I’m not one of those people who like to eat the same thing every day—I crave variety. But I could happily eat spaghetti and meatballs once a week for the rest of my life. Fortunately, my husband and children feel the same way, so it’s become one of our standard weeknight meals.
In a perfect world, we’d make only the best possible version of the dish, allowing the sauce to simmer for hours, perhaps on a leisurely, quiet Sunday afternoon punctuated only by the mellow tones of public radio and the happy sounds of our children playing imaginative, educational games. In real life, we’re usually cooking at the end of the work day, fielding endless whiny queries from the kids about when dinner will be ready and why they can’t have extra screen time.
So anything we cook on weeknights has to be fast—even our beloved spaghetti and meatballs. And after years of practice, we’ve figured out how to get that dish on the table in about half an hour. Here’s how we do it.