Family Dinner Night – Healthy Tomato non-Vodka Sauce

I just love family dinner night. I love how over the years our family has grown to include aunts, uncles, cousins and grandchildren. Soon I expect great grandchildren to join in but not too soon I hope.

Last Saturday we all got together at Grandpa’s house for family dinner. I also love the opportunity to cook for my family and that our mom, Wendy, does all the dishes.

I decided to cook something healthy so I made a Mock Vodka Sauce served over spaghetti squash. The recipe is inspired by Penne Alla “Not-ka” from  “Cook Yourself Thin”  I find the original recipe is never enough so I always double it and we usually have tasty left overs for lunch but not this time.

Healthy Tomato non-Vodka Sauce

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • 1 cup chopped red onion (1 medium red onion)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 14-ounce cans fire roasted chopped tomatoes (Can substitute regular but fire roasted is better)
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • Top with grated Parmesan cheese and shredded fresh basil


  1. In a large sauce pan heat the oil then add onion and salt. Sauté until slightly caramelized, add garlic and red pepper flakes cook for about 1 minute stirring constantly.
  2. Add chopped tomatoes with juice and bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and simmer very gently 10 minutes.
  3. If you want a more creamy sauce puree the tomatoes in a blender or food processor before adding to the pan, or blend with a stick blender.
  4. Add milk and simmer for 10 minutes. Do not put the lid on.
  5. Serve over spaghetti sauce out other pasta.

My father also cooked up some halibut and my brothers loved eating that with the sauce.

Nutritional information below from  based on serving size ov 1/2 cup sauce and 1 cup of spaghetti squash.

Official Dinner plate – Not so healthy Garlic bread, Pasta and sauce, ahlibut, and yes a family dinner would not be complete without a Joe Josts Pickled Egg.









Some more pictures from family dinner night.

Big Brother Mike (Mr. Evil) and me sampling the garlic bread.

Mama Wendy and Michelle (Girlfriend-in-law) throwing some gang signs.

Nephew Christian and baby brother Anthony enjoying the sauce over fresh Alaskan halibut cooked to perfection by Grandpa Don.



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