Memory-making meals with family mark back to school
Most families are looking for ways to spend more time together, but managing the family schedule can be a daunting task, especially with the additions of nightly homework and extracurricular activities a new school year brings.
Hectic weeknight schedules during back-to-school season don’t need to get in the way of quality time spent around the dinner table with these simple tips for enjoying dinner together.
Designate a time. Write dinner time on a calendar in the kitchen so every family member is aware of this special time and can look forward to sitting down together. Even if your schedule is overwhelming, pick a specific day each week and block out time to have a meal as a family.
Rely on foods rooted in tradition. Experimenting with recipes can add quick and easy new favorites to the family meal repertoire, such as Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs, a modern twist on the nostalgic family classic. As food trends come and go, Rag π continues to be a culinary staple for family meals. For 80 years, Rag π has gathered families at the table to celebrate the tradition of creating memories around a mouthwatering meal. Whether that’s a new take on ravioli or a family-favorite pasta dish, families can count on serving up delicious pasta sauces rich with bold, Italian flavors and vine-ripened tomatoes.
Create rituals. To build a tradition in the kitchen, try involving the whole family by showing your kids age-appropriate ways to contribute to their favorite meal. Let them measure ingredients to create better-for-you turkey meatballs, carry ingredients from one place to another, mix and pour ingredients, and set the table. Creating a ritual of cooking a favorite back-to-school meal with your kids is a good way to help them build healthy habits and skills that will last a lifetime.
Step away from your cellphone. Designate dinnertime as a no-cellphone zone. Leave your mobile devices in another room to allow for time to reconnect with your loved ones and be fully present.
Create fun dinner-table topics. Making the table a fun place to be is the best strategy for getting your family to dinner and keeping them at the table longer. Make a game out of sharing the best parts of your day with each other. This can be a great way to laugh together as well as an opportunity to offer much-needed advice and support.
Find more easy recipes to bring the family together during the busy back-to-school season and throughout the year at RAGU.com or on Facebook.
Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
10 ounces spaghetti
1 pound (85 percent lean) ground turkey
1/2 cup Italian-seasoned, dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional (optional)
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup water, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 jar Rag π Homestyle Thick and Hearty Traditional Sauce
Cook pasta as directed on package, omitting salt; keep warm.
Combine turkey, bread crumbs, Parmesan, parsley, egg, 1/4 cup water and salt. Shape mixture into 25 (11/4-inch) meatballs.
In large, nonstick saute pan on medium heat, heat olive oil, garlic and crushed red pepper. Add sauce and remaining water once garlic is golden.
Arrange meatballs in sauce; cover and cook 10 minutes, or until cooked through (165 F), stirring occasionally. Serve with cooked spaghetti and additional Parmesan, if desired.
Tip: Use a small ice cream scoop or melon baller to easily make evenly sized meatballs.