Mary Ankar
October 08, 2009

My husband and I just spent our first weekend away from the baby. After a few tears, we enjoyed some much-needed rest and relaxation due after our first three months of parenting.

We got back fairly early on Sunday night, but with much catch-up on baby/laundry/dogs, etc...I had zero time to head to the grocery store for meal planning. Thank goodness for a well-stocked pantry (and freezer and fridge)! 

My husband's go-to meal is spaghetti (I think he could eat it every night and never tire of it), so I always keep marinara sauce and pasta in the pantry, ground beef or ground turkey in the freezer, and an onion and freshly grated Parm-Reggiano in the fridge. It also helps that I have a basil plant in a pot on my patio.

That's all it takes for a simple home-cooked meal:

4-Step Spaghetti:

1. Brown 1 cup chopped onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet.

2. Add 1 pound thawed ground beef/turkey; cook 6 minutes, stirring to crumble, until lightly browned. 

3. Add 1/2 jar marinara sauce; simmer 5 minutes or until heated through. (Stir in 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, if desired).

4. Serve over pasta (any shape) cooked according to package directions. Garnish with freshly chopped basil and freshly grated Parm-Reg.

    With the pantry always stocked, I know I have a quick, healthful meal my family will love. You all have a go-to meal that your family could eat 10 times over. Please leave it in your comments below so that we can all learn something new.

    P.S. The chili from last week was delicious and I know we'll be able to enjoy it again and again. I froze 2-person portions into zip-top bags so that I can take out only as much as we need next time we eat it.

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