Learning to cook … one kid at a time

Italian Gratin November 11, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — gastromami @ 12:35 pm

When I started cooking I used to freak out if I didn’t have the right ingredients, much less if something burned

Tonight I not only had rotten vegetables, my dinner literally caught on fire and burned

And we still ate it, and it was delicious

Inspired by Cooking Light

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat

Saute 1 cup diced onion, until tender, about 5 minutes

Add 5 cloves garlic, minced

Saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds

Add 1 pound of ground beef, saute until browned, about 7 minutes

Add 1 cup sautéed mushrooms & 1/2 cup (pitted) kalamata olives

Combine and season, to taste, with salt, black pepper & crushed red pepper

Add 1 jar of marinara (or 3 cups homemade – my freezer was empty!)

Stir and simmer over low until flavors blend

While sauce is simmering, cook bow tie pasta according to package directions

2 minutes until pasta is finished, add 2 crowns of broccoli florets and cook until bright green


Pour pasta/broccoli into the bottom of an 11×17 casserole dish

Over the pasta & broccoli pour the meat sauce

In a mini food prep, grind up some baguette

Combine 1 cup homemade breadcrumbs & 1/3 cup parmesan cheese

Pour over pasta/broccoli/meat sauce and broil until brown, about 4 minutes

Keep an eye on it, so it doesn’t catch on fire while your two small children are playing in the house – like mine did

If it does catch on fire, simply scrape off the burned pieces and top with fresh basil chiffonade

(no one will know the difference!)

Ren approved!


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