Kids love meals that are not just delicious but a little entertaining. After all you only get to be a kid once, so why not live it up a little every now and then.
Now I usually hate cooking meals that specifically target the kids because I believe that they should learn to eat what everyone else is eating and love the adult foods, or at least a broader palette of adult foods. But this recipe is just so much fun so why not make it at least once in a while for some fun with your kids. They are only young once and as my mother is constantly reminding me I need to enjoy them at each and every stage of their development and not take them for granted. So here we have a fun recipe that will let kids be kids, allows adults to experience a little bit of their lost childhood, and can still be a pretty healthy and delicious meal.
Once of the ways I assure myself this is a good idea is to make my sauce from scratch with lots of little bits of veggies in it. I also substitute wheat pasta for the squid. Now in my house we only eat Hebrew National hot-dogs because they are preservative free but feel free to substitute turkey dogs or anything else your family may like.
What you need:
- 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
- 4 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes
- 3/4 cups chopped garlic (about two heads)
- 4 cups diced onions (3-4 medium)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (we use sea salt)
- 1/4 cups tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried Oregano
- 1/2 cups red wine (you can use red wine vinegar if you choose not to use wine, but as long as it boils and reduces it will not hurt you or your kids)
- 1/2 cups fresh basil
- Ground Pepper to taste
What you will do:
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place a large bowl of ice water next to the stove. Using a sharp paring knife, core the tomatoes and score a small X into the flesh on the bottom.
- Place the tomatoes in the boiling water, in batches, until the skins are slightly loosened, 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes to the ice water and let sit in the water for 1 minute before removing.
- Place a sieve over a bowl; working over it, peel the tomatoes using a paring knife, and let the skins fall into the sieve.
- Halve the tomatoes crosswise and scoop out the seeds with a hooked finger, letting the sieve catch the seeds. Press the seeds and skins to extract any extra juice. Coarsely chop and set aside.
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven (or large pot) over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and just beginning to color, 2 to 3 minutes. Add onions and salt, stir to coat, cover and cook, stirring often and adjusting heat as necessary to prevent burning, until soft and turning golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and oregano and cook, stirring often, until the tomato paste is beginning to brown on the bottom of the pan, 2 to 4 minutes.
- Pour in wine (or vinegar); bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits with a spoon. Cook until reduced slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and any juice; return to a simmer, stirring often. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are mostly broken down, about 25 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in basil and pepper. Transfer the sauce, in batches, to a blender or food processor. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.) Process until desired consistency. For a smooth sauce, puree it all; for a chunky sauce, puree just half and mix it back into the rest of the sauce.
Noodles and Hot-dogs:
- Spaghetti Noodles
- Package of hot-dogs
- While sauce is cooking begin boiling a large pot of water for noodles and hot-dogs.
- Slice hot-dogs into pieces about 1 1/2 to two inches long. Take noodles and poke them into one end of the hot-dog. Place in large pot of boiling water and allow it to simmer until noodles are soft.
- Combine sauce and hot-dogs and noodles. Now you have squidghetti. Enjoy a fun and unusual meal with your kids!