In the almost thirty years of being a mother, I rarely had an evening that I didn’t fix dinner and have my children sit at the table to eat it. It was part tradition/part necessity. It was healthier and far less expensive to cook at home. When my children were young they often felt abused by the fact that they were forced to eat homemade meals rather than enjoy a quick trip to a fast food place or have a pizza delivered.
During those abusive years for my children, I found ways to combine the flavors they enjoyed into meals that were healthy, delicious, and easy to prepare. My Pizza Spaghetti is a great example. It combines spicy Italian sausage with pepperoni in a marinara sauce. I then add any combination of “toppings”- black olives, mushrooms, green peppers- and then mix the sauce and toppings together with cooked noodles. I like to mix the sauce and noodles to allow the flavors to soak into the spaghetti.
Woe was they who were forced into conversation with their parents while eating something that wasn’t deep fried or reheated. The effects have been so tragic, that now as adults they return each Sunday for more punishment. Often a pile of laundry is brought along, but my Sunday dinners are the highlight of my week, and the incredible aroma of this sauce as it simmers, makes the entire house feel warm and inviting. I guess it is working, as there are rarely leftovers!