My BigMouth Blog | A Blog by Jason Glover

Cooking With Daddy: Italian Dishes Made Easy

My son loves to cook with me and I try to get him involved as often as I can, but there are many recipes that just don’t fit well with children. Cooking with daddy is great bonding time, but it can’t require a lot of concentration, too many ingredients or take forever to cook. Kids like simple, fast and easy, so I’ve taken a few complex recipes and made them kid-sized.


Lasagna is an amazing Italian dish, but can be a pain in the neck to cook. You have to cook the noodles, lay them out, fill them with cheese, etc. and then cook it in the oven. It certainly not the kind of thing a child would want to spend hours working on. That’s why I created Potsagna, lasagna in a pot.

Boil and salt some water and cook some mostaccioli or Penne Pasta and then drain the water. Keep the pasta in the pot and add your lasagna sauce and cheese and stir. Set the pot on the stove and keep it under medium heat, stirring frequently. Wait until the cheese is melted and the sauce warm and serve. It’s everything that makes lasagna good, but without the waiting and the little one can help stir, put in the cheese, etc. It’s the perfect dish for small children.

Bagel Pizzas

I know this one has been around for a while, but it really is really is a family favorite. The problem with making a homemade pizza is the dough for the crust, unless you buy it premade, and the time it takes to cook. Bagel pizza are small and ideal for snack size. It’s great for those lazy afternoon lunches during the summer.

The recipe is simple. Get your favorite bagels; I prefer the garlic bagels, but you can go tomato basil, cheddar or even the everything bagel. We top them with our favorite toppings; if you do meat toppings such as sausage, make sure it is precooked; and spread a little canned pizza or spaghetti sauce on top. I like to finish it off with a mixture of sharp cheddar and mozzarella cheese.

Place them on a baking sheet and cook in the oven at 375 for about 10 minutes.

Why It’s Important

Kids grow up really fast. One minute they can barely walk and the next they’re asking for the car keys and heading off to college. There are few times we can make our own, but when I’m there cooking with my son, I know I’m making memories for both him and me.

For more quick recipes, visit www.dadsthatcook.com