Last Thursday was crazy busy. I worked at’s warehouse until well after lunch, then ran off to do the errands that were becoming impatient with me. At 3:00 P.M., I attended our elementary school’s Parent Volunteer Appreciation Party and inhaled some cookies and lemonade at the party to fight off starvation. Before the party ended, I rushed to pick up the kids from their after-school activity to taxi them to their piano teacher’s studio just in time for their piano lessons.

Finally, at 5:30 P.M., I picked the kids up from their piano lessons, and I was glad to be done with that day.

Just as I turn on the ignition, I remembered something…

“Shoot….I totally forgot about dinner. What should I feed you guys tonight?” I usually had the day’s dinner all planned out early in the morning, and meats that should be defrosted would be pulled out of the freezer.

“Pasta Night!!” the kids shouted together from the back, with their fists raised high above their heads.

Bless them!

Pasta Night, a.k.a. Spaghetti, is such a quick and easy meal for me to make. It was the perfect family dinner after such a long day.

I swung by our local produce market, picked up a few things that I needed, and was ready to have dinner cooked and served under 30 minutes.

Please do not interpret “cooked and served under 30 minutes” as boiling the spaghetti, nuke the spaghetti sauce, and dump the sauce over a bowl of spaghetti. Oh no, my spaghetti is much more exciting than that! It has a restaurant quality look and taste, with lots of homemade goodness.

Paste sauce loaded with fresh vegetables

That’s why we don’t call this one-dish meal just spaghetti: we called it the Pasta Night.

I proclaim my “Pasta Night” dinner easy, quick, and super yummy! Great for those hectic days. Here is how…

This is a list of ingredients that I usually get for my pasta night:

1) One pound bag of thin spaghetti
2) One jar of spaghetti sauce (I have no brand loyalty, I always buy the on sale jar)
3) One jar of Alfredo sauce (also the on sale jar)
4) One pound ground beef
5) A few links of Italian sausage (chicken or pork)
6) A bundle of spinach
7) A couple of portabello mushrooms (or other mushroom)
8) One white onion
9) We will also need olive oil, salt, and pepper


1) Clean the spinach and mushroom. Slice the mushrooms.
2) Finely chop half of the onion.
3) Pan-fry the sausage until fully cooked, then slice them
4) Warm a large cooking pot with olive oil
5) Place the chopped onion into the pot
6) Add the ground beef into the pot
7) Add cooking wine to the pot and cook the beef-and-onion mixture until the redness of the beef is all gone.
8) Lightly season the mixture with salt.
9) Add the sliced sausage to the pot.
10) Empty the entire jar of the pasta sauce into the pot and stir.
11) Empty about a third or half of the Alfredo sauce into the pot and stir.
12) Bring the sauce to boil, then simmer.
13) Add the spinach and the mushrooms. Cook 5 minutes more.

*As you prepare the sauce, bring a pot of water to boil, then follow the cooking instructions on the spaghetti bag to prepare the spaghetti. Usually the spaghetti is cooked for about 6 to 8 minutes.

cooked pasta

My kids LOVE Alfredo sauce, but the amount of fat in Alfredo sauce is obnoxious. I learned to add about a third of the jar of the Alfredo sauce to the regular tomato based spaghetti sauce to give them that rich flavor, without contributing to our nation’s childhood obesity problem.

I usually serve this dish with bread and butter.

Dinner is ready!!

Related posts: Easy One-Dish Meal for Busy Moms (0r Dads)
Holy Guacamole!
Crabby Dinner
Something Fishy
Our Turkey

  • Share/Save/Bookmark
Category: Parents
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
One Response
  1. [...] MUSIC” Crabby Dinner Easy One-Dish Meal for Busy Moms (or Dads) Homemade Gourmet Burger Pasta Night Category: Parents You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. [...]

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>