My Daughter Calls It Barf. But In A Good Way.

We all have go-to recipes we can make in our sleep. Even if it’s just to pop our favorite Stouffer’s meal in the microwave.

I came across this Creamy Tomato Sausage pasta recipe years and years ago. My daughter loves it. She requested it weekly. Now that she’s in college, it’s the first thing she asks for when she comes home.

It’s easy. It’s yummy. And it looks like this:

(Not my picture. This photo is all over the internet so I figured it was safe to use. Although, not accurate. I don’t put fancy garnishes on my home-cooked meals. I can’t make a fresh loaf of bread to save my life. And I serve straight out of the pot off the stove. A little imagination is always necessary when reading my posts.)

I have no name for my creamy, tomato pasta creation that happens to have sausage in it. For years it was just called “That Creamy Pasta Dish.” That is, until my daughter got sick on an outing with her father.

“Hey, Mom! I frew up! And it looked just like that dinner you make!” said my 6-year-old with glee.

I knew exactly what she was talking about and my stomach turned.

But time passed and I had forgotten about her not so flattering reference to my go-to dish.

Until I made it again.

“See Mom?” she said, holding up her plate, “It looks just like BARF!” And she put her plate down and dug in with gusto as only a 6-year-old can.

I was mortified. My husband, amused.

But as I looked over my plate and saw the pinkish sauce with chunks of tomato and little blobs of gray matter I realized, she was right.

I pushed my plate away.

Yet, despite the disgusting observation, it’s still a family favorite. I’m over my squeamishness now, and it’s back on the menu.

And it’s been re-named, “Barf.”


And in a good way.

(I am not a foodie or a food blogger. So please take that information with a grain of salt as I try to share the recipe with you now. Try it. If you dare.

Brown a tube of breakfast sausage or ground Italian sausage squeezed out of the casings. Drain a bit of the fat. Add two 14 oz. cans of diced tomatoes with oregano and garlic. Heat through. Add a bit of dried basil and more oregano if you’re an oregano fan. If you’re on a diet stop here and throw the mixture over some pasta. (But if you do this you haven’t made the recipe right and frankly, it’s just not worth eating. You have been warned.) Add heavy cream until it becomes a pale pink color. Taste. Season. And if it’s summer and your basil is going wild, do a rough chop and add some fresh basil now. Pour sauce over wagon wheels or rotini or any other bumpy pasta that will catch all the delicious sauce. Top with freshly shaved Parmigiano Reggiano. Dig in!)

(This post was gratefully inspired by a writing prompt at Mama Kat’s. Please visit and check out more inspired posts!)


Filed under family, How We Roll

11 responses to “My Daughter Calls It Barf. But In A Good Way.

  1. If that’s barf, I’m sure as Hell not posting a picture of my pot roast. xoxo

  2. I have a similar dish – not necessarily my go to dish, but fast and easy and good enough to serve “company”. I do hot italian sausage and diced tomatoes, fresh parsley, lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper, and capers – over mezze penne. No cream. But I might have to give that a try. And I also serve from the pan to the dish, unless I am making it for “company” – then, I use serving dishes 🙂

  3. Great recipe, great post. Much more enjoyable than your standard foodie blog:-)

  4. If it tastes good, why worry about what it looks like?! 🙂

  5. You know you live in a fun, quirky house when BARF is on the menu 🙂 We used to call my mom’s go-to casserole/stew concoction STUFF. That was the only word that even came close to describing it 🙂

  6. I love the disclaimer you put under your photo – hilarious! I usually find food-related posts boring, but this was highly entertaining. Great post.

  7. And honestly, the more you make it, the better chance the whole family’s barf will look like that.

    I’m sure the recipe is lovely, and I’ll now definitely try adding cream to my marinara to see how lovely it tastes. But I’m not going to be able to eat pasta with a straight face from now on…

  8. This looks yummy and easy to make. I’m going to try it. Thanks for the recipe!

  9. It is the go to meals just like this one that is going to make lifetime memories. No doubt your daughter will share her experience and her favorite meal with her family one day.



  10. It looks great, the kind of dish my daughter loves to make and I love to eat. As to fresh-baked bread, I’ve come to rely on the frozen loaves you can buy in the store, take out of the freezer, pop into a loaf pan, put in the oven to proof and then bake. Easy and tasty!

  11. Might try this. Will not explain it’s origins…my husband does not have that sense of humor! 🙂

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