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Family Central: Italian Meal Night

Are you looking for ideas to bring your family together more often?  Maybe we should learn a thing or two from the Italians and their traditions of turning dinnertime into quality family time.  Let us talk about three easy ways to enjoy your time with your family more.

Go Grocery Shopping Together.  Plan your grocery lists with your kids and teach them about different foods and how they are used in your recipes.  Take your kids to the fresh vegetable and market section of your local grocery store and teach them what fresh vegetables look and smell like.  This will be a great opportunity to sneak in a great conversation about where these vegetables come from and how they are grown.  Pick a specific recipe for the week and have your kids pick up all the ingredients for that specific recipe.

Let your Kids Cook!  After you have shopped for all your groceries and your kids are excited about their dish, bring them right into the kitchen for the fun to begin!  Cooking is a life skill and is a great way to connect with your kids.  It is a way to bring food to life and a great conversation starter for kids that are often buried in the vast world of electronics.

Make your Kitchen a Family Hangout.  You have created the excitement of cooking already and you’re right on your way to having that fun family hangout right at home!  Your family will start to love being in the kitchen, and your quality time with them will start to multiply.  This all comes from the love of food and family!

What kid doesn’t love macaroni and cheese?  Try out this recipe with your kids to put a new spin on something that is so great!

Italian Style Macaroni & Cheese

1 lb elbow macaroni
2 Tbs butter
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 Tbs all-purpose flour
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup fontina, shredded
1/4 cup provolone cheese, shredded
1 pkg sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup fresh parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Boil 6 quarts of salted water and cook the pasta to almost al dente, about 5 minutes.

Drain the pasta and place in a large bowl.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt the butter and sauté the garlic for 1 minute.

Stir in the flour.

Slowly stir in the cream until it begins to thicken.

Stir in the nutmeg and mozzarella.

Add the fontina, provolone and sun-dried tomatoes.

Mix the cheese mixture with the macaroni, season with salt and pepper and place in a large buttered casserole dish.

Mix together the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.

Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture on top of the macaroni and bake for 10 minutes until golden.

You can have the best of both worlds even if you are short on time. We have great Macaroni & Cheese in the Grab & Go section here at FRESH, alongside our Baked Ziti family casserole. You can also grab our FRESH baguettes and a wonderful salad, and you and your family are set for a wonderful dinner!