We all love quick and easy meals, and spaghetti is one that I rely on since it’s easy to find gluten-free pasta and sauce. But if you cook the same easy meal too often, you and your family can get tired of it. Here are some easy ways to dress up spaghetti, making it a little more special than the same old dinner.
As far as gluten-free ingredients, several years ago I polled my Facebook fans about their favorite gluten-free pasta. Tinkyada was the winner, and it is one of my favorites. But there are lots of brands available that use different ingredients. If you don’t have a favorite already, try a few that are made from different grains such as rice, corn, and quinoa.
Most pasta sauce is gluten free, but always read the label to be sure. If you’re dairy free, be careful because some sauces contain cheese.
5 Easy Ways to Dress Up Spaghetti
Meatballs simply make spaghetti more fun. My recipe for baked meatballs eliminates standing over the stove and turning meatballs in a skillet. You put them in the oven and take them out when they’re done. But making meatballs is still more work than browning ground beef.
The way to make it easy is to make a double (or triple!) batch of meatballs when you have a little time. Then, after baking and cooling, freeze the meatballs for later use. If you make them fairly small, you can put them straight from the freezer into a pot of simmering sauce. They will thaw and get hot while you cook the pasta.
2. Use sausage instead of beef
My kids always love this idea. The flavor of sausage makes spaghetti extra special for them, and it doesn’t take any extra work!
3. Add red wine to the sauce
A little red wine can really boost the flavor of spaghetti sauce. I use about 1/2 cup per jar of pasta sauce. Be sure to give it time to simmer, and don’t worry about the alcohol because it will evaporate when heated. Any red wine will work, but an Italian red, such as Chianti, is particularly good.
4. Add fresh herbs
Fresh basil in particular is a great addition to your pasta meal. Chop the leaves, add them to the sauce, and allow to simmer. Then sprinkle some on top of your meal for color and flavor.
5. Freshly grated Parmesan
I grew up with the stuff in the green can, but freshly grated Parmesan cheese is worlds better. You can add some to the sauce and/or on top of the meal.
If you are dairy free, adding a cheese substitute, though not the same, still adds a special touch. I’ve been making cashew cream that I enjoy with this type of meal.
Those are my top ways for dressing up spaghetti. What do you do to take your pasta dinner up a notch?