On a normal Sunday, meaning on a Sunday when we’re not away from home, Sunday dinner is always pasta. I mean, what else would an Italian American serve on a Sunday if not pasta? I’m sure other traditions have their Sunday dinner traditions, which is why I’m not going to judge you if your Sunday dinner is something else. Just so long as you have some kind of tradition.
But in this household, and in our family households generations before us, Sunday pasta was more than a tradition, it was a rule, only to be broken under the most extreme circumstances. When we were first married, I was all full of my young rebellious self and didn’t want to follow the rules of my parents or of Joe’s family. So old-fashioned! But Joe is a more old-fashioned kind of a guy, and he would periodically ask for the return to this tradition until I finally caved.
And then I realized the wisdom of it. One less night to figure out what to make. One less night to look up a recipe. One guaranteed winning meal for the kids. I finally got it. And it’s been mostly Sunday pasta ever since.
But last weekend Joe asked for his ravioli and sausage birthday dinner, and his birthday fell on Monday! If it had fallen on Wednesday, there would have been no problem. After all, two pasta nights each week is never a bad idea. But two pasta nights in a row might be.
I was stumped trying to figure out last Sunday’s dinner. Tentatively, while kind of thinking out loud, I told Joe I had tofu in the refrigerator and could make a stir fry for dinner. No sooner had I said those words and I knew that was veering too far from the rule.
The next thought, however, in some oddly connected way wasn’t as much of a stretch. I proposed a vegetable and cheese omelet. I guess eggs are connected to my heritage as much as pasta because we had so many egg dishes for lunch while growing up. The idea worked for me and it worked for Joe.
And since I’m in my current make-dinner-with-as-little-effort-as-possible phase, I decided to go with one of those Bisquick Impossibly Easy Pies. Since I had broccoli and cheddar in the refrigerator, that was the winner. I didn’t have green peppers, but I had the last of the tomatoes that Joe picked from the garden and substituted a few of them.
And that’s how you break the Sunday dinner rule, without going too far from the tradition.