Monday, January 24, 2011

Kid Tested and Approved

I am incessantly searching for decent meals for my children. Both are picky eaters and much prefer premade nuggets of an unidentifiable substance that manufacturers pass as "chicken" to anything natural and wholesome. It's terribly frustrating for someone like me who loves to create with food and constantly try new things.

Well, this recipe can by no means be considered overly creative and certainly nothing new, but the combination of flavors made it a hit on the peculiar palettes of my offspring. My eldest, the pickiest, even ate two bowls full. That is such a remarkable happening that I felt obligated to share it in case there were others out there who share my struggles. Don't expect "healthy". Oh no. We are so far from "healthy" it's not even on the horizon, but they LIKED it and it's NOT chicken nuggets! That, my friends, is success!

Oh, and I should say that I had no trouble scarfing down a full bowl as well. Who can deny that combining the best flavors in pepperoni pizza and spaghetti is a brilliant idea?

Pizza Spaghetti

12 ounces uncooked spaghetti
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (1-lb.) package mild ground pork sausage
2 ounces pepperoni slices (about 30), cut in half
1 (26-oz.) jar tomato-and-basil pasta sauce
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 (8-oz.) package shredded Italian three-cheese blend

1. Cook spaghetti with 1/2 tsp. salt according to package directions. Drain well, and place in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

2. Brown sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain and set aside. Wipe skillet clean. Add pepperoni, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes or until slightly crisp.

3. Top spaghetti in baking dish with sausage; pour pasta sauce over sausage. Arrange half of pepperoni slices evenly over pasta sauce. Sprinkle evenly with cheeses. Arrange remaining half of pepperoni slices evenly over cheese. Cover with nonstick or lightly greased aluminum foil.

4. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes; remove foil, and bake 10 more minutes or until cheese is melted and just begins to brown.

Photo and recipe borrowed from Southern Living 2007

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