A lot of times when the boys have friends over they want it to be a “dinner” play date. As I am cooking for three anyway, I usually don’t mind, what is one or two more. But since all play dates are not created equal, there are times the night doesn’t always end as planned.
Awhile back we had a few friends over and I served tuna fish to the kids. OMG – big mistake – I thought since I mixed it with plain pasta it would be a no-brainer, but it was a disaster. The moms had to scramble in my fridge for something to feed their melting children. To this day, we still laugh about the “tuna incident”.
There is one little guy I particularly enjoy having over, he eats everything I put on his plate and always asks for seconds. My kids see him eating so they usually follow suit. I once mentioned to his mom how much he enjoyed my dinners. She laughed and said that he would never refuse to eat something served to him. He was taught that would not be polite. Huh?! And here I thought it was my cooking!
The other day he came over and I decided to try a recipe that my cousin Judy sent me. I thought it would be a perfect choice for the four of them. She sent me the recipe in a narrative without any specific measurements so I sort of winged it.
Judy’s Pasta (adapted from cousin Judy’s arsenal of recipes)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 can diced tomato
1/2-cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup fresh spinach, rough chopped
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
10-12 large shrimp, cooked and chopped into bite size pieces
Salt & pepper
1 lb dry pasta, we used Rotini
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook about 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the diced tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, spinach, and Worcestershire sauce.
Reduce heat and let simmer until tomatoes have softened, about 20-25 minutes. Do not add the shrimp until the last minute; they just need to heat through.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Drain and toss pasta with the sauce in the skillet. Add a bit of the reserved pasta water to help the sauce stick to the pasta. Salt and pepper to taste. Add grated parmesan cheese if desired.
And the VERDICT is:
Matthew (age 6): “It’s a little good”
Liam (age 4): “It’s bad – just kidding!”
Dylan (age 4): “Don’t like the seaweed part”
Jaume (age 5): “Really yummy!”