Everyday Mom's Meals: When My Boy Asks

Sunday, February 7, 2021

When My Boy Asks

 My kids are so used to me planning diverse menus with many of their favorites every week, it isn't often they feel the need to request something, unless I ask them for input. But every once in a awhile, Alex will ask for me to make something he is craving, rather it be a beloved favorite or he wants me to try a new recipe. Such was the case when it comes to the new pasta bake I'm sharing today and boy am I glad he asked because it lead to something delicious and a recipe I am quite proud of! 

We are going on month 302 of this pandemic...or so it seems...and while I do think our family has adjusted to the things are the best we can, there are still moments I find us whining about things we miss. And that's okay. We all deserve to have a little whine now and again after what we have endured over the past year! Even my kids have truly stepped up to the challenge of "the new normal" better than I could have ever expected. 

My 4 year old will gladly wear his mask if I allow him to go into a store with me (which isn't often, and it helps the mask has either a panda or Baby Yoda on it!). My teenager goes to school every single day, in a mask, for 7-8 hours, without much complaint. He only gets to take it off when he eats lunch, which by the way is no longer with his friends, but in an assigned classroom where the food is brought to them and they eat at their desks. (I'm not complaining, our school has done an outstanding job at protocols this year and I'm so pleased we've been in-person with only a couple weeks of preventative remote since August!) But everyone is human, and sometimes a "oh I miss ___" will come out of one of our mouths. 

Alex's most recent lamenting was about buffets. Yes, we were a buffet loving family. We enjoyed a tasty Asian buffet, seafood buffet and the dinner buffet at our local Pizza Hut. In this case, it was the last one Alex was missing. No, not because of the all you can eat pizza, but instead the pasta they always served on it. He could eat plate after plate of their cavatini. I don't blame him, the other one they always had, a spaghetti with a white, cream cheese sauce makes me drool just thinking of it. (In case you're wondering, no it wasn't Alfredo. It was completely different, and it will be the next one I master!)

So when my oldest baby was sad because he had a hankering for this cavatini, and asked if I thought I might be able to come up with something similar, this mama had to try! Well, I don't want to pat myself on the back too much, but even I have to admit I hit it out of the park! 

This copycat is spot on! Both Alex and his dad couldn't get over just how close to the original it tasted. The boys was thrilled and I scored major mom points! 

This pasta casserole is sort of like a pizza, pasta combo so your kids will probably love it as much as mine! Maybe they have been asking you to try something new, and now you have your answer!

 Copycat Pizza Hut Cavatini

1 lb. rotini pasta, cooked to al dente

1 lb. mild Italian sausage

4 oz. pepperoni, chopped

1 medium white onion, finely chopped

1 red bell pepper, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 TBS olive oil

2 (24 oz.) jars tomato and basil spaghetti sauce

1 1/2 c. shredded pizza blend cheese

2 TBS grated Parmesan/Romano cheese

1/4 tsp. dried red pepper

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

Salt and Pepper

Dried Parsley

Preheat oven to 350. While pasta cooks, brown sausage in large skillet. Drain well. Set aside. Wipe out skillet and add olive oil over medium high heat. Saute onion, bell pepper and garlic in oil until tender, about 5 minutes. When pasta is cooked, drain well. In a large bowl combine sauce, sausage, onion mixture, pasta, dried red pepper, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Stir well. Transfer half pasta mixture to a greased 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, half pizza blend cheese and half pepperoni. Add other half pasta mixture, rest of pepperoni and top with pizza blend cheese. Bake for 45 minutes until brown and bubbly. Sprinkle with dried parsley before serving. 


Shared at Weekend Potluck


Anonymous said...

Can this be divided in half and freeze half of it? It sounds delicious but is too much for my small family. I just wondered if it could be frozen before baking?

Krista said...

This fed my family of 4....but I have big eaters. I would bake the whole thing and then freeze leftovers. I’m not sure about pre-freezing :)