Years ago, I used to live in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota. On occasion I would walk around the neighborhood checking out the many different restaurants and trying a few items on the menu from time to time. One of those walks took me down along W. 7th St., and I came across a restaurant called Cossetta’s Italian Market and Pizzeria. I have often since returned to this establishment because they serve some of the best Italian inspired dishes in Minnesota. I loved their Mostaccioli, that they served as a side dish to their entrées.
Recently, as in this past weekend, I was in the mood for some Italian food. I had thought of taking the family on a day trip to Duluth to have some spaghetti and meatballs at Grandma’s Saloon & Grill, but with it being Winter and all, I decided it would be best to keep it local. However, as I thought about what I wanted I realized that often times when I want something I can usually find a good recipe online and make it myself at home. I have pretty much mastered the Zuppa Toscana from Olive Garden, which my son loves. So, I did just that. I went online and found a pretty easy recipe at . There were only 7 ingredients, and I had most of them already in my pantry. I did change out the mild or hot Italian sausage for sweet Italian sausage though, because my son hasn’t yet developed a pallet for spicy foods. Otherwise, I just followed the recipe and, well, it was awesome! My son loved it as did my wife, both of which are my favorite food critics!! It didn’t take long for the prep work and after it was all put together I baked it for about 25 minutes to get the cheese all good and melted.
So, the morrow of this story is, when you are itching for a good meal and want to keep the costs down as much as possible, just make it yourself! You will be surprised how easy it is, and the cost is much more affordable than taking a family of say 3 or more out to a restaurant.