March Break Idea: Cooking with Kids!

Easy Pasta and Meat Sauce

It can certainly be a challenge to come up with ideas for activities with your kids. Try cooking with the little ones with this easy-peasy spaghetti with meat sauce recipe. Made with only a few ingredients, your kids and you will be happy cooking and eating this dish together! We carry the fennel pollen at our Kensington shop, but it is optional here, as is the bufala mozzarella.

Note: I realize this is a stove-top dish, and not all kids (or parents) are comfortable with that yet. In my experience if you warn the kids of the danger of heat, they will be careful. There are no knives in this recipe, so at least you can avoid cuts 😉!

Serves four to six

1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling on mozzarella (if using)
1 lb ground beef
2 mild Italian sausages, casings removed
1 pinch fennel pollen (optional)
1 jar Sanagan’s Classic Tomato Sauce
salt and pepper to taste
400 gr pasta of your choice (I like spaghetti with this)
4 tbsp grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Optional: ½ ball of bufala mozzarella per person – this is pure indulgence and worth it


Fill a large pot with water, place on a high heat and bring to a boil. Salt the water to make it taste salty (about 1 handful of salt for a large (6-8 L) pot). Kids can throw the salt in here.

Place a medium sized sauce pot on a medium heat, and add 1 tbsp of olive oil (kid friendly move). Now add the ground beef and sausage meat, and stir with a wooden spoon (also kid friendly – just make sure you’re teaching them to avoid the element).

Once the meat is browned, add the fennel pollen (if using) and pour the tomato sauce in the pot (big time kid friendly move). Stir everything together and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes.

Cook your pasta in the boiling water as per the package directions. Drain, and quickly put back into the empty pasta cooking pot. There should be a bit of water in the pot from the pasta not being totally drained. You want this as it helps round out the sauce.

Taste the meat sauce for seasonings, and adjust to taste. Then pour the sauce over the pasta, and stir well to combine (kid move – but it is a bit hot so be careful).

Divide the pasta and sauce into bowls. If using, place a half ball of bufala mozzarella on top and drizzle with olive oil. If not using, grate some Parmigiano Reggiano on top and serve.


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