Big Spaghetti Dinner

Big spaghetti dinners were one of my favorite meals growing up.

I would sit in my big, wooden chair at the dinner table as my mom placed a pot of steaming noodles on a hot plate in front of me. The steam from the noodles would moisten my face with a warm heat and my stomach would growl in anticipation. Next to me would be a bread basket filled with buttery garlic bread for easy access.

My mom would make this dinner for me the night before I had a cross country meet in junior high.

I would get so nervous before a meet even though I was not even kind of good and the team never really depended on me. I hated the competitive nature of meets and would nearly make myself sick with nerves. A big spaghetti dinner was one of the things that calmed me down and made me relax.

Though tonight’s dinner wasn’t quite as fantastic as the spaghetti dinners I  enjoyed growing up, it still was quite tasty.

I prepare our pasta feast using Barilla thin spaghetti.

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While the noodles bubbled away in a big pot of boiling water, I chopped up steamed broccoli florets to toss on top of the cooked pasta.

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I also popped open a can of clams to add a little protein and salty flavor to the mix.

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Before digging in, I topped the spaghetti, broccoli and clams with marinara sauce.

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Even though I’m not the teeniest bit Italian, I sure do like eating like I am! 😀

Question of the Evening

  • What is a meal that always makes you feel relaxed and calm?

33 Responses

  1. Oh I love spaghetti!! A meal that always makes me feel good is breakfast. It’s so delicious and warm and it just makes me happy! 🙂

  2. I love spaghetti – but with clams?? That sounds fascinating, haha, can you taste them? Probably a dumb question 😉 but I’m so intrigued, haha. I hope you enjoy your evening!

  3. That looks delicious, especially with the broccoli mixed in 🙂

  4. spaghetti! or ramen! 🙂

  5. I would get SO nervous for cross country and track meets as well, especially in high school!!

  6. Haha, I love that memory. I can just picture a little Julie sitting wide-eyed with her BIG bowl of spaghetti. You’re adorable!

  7. WOW! That spaghetti looks soo good! A meal that calms me down would probably be just a nice, hot bowl of chicken noodle soup! Typical comfort food, I know, but I ALWAYS loved it!

  8. I had a ‘Julie dinner’ tonight too 😀 It was roasted veggies, sauce & carba nada noodles- I even said to myself as I was making it, this is soooo Julie-like – haha 😀
    I LOVE pasta & I’ve never thought of adding clams to the mix- sounds SO good!

  9. For me carbs definitely equal calm. My favorite meal when I’m craving some comfort is homemade mac and cheese!

  10. Not really a pasta person, but yours looks pretty good!

  11. I’m married to an Italian and sadly don’t LOVE Italian food. Besides pizza. 😀

    I think pizza would have to be my comfort food in fact.

  12. Spaghetti does it for me too 😉 And (turkey) meatballs..yumm!

  13. Oh my goodness – what a great photo of that spaghetti…it’s the sauce that gets me…I put it on EVERYTHING and it’s seriously like a jar in 2 days….

    Comfort food? LOL anything really. I just stuff it in my poor face. Pizza, chocolate (every night), oh and AB & J sandwiches…so I guess I need comfort every night …? 😉

  14. I always got nervous for meets too! I wasnt even in the “jv” runners group. My grandma would always make me pasta fizoul and zuchinni bread! Love your blog Jules! xo

  15. pasta definitely calms me down, specially gnocchi! 🙂 Your spaguetti dish looks really good! I haven’t had spaguetti for ages!!! need to get some!

  16. pasta makes me happy. or breakfast too. yummm!

  17. most definitely some sort of authentic italian dish. i’m italian by marriage but like to eat like i’m the real deal 🙂

  18. i ran cross country as well! it made me want to devour every carb in sight. did you only run in junior high?

    • i ran track my freshman year in high school & was awful so i took my talents elsewhere. 😉

  19. Comfort food for me is pizza with a giant salad on the side. All of the veggies make me feel like I’m treating my body right, and the pizza makes me feel like I have a dirty little secret.

    My favorite pizza is the personal Amy’s No Cheeze in the frozen section. I actually just tried it and I was shocked that I would like a pizza without cheese! But it’s the best!

  20. Veggie lasagna! I don’t know why but it always makes me feel peaceful, and I didn’t even eat it as a child!

  21. you forgot the parmesan as for calm food, probably some kinda pasta with cheese!!

  22. Spaghetti has been one of my favourite meals for as long as I could remember. As a kid, we’d always get to choose our birthday dinner – I would always choose spaghetti. To this day, I definitely still get a calm, warm and fuzzy feeling every time it’s on the menu. Speaking of, turkey spaghetti is on my meal plan for tonight! 🙂

  23. I love spaghetti, but I usually only get the traditional spaghetti and marinara out since I can neither make my own sauce or find one I like enough. As for the food that makes me all warm and fuzzy: Pizza!

  24. YUM!!! sometimes the simplest dinners are the most satisfying, aren’t they??

    my moms chicken marbella which is a delicious chicken recipe made with dried fruits and TONS of spices! OMG that brings me back! 🙂

  25. Hands down the “meal” that calms me is a glass of red wine and a cheese/fruit/veggie/cracker plate. It’s something that I can take my time eating but still feel like I made a healthy choice.

  26. Yum. I love clams. 🙂

  27. i love eating oysters on the half shelf while sitting outside drinking an ice cold beer watching my daughter play.

  28. oops, i meant to say oysters on the half shell. geeze..

  29. Canned clams? WTF?

  30. I don’t know if it counts as a meal but I love toast and butter. When the toast is so hot that the butter melts right in… Yum. Oh my gosh my mouth is watering! White bread is so yummy but I try not to eat it – if i did I might never stop!

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