Are you a fan of hearty Italian cooking? Do you love pizza and pasta? Well we’re big fans of Italian cuisine and pizza and pasta are our favorites, specially those with marinara sauce!
Sure we have our favorite Italian restaurants both here and abroad. But nothing beats home cooking! And a bowl of spaghetti is comfort food at its best.
Pastas and pizza have 2 basic ingredients; dough in the form of noodles or crust, and sauce. So making it at home should be easy, specially since you can buy pasta, crust, and sauces dried, frozen, or bottled from any grocery store. But why settle for boxed sauces (or pasta or crust) when making it from scratch is so simple?
Ok maybe making pizza dough is a bit time consuming and so is making pasta, but the sauces, well that’s pretty easy! (If you want to make homemade pasta check out my review of the Philips Pasta Machine). Marinara
One of the easiest and most versatile sauces is Marinara Sauce. You can use it for pasta, think spaghetti marinara; pizza, think Margherita; sandwiches, think meatball subs; and as a dip, think fried mozzarella sticks!
So today I’ll share my Basic Marinara Sauce Recipe. Believe me it’s super easy!
I use canned Fire Roasted diced tomatoes to give it that homemade taste. Sugar cuts the acidity of all those diced tomatoes so don’t leave it out even if you think it’s weird. And lastly I add some spice with crushed red peppers, yes, the the stuff you sprinkle on your pizza; you can add the tablespoon or more if you like spicy or omit it if you don’t.
Baked Chimichanga smothered in sour cream and topped with jalapenos.
Chimichangas are one of my favorite Mexican dishes. What is a chimichanga? In my opinion it’s a fried burrito that Mexican restaurants serve either plain with sides of cheese and sour cream or smothered in some sort of green sauce. I prefer it plain and top it with cheese and sour cream myself. When I make it at home I like to melt the cheese then smother it with salsa and sometimes guacamole too.
When I have time I make my own filling of shredded or ground beef and roll it in a burrito which I then fry. But lately since I’ve been babysitting my son’s 16 month old twins time is something I have very little of. So I look for easier ways to make dinner. This version is made using frozen burritos. I know, it’s probably not the healthiest meal, but it tastes good and is filling, and some days that will have to do.
Baja Cafe Brand
You could make a healthier version by using the organic or all natural brands sold at some grocery and health food stores. My local grocery store doesn’t stock them and I really don’t have the time to drive to the Wholefoods that’s almost an hour away. So for us the Baja Cafe brand will have to do. I do have to add that it’s quite cheap, the bag of 8 burritos cost less than $5.
I used the spicey beef burrito, but you can use any type of frozen burrito you prefer, there’s quite a variety out there.
Mexican Fiesta Tomatoes
Instead of salsa I topped my burritos with diced tomatoes, the Mexican Fiesta flavor. I like to use flavored tomatoes for some things as it’s seasoned and I don’t have to fuss with adding my own. You can also use Rotel or any other brand of diced tomatoes, just remember to spice it up if you’re using just plain ones.
See this meal is pretty simple, it basically has just 3 ingredients. The third is shredded cheese, preferably the Mexican Blend.
For toppings you can add sour cream, guacamole, and jalapenos. I know why you may ask would I bother to do all this to a frozen burrito. The answer is simple, it looks and tastes better than a microwaved burrito!
It doesn’t take that much time to prepare and can be prepped earlier in the day, just don’t bake it until you need to serve it. The prep time is about 15 minutes, I throw it together when the twins are napping and keep it in the fridge until 30 minutes before dinner. Pop it in the oven and 20 minutes late I have a nice tasty and filling meal. If you want to get fancy you can serve it with Spanish rice or refried beans on the side.
Dressed up frozen burritos. Topped with diced tomatoes and melted cheese, this dish is very tasty and filling.