It's the perfect cross between a sandwich and a slice of pizza, and so good your kids will probably ask for seconds. The best part? This recipe for Italian toasties is so easy to make that kids can assemble it themselves.
Start with a loaf of artisanal bread. Nearly any kind will do, but crusty bread with rounded ends works best. Depending on the age of the child who will be doing the assembly, you may want to have an adult cut the loaf lengthwise, leaving it attached at one side. It should open up like a magazine.
Then, have the kids take over again. Armed with spoons, they'll scrape out the soft insides of the bread loaf and drizzle the loaf's interior with olive oil. After that, they spread a layer of tomato paste over both sides, and add the fillings, which can include sliced ham, olives artichokes, eggplant, mushrooms or other Italian-style toppings. Be sure to add a hefty dose of provolone cheese here and there, as well as a topping of mozzarella. Sprinkle with oregano, salt and pepper, close the sandwich and -- here's the fun part -- let kids use their hands to flatten it. Wrap the sandwich in foil and let the adult transfer the loaf to a 350 degree F (180 degree C) oven. In 30 minutes, you'll all be rewarded with a real crowd-pleaser. The adult should unwrap and slice the sandwich into six servings [source: BBC Good Food].
Author's Note: 5 Italian Dishes Kids Can Make
I'm a proponent of keeping kids busy in the kitchen. As a child, my mother taught me to cook and bake at an early age -- and it was more than just a way to keep me from being underfoot. Long before it was part of a classroom curriculum, I learned basic math skills at home by scaling recipes, including a working knowledge of fractions. It's an interactive way to engage, and one I hope my children will pick up on. I'll admit, some of the my children are more interested in culinary skills than others, but they all like to eat!
- Anderson, Amy. "Kids in the Kitchen: Made-to-Order Pizza Pasta Bowls." Make and Takes. May 7, 2014. (May 9, 2014) http://www.makeandtakes.com/kids-kitchen-made-order-pizza-pasta-bowls
- BBC Good Food. "Italian Toasties." June 2010. (May 9, 2014) http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/558627/italian-toasties
- BBC Good Food. "Squished Tomato Pasta Sauce." (May 9, 2014) http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/681650/squished-tomato-pasta-sauce
- Negrin, Julie. "How to Safely Include Kids in the Kitchen." Food Network. (May 9, 2014) http://www.foodnetwork.com/how-to/articles/how-to-safely-include-kids-in-the-kitchen.html
- Pittman, Ann Taylor. "A Kid in the Kitchen: Spaghetti Squash." Cooking Light. April 2012. (May 9, 2014) http://www.cookinglight.com/food/matisse-reid-spaghetti-squash-00412000074766/
- Scattergood, Amy. "Homemade Pasta, a Perfect Cooking Project for Kids." LA Times. Oct. 22, 2008. (May 9, 2014) http://www.latimes.com/style/la-fo-kidpasta22-2008oct22-story.html
- Smart, Marcia Whyte. "Spaghetti Squash with Tomato-Basil Sauce Recipe." My Recipes. April 2012. (May 9, 2014) http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/spaghetti-squash-tomato-basil-50400000120179/
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