Monday, September 1, 2014

Back to School

My girls start back to school tomorrow - after Labor Day like when we were kids.  It was an awesome summer . . . one of the best! (Do I say that every year?)  We checked some things off our previous summers' bucket lists like swimming with Dolphins, World of Color, camping in the backyard, the Hollywood Bowl and with our trips, the summer just flew by.  If the following quote is true, my girls got in lots and lots of research this summer!  Here are some photos from our trip to the Pacific Northwest a couple of weeks ago:

Here's something to help you out with the start of school:  An amazing pasta dish that the whole family liked.  What's unique is that you dump everything into the pot (uncooked noodles too) and from start to finish, the meal takes about 30 minutes.  The first time I made it just for my husband and I so I halved the recipe and used a spicy smoked sausage from Sprouts and added some red pepper flakes.  The resulting spicy broth that the spaghetti cooked in was amazing.  Last night, I made it again but for the whole family and I used an italian chicken sausage (a kielbasa or other smoked andouille is fine) and it was milder.  Make sure your sausage is fully cooked / smoked and don't skip the parmesan cheese - it gives a slight creaminess and thickens the pasta at the end.  It might look plain but it tasted outstanding!

One Pot Spaghetti (serves 6)

1 pound spaghetti
1 (12-15oz) package smoked andouille sausage, thinly sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 c. halved grape tomatoes
2 c. basil leaves
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 c. grated parmesan

In a large stockpot or dutch oven over medium high heat, add the spaghetti, sausage, onion, tomatoes, basil (I usually hold back about a 1/2 cup for serving), garlic, and 4 1/2 cups water.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until the spaghetti has cooked through and liquid has reduced, about 10-15 minutes.  Stir in parmesan cheese.  Serve immediately.


  1. That's brilliant; I'll try it this week.

  2. That dinner looks delicious. And it looks,like you have all been having fun.

  3. Jess (Kloter) MattsonSeptember 28, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    Bec, I made this tonight! It was great... And fast.. And my whole family loved it!