March 12, 2011

One thing our whole family will eat.

This is one meal our whole family will eat. It is very rare that our whole family will all eat the same thing so when I can find something I jump on it (especially if it is a healthy, affordable meal)! I try to keep all kinds of pasta on hand and always have extra virgin olive oil (something that I will buy in bulk). I also almost always have minced garlic in the fridge or if not I have garlic cloves. There, most of the items I need are here at the house! I boil the pasta and then drain it, I use penne rigate. Usually I do two boxes and make extra cause this make great leftovers (and I hate leftovers)! While the pasta is boiling I dice 4-5 roma tomatoes and slice black olives if you get canned whole olives. I usually just buy sliced olives. About 3-4 cans will do (although, I don't think you can have too many olives ever, so I would through in 5 to be on the safe side, lol) After pasta is cooked, mixed together pasta, tomatoes, olives, a couple tbsp. garlic, some salt, pepper, and italian seasoning. Drizzle olive oil over it and stir. I use about 1/2 cup olive oil, give or take. Stir in some parm. cheese. Put all this into a casserole (you may need two) and bake till starting to brown on top. Yummy!!!! As you can see I don't have exact measurements on this recipe and I just use what seems or looks good. This is a good recipe for that, even if you don't cook often.
This is also a good recipe to play with if you want to add or subtract things (although, I don't know why you would want too, it is perfect to me! ha ha) I have two kiddos who don't like tomatoes so I do leave those out and make a smaller casserole dish for them. Also if you don't like black olives (gasp) you could leave them out, or if you don't like garlic, you could do the same. Also it could easily be made vegan by leaving the cheese out. We have also used whole wheat pasta but none of us are a fan so we just use regular pasta and add more tomatoes and olives and have smaller portions (or so we say, it is very hard with this dish to have a smaller portion). Also, I think (although I haven't done too much research on gluten free) they make gluten free pasta, don't they? You could certainly substitute that. Like I have said, it is a good play with recipe, and one I can get our whole family to eat.
When I make this everyone gets excited, like I am ordering Papa John's Happy!! I have pictured both the main dish with tomatoes and the kids dish without tomatoes! I hope you are able to try it and enjoy it as much as we do!! Happy Cooking!!