In my marriage, one of the strongest connections The Hubs and I have is to food. It can also be one of our biggest disconnects. We both love food and love trying new things, however, we eat and cook very differently.
One of the biggest reasons for this is how we view cooking. When The Hubs cooks, he likes to peruse recipe books or recipes online and then goes to the grocery store for ingredients. He then uses most of the skillets and saucepans, utensils, and bake ware that we own to cook the dish. The dish will most likely contain butter and cream; always delicious, rarely healthy. I like to plan ahead, but because of my job that doesn’t always work. Sometimes I have to just throw together what I have on hand. This ends one of two ways in the household: they love it or they hate it.
Earlier this week I knew I was going to have to throw something together for dinner. As I was putting things in a casserole dish The Hubs started walking into the kitchen. “I’m not sure you want to see what I’m doing”, I said casually. He stopped walking and then boldly took a few more steps so he could look in the dish. “I’m not sure I should have”, he muttered as he walked back out of the kitchen.
A half an hour later dinner was on the table. The girls and The Hubs were glancing from their plates to the other faces and back to the plates. Finally, Daughter Number Four took a bite. Then she took another bite. (whew) At least someone was going to eat. That encouraged Daughter Number Three and The Hubs to also try the dish. They all cleaned their plates, and Daughter Number Three took a little bit more. The only comment from The Hubs was that he wasn’t sure it even needed “the meat”. Really? He’s the only reason I put “the meat” in it! I noticed yesterday evening when I got home from work that the large container of leftovers had been completely devoured!
Here is the creation that I pulled out of the cabinets and fridge, threw together, and served to the family for dinner (and apparently the next day’s lunch)…
The dish was easy, inexpensive, relatively healthy, and yummy. Oh, and it was quick, too. You can’t ask for more than that!
Spinach Pasta Bake
- 1 package Rigatoni (cooked)
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 package chicken sausage (fully cooked (I like Aidells), cut in coins)
- ½ jar spaghetti sauce
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Layer sausage, spinach, cottage cheese, pasta, and spaghetti sauce in dish.
Bake, covered, for 15 minutes. Stir gently, recover, and bake for 15 more minutes until hot through.
Serve with Italian bread.