What we want to eat right now is cozy food. Warm food. Comfort food.
Of course, comfort food means something different for everyone. Beef stew, meatloaf, chicken curry, macaroni and cheese, apple pie. But on this we can agree: Cooking foods that are familiar, warm and full of aroma gives us the endorphins we need to carry on through gloomy, cold days.
These dishes don’t have to be time-consuming. Here is a family favorite: A one-pot spaghetti where the noodles cook right in the sauce. It’s even picky-kid approved.
One-pot spaghetti Serves 4
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 ounces sweet ground Italian sausage
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 2 carrots, finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- Half of a 16-ounce package of spaghetti
- 1 (14-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
In a large saute pan or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook, breaking the meat into pieces and cooking until browned. Drain fat from meat.
Add 1 tablespoon of oil to pot, along with onion and carrots. Cook until onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and tomato paste, cooking 2 minutes.
Break spaghetti in half. Add 4 1/2 cups water to pot, along with spaghetti, tomatoes, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cooking 10-12 minutes or until spaghetti is done. Top with chopped basil and parsley. Serve with grated parmesan cheese.
Chicken Pot Pie with Puff Pastry
- 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
- 1/3 cup butter
- 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed or 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
- 3 cups chopped cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1. Butter or spray with nonstick cooking spray a round or square 2-quart baking dish. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Heat butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add carrots, onion and mushroom, cooking 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add flour, and cook 3 minutes or until golden. Slowly stir in broth and then half-and-half. Heat to boiling. Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture boils and thickens.
3. Stir in mustard, thyme, chicken peas and parsley. Taste, and season with salt and pepper. Pour mixture into baking dish.
4. Unfold puff pastry on lightly floured surface. Cut into six even strips. Create a lattice pattern, weaving the pieces together. Seal edges of pastry on inside of baking dish. Trim any excess. Place baking dish on a foil-lined baking sheet to catch any spills.
5. Bake 45 minutes or until hot and bubbling and pastry is golden brown.