” before he popped in the parsley and dinner was ready for his baby sister to carry to the table.

Raffles cooking up a storm

The result?  Delicious. And messy. Raffles even going as far as to modestly declare it the best meal ever cooked in the Eats World kitchen. In fact, he’s so proud of himself he’s already planning his next Barilla pasta meal only next time he’s going for the fusili and will do “something with sausages, mama”.

Which I guess means that I will be doing something with detergent and dishes… lots and lots of dishes.


Barilla Tortellini with fish and prawns by Raffles

Tortellini a la Raffles


Barilla Tortellini

Olive Oil
12 green prawns, peeled and sliced in half
200 grams firm white fish fillet (we used monkfish) cut into bite-sized chunks.
1/2 brown onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
1/2 can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup of broccoli flowers
1/2 cup of frozen peas
2 tbsp of pure cream
Pinch of sugar
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Shaved Parmesan to serve


  1. Add Barilla Tortellini to a pot of boiling water and cook for 11 minutes.
  2. In a pan gently brown fish and prawns in a splash of olive oil and set aside.
  3. In same pan add onion and garlic and cook until softened.
  4. Add broccoli flowers, peas, tomato, cream and a pinch of sugar and simmer.
  5. Add chilli and season to taste.
  6. Drain cooked pasta and add to pan with cooked fish and prawns and gently stir until combined.
  7. Turn off heat, add parsley and serve with shaved Parmesan if desired.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and while BoyEatsWorld received pasta courtesy of Barilla all the other ingredients were purchased under instruction of Chef Raffles! 

11 Comments on Kids in the Kitchen – Seafood tortellini

  1. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    March 25, 2014 at 2:42 pm (10 years ago)

    Well done Raffles! He’s a little gem isn’t he? And I wonder if they grow out of the sword phase? Hubby came from a family of hippies and I’m trying to think whether there were any pics of them with play swords-I think there were!

      March 27, 2014 at 10:48 am (10 years ago)

      He is a gem. I think I may just be the luckiest mum around 🙂

  2. MrsD
    March 27, 2014 at 9:12 am (10 years ago)

    Man that kid is cute!! I love how he delegates sugarpuffl to waiting tables – hilarious!! Well done with the knife raffles, you mum is braver than me! xx

      March 27, 2014 at 10:47 am (10 years ago)

      I was totally terrified. But he did good Robin. He just needs to learn to tuck his fingers a bit better … and Sugarpuff made an excellent waitress 😉

  3. Sydney, Kids, Food + Travel
    March 27, 2014 at 8:06 pm (10 years ago)

    That boy has a big future… and if he’s ever free, he’s welcome to pop up to my kitchen any time!

  4. Lauren @ Create Bake Make
    March 28, 2014 at 2:59 pm (10 years ago)

    What a champion, and I love the delegation!! My two year old has a strange fascination with knives, he would just LOVE to be let loose in the kitchen!

  5. Lydia C. Lee
    March 28, 2014 at 3:51 pm (10 years ago)

    That is so impressive!! After Seana’s, he can swing by mine…

  6. Lisa@RandomActsOfZen
    March 28, 2014 at 4:15 pm (10 years ago)

    Great job Raffles! No doubt you’ve got lots of delicious (and messy) creations in the future, Aleney 🙂

  7. Have A Laugh On Me
    March 30, 2014 at 10:00 pm (10 years ago)

    Are you kidding me? That is amazeballs? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, he’s going to have such fond memories as a kid… and be such a great, demanding chef/cook!


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Hey, I’m Aleney! A mum, award-winning travel writer, magazine editor and gallivanting glutton. He’s Raff, the “boy” in boyeatsworld, and a fearless foodie, adventurer and eco-warrior. Along with his all-singing, all-dancing, all-adventurous sister, Sugarpuff, we’re exploring the world’s colour, culture and cuisine on a food safari for the junior set.

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