I guess I never realized growing up just how important it was to be at the family table. It really is where the family comes together and talks about their day, and we engage in life with each other. There is something magical about being around the table and in each others presence. As humans I think we are hard wired to need physical contact with other beings, especially our families. If we are loved and accepted by our family we grow up with a healthy confidence and we don’t really seek that outside approval because we already have all the approval we have ever needed. I am so thankful that I grew up in this kind of family. I never needed anyone else’s approval in life because I knew then and now that my family loves me no matter what.
I can remember such fond times around the table. Our favorite dish as a family is anything Italian. We often prefer an italian food restaurant whenever we eat out. My Mom also loved going to an italian market and has probably made countless, pasta dishes and lasagnas. I honestly don’t know how she did it all. She took care of four kids and raised us to be decent human beings and managed to get a hot dinner on the table most nights. I can remember from a young age my Mom buying Ragu® sauce and creating all kinds of delectable meals with Ragu®Sauce. You could say she created magic in our mealtimes on our limited budget. I don’t know how she always did it, but I do know we never went hungry and dinner was always tasty.
From those fond memories on my Mom’s magic way with dinnertime and with Ragu® it makes me eager to create those same kind of times and magic with Hannah. I know that life gets busy and the busier we are, the more we seem to neglect our togetherness. I don’t know why we do that, I think we need that time together almost as much as air to breathe. That time together reminds us of why we make livings, and make us want to come home, ground us and give us purpose in life. Nothing like a good hearty laughter to make all right with the world again. So I have come to understand that in life we have to cling to those moments. Getting the dinner on the table quickly just so we can spend a few of those magic minutes together before we all head off in our different directions, is truly important to me.
Here is where I turn to my Mom’s favorite sauce, Ragu® Hannah and I shop at Kroger quite a lot. I make sure when I am doing my weekly shopping that I pick up a jar of Ragu® and have it on hand for a quick and tasty meal. I know that the quality of the sauce is wonderful and the flavors are really spot on not matter which variety I choose. Hannah who is starting to read can spot the label and says, Daddy let me get the Ragu®. I want Ragu® to hold the magic of dinner and family time for her just as it did for me growing up. I get a little flutter of joy in my heart as she grabs her favorite flavor and puts it in the cart.
One of the things that has been instrumental in our family meal times is prepping ahead. On Sundays we plan out the week and our meals, and we take 1-2 hrs and prep ahead. Sometimes that means prepping ahead dinner to, not just breakfast and lunch. One of our go to preps are Italian on-the-go in a Jar. I can prep them ahead and layer in what I want in the jar, and store in the fridge until the night we are having them for dinner. Everything in the jar is already cooked and all we have to do is remove the lid and warm them in the microwave and we have dinner in under 10 minutes. It gives us more time to create that magic I am looking for in my own family, and I know that I have the quality taste of Ragu® to thank for that. We each take our jars to the table after we have warmed them, and we dig in, not only our food, but in the lives of each other. Ahhhhh this is truly where the magic is, in each other, being present for one another
Italian on-the-go is super simple to make. Boil salted water and cook whatever pasta you would like to al dente. Alternate layers in mason with pasta, sauce, cheese, spinach. The beauty of these is you can really change and add whatever ingredients you would like and you can have dinner quickly. These are our favorite ingredients and what we go to most often.
Cooked al dente pasta
Ragu® Pasta Sauce
Layer ingredients as you want. Place lid on jar and refrigerate and then warm in microwave and dinner is served!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ragu® . The opinions and text are all mine.