Growing up as a military child, it was hard to create family traditions that stuck. We moved around a lot. My dad was in and out of deployment. My family doubled after my dad got remarried. Then I moved to Louisiana. All of those changes (and many more) made it difficult to create family traditions that we could replicate year after year.
One simple thing that my family does for birthdays is a family dinner. Every year for my birthday and my sister’s birthday, we’ll go out to eat as a family, and, of course, the person whose birthday it is gets to pick the place. While this may not seem like an incredible family tradition, it’s nice to be able to get together as a family for dinner, especially now that I don’t live at home and my sister attends college an hour and a half away.
One of the restaurants that I attended for my birthday a few years ago had a fried bowtie pasta appetizer that was served with spinach and artichoke dip. I decided to give the recipe a try on my own, and it’s easily become one of my favorite appetizers to make for get-togethers or just a dinner at home.
Ragu sauce of choice
1 | Bring water to a boil and boil bowtie pasta noodles for about 7-8 minutes (a little more than half of the recommended time on the box).
2 | Drain and cool noodles.
3 | Mix 2 eggs with a little bit of milk.
4 | Dip noodles in egg and milk mixture.
5 | Roll noodles in Italian breadcrumbs.
6 | Panfry bowtie noodles in a skillet until golden brown.
7 | Serve with your favorite Ragu sauce. Enjoy!
Even though the restaurant that inspired this recipe served the noodles with spinach and artichoke dip, this recipe is the perfect pairing to your favorite Ragu sauce. For this particular recipe, I used the Mushroom & Green Pepper sauce, and it was so delicious!
What makes me love Ragu even more is the story behind it. After traveling from Italy to America, a woman named Assunta Cantisano made and served her family’s recipe for tomato sauce to her neighbors. Her neighbors loved it so much that they spread the word and soon, Assunta’s sauce because famous in the state of Iowa.
During the Great Depression, while everyone was going through the toughest of times and expecting less, Assunta gave them more. While other people were losing hope and forgetting about their lifelong dreams and aspirations, Assunta continued to create her family’s tomato sauce, and 80 years later, Ragu is one of the most popular pasta sauces on the shelf. I feel like Assunta’s journey from Italy and through the Great Depression makes the sauce taste just a little bit better, don’t you?
What’s your favorite family tradition?