This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Barilla. The opinions and text are all mine.
There seems to be a misconstrued idea that creating a home-cooked meal is going to involve long hours and a lot of work. It doesn’t have to be that complicated. Really. You can even get the kids involved. Our kids love to cook – and honestly, so do I, but most nights we need quick meals.
Baseball, football, dance, wrestling, homework, playtime with friends… our after-school nights are busy, but we never miss a family dinner. It’s our one time to really connect throughout the day. It’s our time to talk & ask questions and hear how everyone’s day was- it starts with cooking the meal. We turn to Barilla® pasta and sauces to help with our back-to-school night dinners. Yes, things are busy, but dinners are important.
According to J Lyttle, author of The Importance of Family Dinners, family dinners have a huge role in our kid’s lives. “Research suggests that having dinner together as a family at least four times a week has positive effects on child development. Family dinners have been linked to a lower risk of obesity, substance abuse, eating disorders, and an increased chance of graduating from high school.”
Our kids love to cook, so getting them involved in the cooking process just makes sense. It allows us to have more time with them and it teaches them important life skills.
Today, I want to share one of the easiest meals that our kids love to help with: they call it the ‘half-hour power pasta,” which has been shortened to “half hour power.” It makes sense because we usually make it for them before a game or practice to keep them full & energized.
You can grab everything that you need in one area of the grocery store & then head home & start cooking. We get Barilla pasta & sauce (all in the same area). Believe it or not, Barilla has 38 different pasta cuts & 14 different sauce varieties, so the kids pick what they want when we make it. It makes for some stress-free meal combinations, which works out for us. It makes our busy back-to-school nights a little easier.
Plus, the kids like it, so everyone eats it without any complaints (you know that’s a win for the parents… and credit to Barilla for that one, too!)
Onto the recipe…
* 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
* 1 cup of Italian blend shredded cheese
- Cook Barilla pasta according to the back of the box, until al dente (the texture of Barilla pasta is always perfect)
- While pasta is cooking, brown your sausage until fully cooked
- When cooked, separate into two parts – keep one part in the pan and put the other part into a bowl to set aside
- Drain pasta when it is ready
- In your sausage pan, pour in the Barilla Tuscan Herb Sauce and combine it with the cooked sausage
- Take cooked sausage and combine it with your sauce mixture
- Pour pasta + sauce mixture into a 9X9 baking dish
- Take the sausage that you set aside and spoon it onto your pasta in the dish
- Sprinkle 1 cup cheese over entire dish
- Bake (uncovered) 385º for 10 minutes
That’s really all there is to it. Like I said, Barilla couldn’t have made our back-to-school nights any easier if they tried.
Just pick a pasta & a sauce, add a few ingredients to change it up from night to night and you’re set for a quick dinner that everyone loves. We have Barilla pasta at least two to three times a week – it really is that simple and when the kids like something that much… you don’t mess with it.