Healthy Meal with Kid Appeal Award: Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy

Ever since discovering Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy, we’ve gone ga-ga over the blog’s exquisite food photography, mouth-watering recipes, and colorful prose.  Susan, who writes the blog, is a professional musician, aspiring chef, wife, and mother, and we absolutely love the way she describes her recipes. Here’s what she said about her recent recipe for Break-Up BarsBreak-Up Bars have a tender, buttery shortbread base which is studded with crunchy toffee bits and topped with layers of voluptuous, golden caramel and creamy, deep, dark chocolate. Yum!

Susan’s bars are made with 4 sticks of butter, so you can bet your bottom dollar each bite is sure to be voluptuous (and then some). While dessert recipes appear frequently on the blog, there are plenty of other recipe categories — things like seafood, pasta, casseroles, and beans. One recipe that caught our eye was Susan’s Pasta e Fagioli, her grandmother’s favorite “go to” dish.  In the post, she says it can either be a thick, stewy dish or more like a soup. Her grandmother preferred the former.

This stick-to-your ribs dish takes minutes to make. It’s kid friendly (all four of our kids gobbled it up happily) and nutritious thanks to the fiber-rich beans. For all of those reasons, Susan’s Pasta e Fagioli is the official winner of this month’s Healthy Meal with Kid Appeal Award.

Pasta e Fagioli (from Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy)

  • 1 pound dried ditalini pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups marinara sauce (fresh is best, but any good quality jar sauce will be fine)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

1. Put a large pot of water on the stove to boil.  When boiling, cook the ditalini until al dente, about 10-11 minutes. Drain.

2. Meanwhile, in another large pot, heat olive oil and saute onion over medium heat until soft. Add garlic and saute a few minutes more.

3. Add marinara sauce and water and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add beans and continue to simmer until heated through.

4. Add pasta and mix well. If the sauce is too thick, add a little of the pasta water to thin it out a little, if desired.  Serve in a large bowl with grated cheese and parsley sprinkled on top.

Here are a few additional cooking notes from The Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen:

> When we drained the pasta, we reserved some of the pasta water. We then added some to thin the sauce a bit.
> The next time we make this, we’ll probably sauté a finely diced large carrot with the onion.
If you don’t have cannellini beans, you could also use Great Northern beans.
You could serve this dish with fresh basil if you think your kids would prefer it over parsley.

We hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as ours did.  Thanks Susan for sharing it!

5 responses to “Healthy Meal with Kid Appeal Award: Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy”

  1. Wow! I’m so flattered to receive this award! Thank you so much for that and your kind words as well. I’m thrilled that you enjoy reading SGCC, and especially that you featured my Pasta e Fagioli. Not only is is quick, easy and nutritious, but it holds a special place in my heart as it is one of the first dishes I ever learned to cook. I hope your readers enjoy it!

  2. Pam says:

    We make a similar dish all the time! It is my go-to, “I don’t want to cook” dish, and it gets gobbled up every time! I add a bit of red pepper flakes in to spice things up, and often use diced tomatoes instead of marinara, but I’m guessing the marinara would be better for my kids who fear tomato chunks!

  3. Pam, our kids have a “chunk” issue as well. It must be universal!!

  4. Beth says:

    I have super picky kids but they might actually like this. I’m going to certainly give it a try. Thanks!

  5. I’ll be sure to check this post out again Dont stop writin

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