For how many children (and adults) is spaghetti their favorite meal? I still love the Sesame Street version of the classic, “On Top of Spaghetti!” (What?! Who says that’s not the classic version?!)
I know for my daughter, there is nothing that compares, even though I’ve tried introducing different ways to enjoy pasta. For her last meal of the summer she requested her favorite, no frills (meaning: Do not add anything and be sure to use real spaghetti noodles, Mom) spaghetti. I obliged, but with permission to add some vegetables (no eggplant) to the sauce only if I pureed the entire concoction before serving it to her.
Ugh. Such restrictions. Why? Why do I torture myself? L-O-V-E. That is why.
Here’s what I have to say about plain, no frills, simple spaghetti: there are ways to enhance and to make it great and you should start when your kids are too young to know any different! And if they’re older like mine, you’re allowed to indulge them every once in a while, but indulge them with more kisses and less plain old spaghetti!
Our night before high school started and life as we know it changed forever meal got fancied up (just slightly) by the addition to the sauce of some lovely sauteed zucchini and red peppers in coconut oil and at the last moment I tossed in some whole cherry tomatoes that were begging to be fancified (my daughter taught me this word, so take it up with her). And were they ever fancy? Oh, indeed.
Sadly, though, at my daughter’s request, the entire beautiful wonderful tasty sauce had to be pureed before consumption. At least my immersion blender came in handy, but oh the shame of it all. She was delighted, enjoyed her last meal, and at least I got to add some vegetables to create a much more balanced meal – even if I did have to pulverize them beyond recognition. Sigh.
Have spaghetti YOUR way without the kids knowing about it!
- Zucchini - 2, chopped
- Red Bell Pepper - 1, seeded and chopped
- Coconut Oil - 1 T
- Cherry Tomatoes - 1 pint
Pick your favorite veggies, wash them off, and cut them up and throw them in the skillet with a little bit of coconut oil. Add some freshly ground pepper and some flavorful sea salt, and cook just until you can smell their wonderfulness and the edges are barely turning brown.
Dump a bottle of your favorite non-high-fructose-corn-syrup and a whole lotta other ingredients that aren't necessary or good for you spaghetti sauce into the same pot, warm it all up, and then toss in those cherry tomatoes at the last to warm them through.
If you must, now is the time to break out the immersion blender and puree the heck out of the veggies you so lovingly washed, chopped and sauteed. I'm sorry. It pained me, too, but at least you'll feel better knowing they're in there. Somewhere.