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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Vegetarian Christmas recipes

Vegetarian Christmas recipes

Christmas dinner is traditionally a meat-laden affair, but that shouldn’t stop vegetarians from enjoying the festivities. Whether you’re a relative novice catering for vegetarian dinner guests or a seasoned pro searching for new inspiration, this collection of vegetarian Christmas recipes is bound to provide you with plenty of fresh ideas.

Related imageThrowing a Christmas party? Plan ahead and whip up a few different varieties of vegetarian canapés to protect your guests against quaffing too many of your delicious Christmas cocktails. Nathan Outlaw’s Cheese straw recipe makes a fantastic festive snack, or for those aiming to impress Kevin Mangeolles’ elegant Red pepper purée with goats’ cheese canapé or Frances Atkins’ luxurious Truffle sandwich will add a sophisticated touch to any party. Filo is a popular fixture of Christmas party platters, but try a colourful twist on the norm with Deena Kakaya’s vegetable spring rolls recipe packed with vibrant beetroot, squash and paneer.

There are plenty of vegetarian Christmas dinner ideas, too. Try Andy Waters’ Vegetarian Wellington recipe as a fantastic Christmas dinner centrepiece, with golden puff pastry packed with vegetables, herbs and chestnuts for a festive touch. Similarly James Mackenzie packs chestnuts into his Vegetable stew before topping it with a herby crumb topping and crispy kale for extra texture — the perfect dish to serve alongside all the (veggie) trimmings at Christmas dinner. Graham Campbell’s Vegetarian haggis recipe makes a delicious and filling alternative Christmas dinner, and try one of the vegetarian starters in this collection — such as Lee Westcott’s signature Yeasted cauliflower dish — for an impressive way to begin your Christmas dinner menu.

If you’re cooking for vegetarian guests it’s worth bearing in mind that many popular cheeses are made using animal rennet, and therefore are not completely vegetarian. While some people don’t mind eating animal rennet cheeses it is always worth checking with your guests beforehand as there are plenty of vegetarian cheese alternatives available if they’d prefer.

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Vegetarian Christmas recipes
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Frico Cups

Frico Cups

Serve your raw green salad in frico cups!

Frico cups are small cups made entirely out of cheese. They are naturally low carb, gluten-free, and completely irresistible.

 

Image result for Frico CupsYou know that little bit of cheese that oozes onto the skillet when making a grilled cheese sandwich? The stuff that turns dark and crispy and perfect for popping in your mouth? Frico cups are essentially an entire serving bowl made of that rich crispy cheese.

You can make them in various sizes. Yet I’ve discovered if you bake them about the size of a paper muffin liner and fill them with a smaller serving of salad, they’re more likely to disappear!

Frico is what Italians call the wafer like crisp that forms when you bake or fry shredded cheese.

This delicate, baked Parmesan cheese cups are deceptively easy to make. You can fill them with whatever you want, but grape tomato, olive and feta make for a light and refreshing snack.

 

Ingredients

For the Frico Cups

Parmesan cheese (3 tbsp. per cup)

For the Grape Tomato, Olive and Feta Salad

4 c. grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 c. green olives, sliced and pitted

1/3 c. crumbled feta cheese

1 tbsp. olive oil

Kosher salt

black pepper

Basil, for garnish

For the Sesame Cucumber and Radish Salad

1 English cucumber, finely chopped

3 large radishes, thinly sliced

1 tbsp. lime juice

2 tsp. toasted sesame oil

2 tbsp. black and white sesame seeds

Kosher salt

black pepper

For the Farro, Corn and Green Onion Salad

4 ears corn, husked

2 c. cooked farro

2 green onions, thinly sliced

3 tbsp. lemon juice

1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil

Kosher salt

black pepper

Directions
  1. For the Frico Cups: Grate Parmesan and make piles, 2 inches apart, on a lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F until melted but not quite brown (6 minutes); use a thin metal spatula to quickly transfer to muffin pan, pressing lightly in centers. Cool before filling.
  2. For the Grape Tomato, Olive and Feta Salad: In medium bowl, combine grape tomatoes, green olives, feta cheese, sherry vinegar, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper; garnish with basil.
  3. For the Sesame, Cucumber and Radish Salad: Toss cucumbers and radishes with lime juice, sesame oil, and sesame seeds. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. For the Farro, Corn and Green Onion Salad: Preheat grill on medium-high. Grill corn 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove from grill, let cool. Cut kernels off into large bowl; toss with farro, green onions, lemon juice, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Simple, summery and a great little appetizer with a salty parmesan bowl of its own.!

 

 


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Puff Pastry Chicken Potpie

Puff Pastry Chicken Potpie

What’s better than a chicken pot pie? A chicken pot pie topped with a flaky puff pastry!

 

Don’t you love it when you decide on what to make for dinner and you just so happen to have everything you need right in your very own kitchen?  It’s rare, but it happened to me when I had a craving for chicken pot pie.

I started rummaging through my fridge, pantry, and freezer, and was amazed to find that I could pull this together without even running to the store.  I found puff pastry leftover from my Peach Tarts, heavy cream from my Salted Caramel Oat Bars, and fresh thyme from my Slow Cooker Pot Roast.

Ingredients

 

  • 1 package (17.3 ounces) frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

 

  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh sage or 1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon half-and-half cream, divided
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (about 10 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 large egg yolk

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. On a lightly floured surface, roll each pastry sheet into a 12×10-in. rectangle. Cut one sheet crosswise into six 2-in. strips; cut remaining sheet lengthwise into five 2-in. strips. On a baking sheet, closely weave strips to make a 12×10-in. lattice. Freeze while making filling.
  2. Toss chicken with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat; saute chicken until browned, 5-7 minutes. Remove from pan.
  3. In same skillet, heat remaining butter over medium-high heat; saute onion until tender, 5-7 minutes. Stir in garlic and herbs; cook 1 minute. Stir in flour until blended; cook and stir 1 minute. Gradually stir in broth and 1 cup cream. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in vegetables, lemon juice, chicken and the remaining salt and pepper; return to a boil. Transfer to a greased 2-1/2 qt. oblong baking dish. Top with lattice, trimming to fit.
  5. Whisk together egg yolk and remaining cream; brush over pastry. Bake, uncovered, until bubbly and golden brown, 45-55 minutes. Cover loosely with foil if it starts getting too dark. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Test Kitchen Tips

  • For a crisper crust, bake on a rimmed baking sheet. Trim lattice to fit baking dish, then place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 400&deg. for 20-25 minutes. Then place on top of your hot filling before serving.
  • Unless otherwise specified, Taste of Home recipes are tested with lightly salted butter. Unsalted, or sweet, butter is sometimes used to achieve a buttery flavor, such as in shortbread cookies or buttercream frosting. In these recipes, added salt would detract from the buttery taste desired.
  • To make a fresh garlic clove easy to peel, gently crush it with the flat side of a large knife blade to loosen the peel. If you don’t have a large knife, you can crush the garlic with a small can. The peel will come right off.
  • Check out 11 of our most genius crumb crust ideas.

 

Nutrition Facts

1 serving: 523 calories, 25g fat (10g saturated fat), 118mg cholesterol, 768mg sodium, 42g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 6g fiber), 30g protein.

 

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Sheet pan harissa chicken with chickpeas and sweet potatoes.

Sheet pan harissa chicken with chickpeas and sweet potatoes.

So excited about this Sheet Pan Harissa Chicken with Chickpeas and Sweet Potatoes.

I know it is only Wednesday, but this week has already flown by. I hit the ground running on Monday with meeting after meeting and it was the best way to start my week. It’s odd, some weeks can be full of meetings (either on the phone, or if traveling, in person) while other weeks are full of testing and photographing recipes in the kitchen and talking to almost no one accept the people I work super closely with. So my mom, my brother, and my dad, aka the family. Both scenarios are great, but I always love having productive meetings that leave me feeling excited, and motivated to keep my butt working! Between some fun new projects, finishing up the studio (cannot wait for this to be done!), a little traveling, and of course, new content for HBH, we have so much to look forward to.

…and a lot of work to do. It’s both amazing and a little nerve-racking, especially looking at the to-do list, but at this very moment in time I’m feeling happy for it all. That said, let’s check in again about this all on Friday. I might be singing a different tune…

Sheet Pan Harissa Chicken with Chickpeas and Sweet Potatoes | halfbakedharvest.com #sheetpan #easy #dinner #chicken

Since things are semi busy these days, I’ve been relying on easy, healthy dinners like this sheet pan harissa chicken. It’s a complete dinner made all on one sheet pan and I could not love it more.

Full disclosure? This is one of those recipes that I didn’t actually think I was going to post on HBH, but it turned out so good that I had to share. I made this one night after typing away on my computer all day. Pretty sure I didn’t even start making it until nine or so, but I just threw what I had from the fridge and the pantry onto a sheet pan and it turned into this killer meal.

At this moment in time, my pantry is stocked with Harissa seasoning (which I buy at Whole Foods or from Amazon), sweet potatoes, and chickpeas. Before leaving for South Korea, I made sure to stock up on all the pantry essentials so that I would have a fully stocked pantry when I returned home. Basically anything that would not go bad in a weeks plus time I stocked up on. I know it seems weird to stock up on groceries before leaving for a big trip, but trust me, it is the best having a pantry full of ingredients upon returning home. No one want’s to come home to zero food in the house. Plus, if you’ve read any of my previous posts, then you know how much I hate going to the grocery store…SO glad my dad is back!

Anyway, point is, I was happy to have so many great ingredients on hand. It’s how I created this recipe, which if you can’t already tell, I LOVE.

Sheet Pan Harissa Chicken with Chickpeas and Sweet Potatoes | halfbakedharvest.com #sheetpan #easy #dinner #chicken

Here’s how this works. Season the chicken generously with that harrisa spice. Then add your veggies, chickpeas, and lemons. Give everything a good toss and a good seasoning of salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until the chicken is golden, the sweet potatoes tender, and the the chickpeas are crisp.

When the chicken comes out of the oven, finish off with olives, feta cheese, yogurt, and mint. Serve with fresh naan.

And DONE.

It’s simple, quick, healthy, so easy, and even more delicious. If you like middle eastern and Moroccan flavors, you will love this chicken recipe.

Sheet Pan Harissa Chicken with Chickpeas and Sweet Potatoes | halfbakedharvest.com #sheetpan #easy #dinner #chicken

I actually ended up making this last night…for like the fourth time in two weeks, for my parents who returned home from South Korea on Monday night. I was dying for them to try this because I knew they would love it. Mom loves roasted chicken and my dad loves anything with some good Moroccan Harissa.

They said it was the perfect welcome home dinner and loved every bite.

Also, all of the Gerard’s are now back on US soil. YEAH! While we all loved South Korea, it’s always nice to come home, and I think my parents, who were in South Korea for almost three whole weeks, are especially happy to be back. Mom is happy for breakfast bread and hot chocolate, and dad’s just happy not to have use chopsticks for every single meal…the chopsticks were a bit of a challenge for him.

And of course, they’re happy to be eating my meals again, meals like this chicken, which you should consider making tonight. Again, because it’s so delicious. For more recipes just Click Here..!

Sheet pan harissa chicken with chickpeas and sweet potatoes.
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Roasting the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

Roasting the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

This time of year I get hungry for a juicy turkey dinner!  It’s no wonder, Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  It’s about the only time of year that I roast a whole turkey.

I still remember my first time roasting a turkey, I had no idea what to do.  Over the years I’ve perfected it, and my family expects a Thanksgiving feast every year.

In recent years deep frying turkeys have been real popular.  I’ve heard deep fried turkeys are delicious, but in our family you don’t experiment on a Thanksgiving turkey.  So I’ve always roasted my turkey in the oven using the brown bag method.  I’ve been roasting my turkeys this way for over 30 years.

It’s easy, no basting involved. You just place the turkey, roasting pan, and rack, in to a brown paper bag, slide it in to the oven and roast for the required time. You tear off the bag about 30 minutes before it’s done to get the nice golden brown color.  When the timer rings take the turkey out of the oven and let rest for 15 – 30 minutes before carving.

Trust me you’ll end up with a delicious juicy turkey everytime.  You’re family will love it!

Here are instructions for Savvy Nana’s Brown Bag Roasted Turkey!  Psst!  There’s a roasting chart on that post too!  Believe me it will come in handy!

My 24 pound bird last year.  Perfect!

Last year’s Thanksgiving feast at my house.

Thanksgiving at my daughter’s house in Colorado.  Smaller bird cooked the same way, perfect every time!