Boy do I have a fun recipe for you today that I am so excited to share!
Awhile back I shared that I loved the Disney movie Ratatouille and included a recipe for Ratatouille Pasta. I commented that it would be fun to cook up that pasta dish for dinner and watch the movie while eating, similar to the “Read It, Eat It” feature I have.
Well I have another dinner and a movie combo for you (which, like the “Read it, Eat It” I think will become a regular feature). For today’s “Dinner n’ a Movie” I a featuring a holiday favorite, the movie Elf!
This is one of my favorite Christmas movies! I watch it every holiday season (some years more than once) and still laugh out loud every.single.time.I.watch!
This “Dinner n’ a Movie” would make for a fun family night or even date night (as we had). I made a whole event of it (all inspired by the movie)! We of course watched the movie Elf, made gingerbread houses, made homemade ornaments and paper snowflakes, ate a wonderful dinner complete with Christmas cookies for dessert!
For the dinner, I made a meal inspired by Buddy’s, the Elf, favorite food: spaghetti with maple syrup!
No, my version isn’t quite like Buddy’s. I didn’t pour maple syrup right over my pasta, but instead made a homemade sweet marinara sauce, sweetened with (yup you guessed it) the maple syrup!
This sauce is chunky and is beautifully layered with flavors. The maple syrup adds just enough sweetness to cut through the acidic tones of the tomatoes, yet there is still long lasting flavor. I absolutely love this sauce! It is my favorite sauce to date and even my husband declared this was the only marinara sauce he ever wanted again!
Served up with some meatballs, a side salad and some Coke, this meal and date night was one of the best eva!
As Buddy the Elf says, “We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corn and syrup.”
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (28 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 (28 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes*
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil)
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3-5 tablespoons pure maple syrup or brown sugar (add to desired sweetness)
- Spaghetti, cooked according to package directions, for serving
- Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 3-5 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- Serve hot sauce over prepared pasta.
*Note: For a less chunky sauce, replace diced tomatoes with an additional can of tomato sauce.