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Tag: marinara sauce

Mediterranean Meatballs

Here is another delicious recipe for one of our favorite things to eat. I am afraid, I will be running out of ideas soon for making different kinds meatballs. I realize I can use different kinds of meats, etc but I do love using turkey meat as it is so healthy to eat, especially since I am trying to reduce the amounts of red meat I feed my family.

This particular one has a mixture of sundried tomatoes, garlic, pine nuts and basil. The mixture adds a delicious flavor to the meatballs as well as the sauce. The trick to soft meatballs is the panko breadcrumbs soaked in milk. The meatballs come out melting in the mouth. The sauce is made with fresh cherry tomatoes- super simple to make and the most delicious as well.

Overall, it is a fabulous meal to make. I also made a warm spinach salad and served red wine with dinner- yum!!

  • 1 pound ground turkey (dark meat)
  • 4 to 5 sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup basil, chopped

Add the shallot, garlic, into a food processor and process till smooth. Add the sundried tomatoes and basil. Process till smooth and take out into a medium bowl with the turkey.

  • ½ cup panko crumbs
  • ¼ cup milk

Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk for 15 minutes.

  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Add the soaked breadcrumbs, egg and salt into the turkey mixture. Mix with both hands. Keep aside.

Marinara Sauce

  • 1 can (28 oz) cherry tomatoes (or any other)- put through the food mill
  • 1 small yellow onion, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • A pinch of sugar

Heat a heavy, wide saucepan with the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic. Saute on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, thyme, basil, salt and sugar. Mix well and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook for at least 20 minutes.

In the meantime form meatballs (the mixture makes about 14 meatballs). Drop the meatballs into the simmering sauce as you form them. Once all the meatballs are in the saucepan, simmer covered for 15 minutes. Check for seasonings and serve with spaghetti.

1 pound spaghetti, cooked al dente
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons salt

Once the pasta is done, drain it well and place it back into the pan. Add the oil, basil and salt. Mix well and keep ready for the meatballs.

Serve the meatballs on top of the seasoned spaghetti.

Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

Roaste Pasta PrimaveraThis is a really delicious one…. it is hard to remember it is made without any meat. One of my husband’s favorite pasta dishes is pasta primavera. It is typically made with seasonal vegetables, a delicious marinara sauce and pasta of choice. I have made many different versions of it over the years but I have to say, this one is my favorite.

I roasted some red pepper, squash and zucchini with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roasting vegetables brings out the nutty, sweetness which is delicious in this dish. I mixed the veggies in a mixture of pesto and homemade marinara sauce. To make even more different, I tossed the pasta with some chopped fresh mozzarella.

I then roasted the dish in the oven till the cheese became soft and oozy. I served it with some delicious garlic bread and a yummy red wine… and we did not miss the meat…
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Indian Style Meatballs

Indian Style Meatballs I have mentioned this many times- my daughter loves meatballs. In fact, her birthday is coming up and I already know what she will be asking for her special meal. The great thing is that she comes up with really good ideas for new and different ingredients to add to meatballs.

I have to give her full credit for this recipe. She is the one who suggested I make Indian style meatballs. She loves the Indian style burgers I make quite often- in fact she doesn’t like to eat plain burgers restaurants as she only likes the ones I make at home.

So, I ran with her idea and came up with this delicious recipe. I added the usual suspects including ginger, garlic and a shallot. I also added cilantro, coriander powder and garam masala. All of these ingredients created delicious and flavorful meatballs.

I cooked them in my favorite homemade tomato sauce. You can use your favorite store bought tomato sauce as well but nothing like the homemade variety.

This is a great way to change up your usual meatball recipe and make things a bit more interesting…

  • 1 pound ground turkey (dark meat)
  • 1 medium shallot, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro

Add the shallot, garlic, ginger and cilantro into a food processor and process till smooth.
Take the mixture out into a medium bowl.

  • ½ cup panko crumbs
  • ¼ cup milk

Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk for 15 minutes.

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Add the soaked breadcrumbs, egg, garam masala, coriander, and salt into the shallot mixture. Mix well and add to the ground turkey. Mix with both hands. Keep aside for 2 to 3 hours.

  • 3 cups marinara sauce

Heat the sauce in a large saucepan.

In the meantime form meatballs (the mixture makes about 14 meatballs). Drop the meatballs into the simmering sauce as you form them. Once all the meatballs are in the saucepan, simmer covered for 15 minutes. Check for seasonings and serve with spaghetti.

Sausage and Mushroom Ragu

Sausage and Mushroom Ragu This an easy recipe that is a crowd pleaser. Now that school has started again- it is time to get organized and get back to the same old routine. I kind of like getting back to my old routine- I like the familiar. Anyway, my point was to have your pantry and fridge filled with things that will help you through the week to make quick and easy meals.

One of those things is fresh tomato sauce. It doesn’t take very long to cook but it makes a huge difference in the recipe.

This particular dish was easy to make as I had the sauce ready. All I did was saute the sausage (which I had in the fridge as well), onion and garlic. It was simple and best of all- everyone loved it! This is a great week day meal and also yummy as a school lunch…
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Sweet Pepper Meatballs

Sweet Pepper Meatballs1This is a fabulous recipe for meatballs. I make them all the time. We all love them, especially my daughter. My goal is to incorporate some kind of vegetable into the meat and make the dish more healthy.

In this case, I took a jar of fire roasted peppers and processed them. I added the puree into the meat. It gave the meatballs a delicious, sweet flavor and a soft texture.

A typical meatball recipe usually includes white bread soaked in milk. I have added breadcrumbs to bind the meat in the past. This time I decided to soak the breadcrumbs in milk and added it to the meat. It made the meatballs extremely soft and delicious.

I cooked the meatballs in homemade marinara sauce and the result was amazing. We had my daughter’s friend over for dinner and everyone enjoyed the meal.

Try these next time you feel like eating meatballs…
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Sausage and Eggs Cooked in Marinara Sauce

Sausage and Eggs in Marinara Sauce I made this on a busy Sunday late morning/early afternoon. I picture this being made the day after a big holiday dinner- especially if you have a big crowd.

I cooked it for the three of us but it can be made for a big crowd.

I had leftover homemade tomato sauce. I have to say, after returning from Italy- I am incapable of opening a can of San Marzano tomatoes to make marinara sauce, instead I have to buy fresh tomatoes and go through the lengthy process of making it at home. The taste difference is unbelievable- anyway, so that is what I had in the fridge. I also had a pack of chicken sausages in the freezer. I thawed them, took the casing out and chopped them up.

I sauteed them and added the tomato sauce. I cracked a few eggs and covered the pan and in a few minutes, brunch was done. I had some bake your own baguettes from Trader Joes. I baked one of them and made a big green salad.

The brunch was delicious! So easy- and the possibilities are endless… You can add all sorts of meats, or shrimp to this- or make it Mexican and serve it with guacamole, etc.

Definitely make this – it’s great!

  • 4 chicken sausage links, take the casing out and chop into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup homemade tomato sauce
  • 3 or 4 eggs
  • Salt
  • Pepper

In a wide frying pan, heat the olive oil. Add the sausage pieces and sauté on medium heat for 5-6 minutes or till golden brown. Add the tomato sauce and heat for a minute or two. Crack each egg distributing them evenly in the pan. Cook covered for 3-4 minutes depending on how cooked you want the eggs. Sprinkle the eggs with salt and pepper.
Serve with a hot baguette and green salad.

Sausage and Eggs in Marinara Sauce1

Easy Meatball Lasagna

Meatball Lasagna3 There is a constant argument in my house about serving red sauce with any pasta meal. While I like red sauce, I like variety more- so I end up experimenting with different kinds of sauces or sometimes no sauce at all. My husband is not too happy when the pasta is served without a sauce.

This dish is a compromise since it has the red and white sauce. I had the leftover meatballs from the previous day and I felt quite adventurous. I sliced the meatballs and sauteed them in a little oil and kept them aside. I wanted to make a lasagna with the left over marinara sauce in the fridge. I didn’t have any ricotta cheese- I decided to substitute a bechamel sauce instead. To give the sauce a little body and texture, I sauteed some onions before adding the all purpose flour and creamy fontina cheese. Fontina cheese is a must ingredient in my fridge. It is mild and nutty and melts really well on anything.

I layered the no-cook lasagna noodles (another ingredient found in my pantry) with the two sauces and the meatballs. I topped it all with some shredded cheese and stuck it in the oven. I was very excited to taste this experiment. I was hoping my daughter and husband will feel the same excitement when they taste it- and they did. They both loved it! I was extremely happy and very proud of myself.

It is easy to come up with ideas for left overs if your pantry and fridge are well-stocked. With lasagnas, sky is the limit- you can add as much or as little- as long as the ingredients are good and fresh.

I served it with a salad and a Merlot.
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