Today is my first post for my “kids in the kitchen” summer series. Join me each Friday for a variety of recipes to get the kids involved in the kitchen. This first recipe to start off the series is a main dish recipe that I made in a summers cooking series when I was a girl. It was done in my local newspaper. The original recipe is a bit bland for my present tastes so I added some more to it for more flavor!
I am also having my kids get involved in the kitchen this summer. My boys planned out their meals for the next two weeks to make. One is making baked manicotti – I found this to be quite ambitious for a 12 year old but he is making something he loves. I will be right there with him for that one. He will serve it with garlic bread from the store and tossed salad.
My other son chose to make Laura’s version of Cafe Rio sweet pork. He is also making a meal he loves and this one is a recipe for a beginner to make. He will serve it up on Tortillaland uncooked flour tortillas. Since his recipe is so easy, cooking the tortillas will give him some more experience in the kitchen.
If your kids are looking for other recipes to serve along with today’s recipe, I recommend the following:
- 2 cups uncooked ditalini pasta or elbow macaroni
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion
- ½ of a green pepper
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
- 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil over high heat.
- Once water is boiling, add 2 cups of pasta to the water along with 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Stir so the pasta doesn't stick together and turn the heat down to medium.
- Keep the water boiling and cook uncovered for about 10 minutes or until pasta is tender.
- As soon as the pasta is done, carefully remove from the heat. Place a colander in the sink and pour the pasta and water into the colander. This will drain away the water.
- Now run cold water over the pasta in the colander. Be sure to rinse all of it. This will stop the pasta from cooking.
- Peel the onion and chop it into small pieces with a knife. Ask Mom or Dad for help on how to chop it if you don't know how.
- Peel the garlic and cut it into small pieces with a knife.
- Cut up the green pepper into small pieces with a knife.
- In the same pot you cooked the pasta, add the ground beef. Begin cooking over medium heat and break up the ground beef with a large spoon or spatula.
- Add the onion, garlic, and green pepper to the ground beef.
- When the ground beef is all brown and the onion and pepper are tender, use a spoon to remove any fat in the pan from the beef. Mom or Dad can tell you how to dispose of the fat.
- Next, add the can of diced tomato, tomato sauce, sugar, and oregano to the beef and mix well.
- Then add the cooked pasta to the beef and mix well. Continue cooking over medium heat until the mixture is hot.
- Remove from the heat and sprinkle with the shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Makes 4 main dish servings.