The Silver Spoon is one the most influential Italian cookbooks of the last fifty years and has taught generations of us how to cook like Italians in our own homes. At Junior, we love The Silver Spoon for Children, which was republished last year to celebrate its 10th Anniversary.

Today sees the launch of The Silver Spoon: Recipes for Babies, bringing the Italian way of eating to a much younger audience. Italian babies and infants are encouraged to explore the tastes and textures of real food from the time they start solid foods with the aim of helping them to develop a love of fresh ingredients and healthy eating.

From six months to around 11 months, babies are introduced to a variety of foods and this window provides the perfect chance to introduce as many flavours as possible, making the transition from first foods to meals with the family seamless. And, this is where The Silver Spoon: Recipes for Babies steps in. Any parents looking to expand their baby’s palate, using easy-to-source ingredients from this familiar and beloved cuisine, will find a great selection of simple, wholesome and authentic Italian recipes specifically for babies 6-7 months, and then 8 to 24 months on these pages.

What's more, The Silver Spoon: Recipes for Babies means easy-to-cook baby foods using the same ingredients used to prepare the entire family’s meals. One such recipe is this Italian classic for Baby's first “risi e bisi” or, simply risotto with peas. Or, why not try The Silver Spoon Baby’s first pasta Carbonara.

Baby’s first “risi e bisi” or risotto with peas
The Silver Spoon: Recipes for Babies (Illustration by Julia Hasting)


  • 2 heaped tsp fresh shelled peas or frozen petit pois
  • ¾ (in 2cm piece) spring onion (scallion) white only
  • ¼ cup of lean cooked ham diced
  • 1 cup of vegetable stock (broth)
  • 2tbsp baby rice
  • 1tsp extra virgin olive oil


  • STEP 1

    Carefully rinse the peas, if using fresh. Wash and slice the spring onion (scallion). Place the vegetables in a pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over a high heat and cook for 20–25 minutes. Strain the cooked vegetables and, using a hand-held immersion (stick) blender or a food processor, blend to a puree. Grind up the ham in a food processor.

  • STEP 2

    Warm the vegetable stock (broth) in a pan. As it comes to the boil, add the baby rice and cook for 6–8 minutes, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon as if making risotto.

  • STEP 3

    About 1 minute before the end of the cooking time, stir the pureed vegetables through the “risotto”. Remove the pan from the heat and add the ham. Transfer the risotto to a small plate. Season with the olive oil, and serve. Do not add any salt.

Adding cooked ham:

From the eighth month onward, you can add cooked ham to this risotto, an ingredient that goes well with peas. Choose a natural, phosphate-free product. Remove any fat and only use the lean parts.

Radicchio risotto:

When your baby reaches 12 months, try introducing radicchio cooked in a risotto. Soften a diced onion in some oil, then finely shred a few radicchio leaves and add them to the pan. Sauté the vegetables for 5 minutes and then add the baby rice and cook as usual.

Gluten-free, dairy-free, suitable for refrigeration, suitable for freezing.

THE SILVER SPOON: RECIPES FOR BABIES (published by Phaidon) is out on April 24th 2020



>> More Recipes from the Silver Spoon…Why not try Classic Lasagne from The Silver Spoon for Children and enjoy this with The Silver Spoon Home-made Focaccia and finish with The Silver Spoon Banana Cream Pudding for dessert?