Basic Marinara Sauce Recipe

Basic Marinara Sauce Recipe

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.

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Basic Marinara Sauce Recipe
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Basic Marinara Sauce Recipe
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Purée diced tomatoes in a blender, you will have to purée in 2 batches
  2. Heat olive oil in large pot
  3. Sautée garlic for about a minute, do not allow them to brown or even burn as it will make sauce bitter
  4. Add Italian seasoning and crushed pepper, mix well
  5. Add puréed tomatoes
  6. Stir in salt, sugar, and bay leaf
  7. Let boil then turn down heat to low
  8. Simmer sauce for about an hour
  9. Serve over pasta or use in pizza and sandwiches, or as a dip
  10. You can brown ground meat then add marinara sauce to make a meat sauce
  11. You can also use it in your favorite pasta dish like Chicken or Eggplant Parmesan and spread it on your lasagnas!
  12. Store in mason jars or sealed plastic containers in the refrigerator for about a week. Or store in freezer safe containers in your freezer for about 3 months.
  13. Whatever you use this Marinara Sauce for, enjoy!
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Basic BBQ Beef Rub

Basic BBQ Beef Rub

Ever wonder how those barbecue joints make such delicious barbecued brisket and ribs?  If you’re trying to make it at home by slathering your meat with barbecue sauce it’s not going to be the same.  Yes sauce matters, but the secret’s in the rub; the BBQ beef rub!

Of course you can buy all sorts of meat rubs from the supermarket, some are even pretty good.  But if you want something outstanding nothing beats homemade.  Oh and if you you’ve been rubbing dry spices on your meats try this little trick.  Stir 2 tablespoons of rub into a tablespoon of olive oil then rub it on your meat.  It makes a world of difference!

With summer in full swing it’s time to step up your grilling with this yummy BBQ Beef Rub!  Use it on brisket, ribs, or even steaks!

Couple more tips before I give you my BBQ Beef Rub recipe.

Rub the olive oil mixture onto your meat and let it rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Remove seasoned meat from fridge and let it sit on the counter for 30 minutes before grilling this brings meat temperature down to room temperature.

Grill covered until it almost reaches desired “doneness” then brush on BBQ Sauce.  Grill until it’s almost to your desired doneness and place in covered pot. You see even if you remove the meat from the grill or oven the meat continues to cook for about 5 minutes.  That’s why you want to remove the meat from the grill BEFORE it reaches the doneness you want.  If you don’t remove the meat until it reaches the doneness you want you end up with over cooked dry meat.

Let meat rest in pot for 5 minutes before serving.  The resting period seals in the juices and allows the meat to reach the desired doneness.

Having said that scroll down for my BBQ Beef Rub recipe!  Happy Grilling!

 

 

 

 

 

Basic BBQ Beef Rub
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Basic BBQ Beef Rub
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl
  2. Move to a sealed container like a mason jar and store in a cool dry place
  3. To use mix 2 Tbs BBQ Beef Rub with 1 Tbs Olive Oil and rub all sides of the meat.
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Instant Pot Beef Shawarma

Instant Pot Beef Shawarma

A Beef Shawarma sandwich or plate!  Yum!  It’s one of my favorites.  It’s one of the things I always order when I find myself at a Middle Eastern restaurant anywhere in the world.

Shawarma is sort of like the Greek Gyro or Turkish Doner Kebab; it’s a cone of seasoned meat or meats that’s cooked on a vertical spit.  Typically beef, lamb, and chicken are combined to form the large hunk of meat which is slowly grilled as it turns on its axis on the vertical spit.  Pieces of cooked meat are shaved off and stuffed in a pita with sauces, veggies, and pickles or placed on a plate with a serving of salad, hummus, rice, and pita bread.

I believe Shawarma started out as Middle Eastern street food where the sandwiches can be taken to go and eaten on as you go.  But these days you’ll find mixed meats, beef, and chicken shawarma on fast food and restaurant menus throughout the Middle East and beyond.

We love this tasty dish so much that we make it at home since there really aren’t any good Middle Eastern restaurants where we live.  Recently I’ve started making Beef Shawarma in my Instant Pot!  It’s the easiest and fastest way to make it!

We usually make Beef Shawarma sandwiches but we’ve also made Beef Shawarma plates and bowls.  We also use the leftover meat to top hummus, assuming we havhttp://www.savvynana.com/wp-admin/e leftovers that is!

But really the secret to this Beef Shawarma that tastes like you got it from a Middle Eastern restaurant isn’t in the way it’s cooked, the secret’s in the spice mix that’s rubbed on the meat!  Marinating the meat overnight ensures that the meat is infused with the exotic flavors of the spices.  Cooking it in the Instant Pot just makes the cooking process faster, but you can actually make it in the oven or on a grill if you don’t own this handy dandy electric pressure cooker.

Once you make the Beef Shawarma you can make it into a sandwich and top with your favorite toppings such as hummus, tahini sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, and I love it with Tzatziki sauce! (I know I’m mixing Arabic and Greek foods, but who cares?  It tastes great!)

To make Instant Pot Beef Shawarma you’ll first need to make some of the Shawarma Spice Mix, so click here for the recipe!  

Then scroll down for the Instant Pot Beef Shawarma recipe!

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Instant Pot Beef Shawarma
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Instant Pot Beef Shawarma
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Ingredients
Beef Shawarma
Sandwich Toppings
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Using a small knife drill 12 holes all over your roast
  2. Stuff a garlic half in each hole
  3. Mix Shawarma Spice Mix with 2 Tbs. ACV and 1 Tbs. Olive Oil
  4. Rub this spice mixture all over the roast then place the meat in a covered dish or ziplock bag and let rest in the fridge for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. I find that overnight works well.
  5. 30 minutes before cooking set the meat on the counter and let the temperature go down to room temperature
  6. Place remaining olive oil in instant pot and set pot to saute
  7. Sear the meat on all sides for about 5-8 minutes per side
  8. Add beef broth and remaining ACV to the pot
  9. Cover making sure the valve is set to sealing
  10. Set pot on Manual and adjust time to 60 minutes
  11. When pot turns off allow pressure to release naturally
  12. When pot is completely depressurized carefully open the lid and remove the meat
  13. Shred the meat and place in a bowl or baking sheet. At this point you can use the meat to make sandwiches, plates, or bowls. Or if you prefer you can crisp the ends by sprinkling a bit of the broth over the meat and popping the pan in the oven to broil on high for 10 minutes or just until the ends turn darker brown. If you are crisping it keep a close eye on the meat as it will burn quickly in the broiler.
  14. Store any leftovers with a bit of broth to keep it from drying out. Reheat in the microwave or in the over, drizzle some of the broth over the meat before reheating.
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Butter Steak  Cubes Keto Friendly Recipe

Butter Steak Cubes Keto Friendly Recipe

butter steak cubesI’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned that my husband has embarked on a Keto Diet plan which pretty much means I either make something Keto friendly just for him or find keto friendly recipes for the whole family to enjoy.  Since I’m not particularly fond of playing short order cook it is so much easier to make something that we can all have for dinner.  And so I’ve come up with this Keto friendly Butter Steak Cubes.

Butter Steak Cubes are real easy to make and they are really delish!  Everyone loves them!  I serve them with a tossed salad for hubby and sides like mashed potatoes, corn, and veggies for the rest of us.  My husband likes them so much I sometimes double the recipe so he can have leftovers for the next couple of days.

One thing though, if you want leftovers for lunch or whatever don’t over cook the steak.  In fact I usually cook them just until they turn slightly pink in the middle.  That way they can be reheated later.  If you over cook the meat they end up like jerky when reheated.  You definitely don’t want that!

Ingredients

4 NY Strip Steaks cut into 1″ cubes

1/2 Tbs. Cayenne Red Pepper

1 Tbs. Garlic Powder

1 Tbs. Onion Powder

1 Tsp. Sea Salt

1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper

1/2 Tbs. Lemon Pepper

1 Tsp. Oregano

1 Stick Butter

3 Tbs. Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Fresh Parley Chopped

Directions

Combine Spices in a small bowl and mix well

Melt Butter in Olive Oil over med high heat

Add cubed meat and sprinkle spices over it

Toss meat in frying pan and cook until it almost reaches your desired “doneness”

Toss in chopped parsley and cook until done.

Serve right away with desired sides

butter steak cubes
Butter Steak Cubes
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butter steak cubes
Butter Steak Cubes
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Combine spices in a small bowl and mix well
  2. Melt butter in Olive Oil over med-high heat
  3. Add cubed meat and sprinkle spices over it
  4. Toss meat in frying pan and cook until it reaches almost your desired "doneness"
  5. Toss in chopped parsley and cook until done
  6. Serve right away with desired sides
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Keto Friendly Chicken & Asparagus Recipe

Keto Friendly Chicken & Asparagus Recipe

chicken & asparagusMy husband recently embarked on a Keto Diet which means I either have to make him something keto friendly or find keto friendly recipes that the whole family will enjoy. Keto friendly meals aren’t really that hard to come up with, basically you just have to limit or replace the carbs.  So that means pastas are out unless you use edemame spaghetti or other flourless pasta substitutes.  But any way one of our favorites turned out to be this Chicken & Asparagus dish that my husband can eat with a small salad and the rest of the family can eat with pasta or even rice.

My grandkids and even my husband were not big asparagus fans, but after tasting this Chicken & Asparagus dish they decided it was pretty good.  One of the best things about this Chicken & Asparagus dish is that it’s super easy to make, it’s really just a stir fry and can be ready in about a half and hour!

Chicken & Asparagus – A Keto Friendly Dish!

2 Servings

Ingredients

4 Pieces Boneless/Skinless Chicken Thighs cut into chunks

7-8 Stalks Asparagus cut into thirds

2 Tbs. Olive Oil

1 Tbs. Minced Garlic

1 Tsp. Lemon Pepper

1 Tsp. Rosemary

1/2 Tsp. Thyme

1/2 Tsp. Sea Salt

1/2 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper

1 Tsp. Parsley

1/2 Cup Chicken Stock

Directions

Combine dry seasonings in a small bowl (not the garlic)

Heat Olive Oil in a wok or deep frying pan

Saute Garlic until it starts to turn brown

Add chicken and seasoning mixture

Cook until chicken is done

Remove chicken from pan and set aside

Add asparagus to pan and cover with chicken stock

Cook until asparagus is tender

Return chicken to pan and toss with asparagus

Turn heat up and cook until liquid is mostly gone – keep stirring so it won’t burn

Serve hot.

Keto Friendly Chicken & Asparagus Recipe
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Servings
2 People
Servings
2 People
Keto Friendly Chicken & Asparagus Recipe
Print Recipe
Servings
2 People
Servings
2 People
Ingredients
Servings: People
Instructions
  1. Combine dry seasonings in a small bowl (not the garlic)
  2. Heat Olive Oil in a wok or deep frying pan
  3. Saute Garlic until it starts to turn brown
  4. Add chicken and seasoning mixture
  5. Cook until chicken is done
  6. Remove chicken from pan and set aside
  7. Add asparagus to pan and cover with chicken stock
  8. Cook until asparagus is tender
  9. Return chicken to pan and toss with asparagus
  10. Turn heat up and cook until liquid is mostly gone Serve hot
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