Cook With a Book: Strega Nona!

Every once in a while, a book resonates with you. Whether it’s full of life advice, it’s funny, the protagonist is relate-able, it’s full of magic, or something else, the book strikes you to the core. When a picture book does that, it’s easy to replace it’s profound effect with new memories and feelings as you grow. I always come back to the books I once loved. Guppy has read nearly every series I did when I was her age (And even a bit older! Over achiever…), and now I’m reading the same books I read to her to Goober. Hopefully, he loves them as much as I do.

strega nona(This post contains affiliate links, however, the books can be found in most bookstores, and any type of ingredients will work well in this simple recipe, so enjoy!)
I’ve noticed the same thing happens with food. You’ll hear of recipes being handed down for generations. Nearly everyone I know has that ONE recipe from their mom, or grandfather, or another family member that just CAN’T be topped. Family moments happen for all sorts of reasons, but there’s always something special about cooking with your family, AND reading with your family. This post (and a few more down the line) asks “Why not both?” from classics like Strega Nona (one of my favorite picture books) to newer reads, like Dragons Love Tacos, we’ll take some time to create moments with both books AND cooking!

Beginning with a review of “Strega Nona” by Tomie dePaola

Goober Says:
“I’m two, now, and two year olds like big kid stories! So Mama read this book to me, and I had such a good time hearing about Strega Nona’s magic pasta pot, and Big Anthony’s big mess up when he tries to help out. I liked seeing all the spaghetti spilling over the pot and all over the house, and I LOVED helping mama yell Strega Nona’s magic word to finally get it to stop!”

7 out of 10! It’s a little bit long for a kid like me, and the pages do NOT taste like spaghetti. I feel lied to!

Mama Says:
I have so many nostalgic feelings about this book. I love the artwork in it, and the storytelling is amazing. As a mom, I always love when the lesson of a book is “respect and listen to those who have more experience) and that is a prevailing theme in the Strega Nona books in general. Coming from an Italian family, obviously any story about pasta is going to be a great one in my mind, and this is the TOP of pasta books!

10 out of 10! Is it because of the nostalgia? Maybe? But I feel like Nostalgia is important when sharing things you love (like books and recipes)

Recipe for Spaghetti Cups!

What You Need:

About 1/2 lb of cooked spaghetti (any kind works!)
2c Tomato Sauce
3 eggs
1/2c Mozzarella (Or “Italian Blend”) Cheese
1/4c Parmesan Cheese
Vegetable Oil (I like to use Olive Oil Spray)
A pinch of fresh basil
A muffin tin

What To Do:
Preheat oven to 350
Use a paper towel to coat each muffin cup with olive oil (or just give it a good spray, if you’re using the spray oil)
In a large bowl, mix together Spaghetti, Sauce, Eggs, Basil, and Both Cheeses
Using a fork, separate spaghetti mixture into muffin cups
Bake for about 15 minutes (the top will look a bit darker than when it started)
Let cool to your preference, and enjoy!

Spaghetti Cups.jpg

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