I was out of town last week at a conference. While I was gone, the boys were “bachin’” it. When I’m not home, the standard fare is typically pizza and carryout for the sake of simplicity not because they can’t cook. Feeding my boys is a way I love them up! I’d left a pot roast in the crock pot so when the three arrived home the first day of my trip dinner was waiting for them. My thought process was they would have leftovers for at least one other meal. This was not the case. They invited their uncle to join them for dinner and the four of them polished off the whole roast. I had to smile. What better compliment could a cook receive?
While it’s nice to eat out, I have to admit I crave homemade, comfort food when I’m back at home. My kids do too. While eating out is a treat, I really enjoy my time in the kitchen especially preparing my family’s favorites. Spaghetti was at the top of the kid’s list for dinner this week. A plate of pasta, an Italian salad and a loaf of French bread put a smile on their faces….and Scott’s too! Food is definitely a straight path to the hearts of my men. Here’s my recipe for an easy hearty sauce and Italian salad.
Hearty Spaghetti Sauce
1 jar prepared pasta sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. Italian seasonings
1 lb. Italian sausage (cooked, drained)
pasta (cooked drained)
Combine sauce, tomatoes, garlic and seasonings in crock pot. Simmer on low for 6 hours. Add sausage. Serve over pasta. I use spaghetti, angle hair or penne pasta for variety. Top with parmesan cheese and chili pepper flakes to spice things up!
Tip: I usually double the recipe, including the pasta. I pour the leftover sauce over the pasta, let it cool, and pop the casserole in the freezer for a quick meal when I’m pushed for time.
For a great Italian salad that gets additional veggies into your kids, try this. In a bowl combine cherry or grape tomatoes, green olives, black olives, shredded carrots, thinly sliced onion, diced cucumber and slivers of red and yellow peppers. Pour your favorite Italian dressing over the vegetables and refrigerate for a few hours before dinner. Simply pour the mixture over mixed greens. Add croutons if your family likes an additional crunch!