the only pasta sauce our 4 year old will eat

We grew up eating Bolognese pasta sauce that my mom would throw together in what seemed like five minutes and everyone at the table (seven kids and two parents) was happy to eat seconds and thirds and however much was in the pot.  (NOTE: We just called it “meat sauce” because we’re not Italian, and as a 5’11” blonde, I couldn’t pretend to be.)

We had it with spaghetti or rigatoni or elbow macaroni.  We had it on Sundays.  We had it on Tuesdays.  We had it on holidays.  With salad.  Or without.  It was just a go-to dinner.  And if I’m being honest, I still expect my mom to make it the first and/or last night we are there visiting and she has never let me down.

So the fact that our 4 year-old daughter won’t even consider eating another spaghetti sauce shouldn’t surprise me.  And yet … even if I make this incredibly delicious homemade sauce (which I do … often … because everyone else in the house loves it … and we grow a lot of tomatoes and basil) … she snubs her little nose at me and would rather just have butter and cheese.

Which means I needed to ask my mom how she makes her sauce.

But the night I needed it (because I had promised to make Grammy’s sauce), I couldn’t reach her on the phone.

So I winged it.

Whew!

Lucky for me, I’ve been eating this sauce 40+ years and have pretty good taste buds.  Because two plates later the littles were asking for more and I was the most popular mom in the house.

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a blurry pic is all I could get (I didn’t want to totally disrupt her dining experience with a photo session for the blog … but can’t you see the relief on her face? “Finally, Mom!”

And now, like my mom, I find myself throwing together this easy bolognese (meat) sauce once a week or every other and we’ve got kids clamoring for dinner.  Yay!!

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Easy Bolognese Pasta

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 lb sweet Italian turkey sausage (no casing)
  • 6 cups tomato sauce of your choice (we either use tomato basil sauce from our garden, or two jars of an organic tomato sauce with no added sugar, like Full Circle Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce)
  • 1 1/2 cups Asiago cheese
  • 3 cups (dry) pasta (looking for a gluten free pasta? Ancient Grains makes our go-to favorite right now)-affiliate link

DIRECTIONS:

Heat a large saucepan.  Add the oil and chopped garlic and sauté until the garlic is translucent.  Add the sausage (which, without the casing, looks a lot like ground meat) and let it brown.

If you use a beef or bison sausage, you may want to pour off some of the liquid (fat) that separates from the meat.  We use a lean turkey sausage because that’s just what’s available at our local grocer.

Add the tomato sauce and lower the heat and let the sauce simmer.

Meanwhile, make your pasta (follow the directions on the packaging).  When the pasta is a few minutes from ready, turn the heat back up on your sauce, add the cheese and stir until the cheese has melted and combined with the sauce (changes the sauce from a saucy red to a cozy deep orangy-red).

Drain your pasta and serve.

Makes about 6-8 servings of pasta sauce.

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