Category Archives: sauce

Quick Marinara Sauce

I love the way my house smells when I make marinara sauce, especially when basil is added.  I have taken this recipe from “Giada’s Family Dinners” by Giada De Laurentis.  I used my food processor to chop everything up, it makes this recipe super fast and easy to make.

Makes about 1 1/2 quarts (6 cups)

2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes in juice
1 bunch of fresh basil, stemmed
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In a blender, purée the tomatoes with their juice and the basil until almost smooth.  Set the tomato purée aside.
2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic and sauté until very tender, about 12 minutes.  Stir in the tomato purée, oregano, and sugar.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Decrease the heat to medium and continue simmering until the sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.  Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. ( The sauce can be made 1 day ahead.  If storing for future use, cool, then cover and refrigerate.  Reward over medium heat before using.)

Turkey Pesto Meatballs

I took this amazing recipe from @theKitchn on Twitter.  I did not make the homemade tomato sauce on the recipe since I make big batches of my own marinara sauce to freeze.  I will one day do the whole recipe with the sauce listed.  My 6-year old son, my husband and I LOVE these meatballs.  I used store bought pesto and regular breadcrumbs, although I would use the panko next time (I thought I had some in my pantry).  I also shaped my meatballs larger since I served them over pasta for my family.  For the whole recipe please visit

1 pound ground turkey
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup pesto
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
2 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Mix the ground turkey, pesto, Parmesan, eggs, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until just combined.  Be careful not to over mix.  Wet your hands and form meatballs (about 1 inch) and place on non-stick baking sheets (or baking sheets sprayed with non-stick cooking spray).  Space meatballs evenly without crowding.

2.  Bake until browned on the bottom, about 10 minutes.  Turn using tongs and bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until browned on the other side.  Remove from oven and gently place in pot with simmering sauce.    Be sure meatballs simmer in sauce until cooked through, about 10-20 minutes. 

3.  Serve meatballs in sauce with toothpicks while warm. 

Coffee Molasses Barbecue Sauce

Make this!  Seriously!  This recipe is taken from the LCBO Food & Drink magazine (early summer 2012).  I used this sauce over chicken, but the recipe says it’s excellent over steak, ribs or beef burgers. If I ate red meat again…this would be the cat’s ass over a nice BBQ steak. 

1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
1/3 cup fancy molasses
1/4 cup grated onion
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp finely minced ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1.  Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat.  Simmer sauce, stirring occasionally, then more frequently as sauce begins to thicken to a barbecue sauce consistency, about 8 minutes.
2.. As sauce cools, it will thicken a bit more.  When using barbecue sauce, brush on in the last minutes of barbecuing and turn frequently, otherwise the sugars will burn.
Makes 2 cups

Chicken Chasseur

I love the sauce on this chicken!   This recipe is taken from Food & Wine Magazine’s Quick from Scratch Chicken Cookbook. 

1 Tablespoon cooking oil
4 bone-in chicken breasts (about 2 1/4 pounds in all)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon butter
1 onion, chopped
3/4 pound mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons flour
6 Tablespoons dry vermouth or dry white wine
2/3 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes, drained
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1.  In a large, deep frying pan, heat the oil over moderately high heat.  Season the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper and add to the pan.  Cook until browned, turning, about 8 minutes in all.  Remove.  Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from the pan.
2. Add the butter to the pan and reduce the heat to moderately low.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Raise the heat to moderately high.  Add the mushrooms, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are browned, about 5 minutes.
3.  Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.  Stir in the vermouth and bring back to a simmer.  Stir in the broth, tomatoes, thyme, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Add the chicken and any accumulated juices.  Reduce the heat; simmer, covered, until the chicken is done, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the parsley and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. 

Mediterranean Broccoli in a Rose Sauce with Fine Herbs

This is a great side dish! The recipe is taken from “The $10.00 Gourmet” by Ken Kostick. I would suggest to drain the tomatoes as the juices made the dish too watery, and when I added the cream (I used half and half) a rose sauce wasn’t made.

3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large head broccoli, cut into florets
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
One 28oz (796 ml) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup vegetable stock
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup light cream or whipping cream
Cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)

1. Heat the oil in a large pot and sauté the garlic and all of the vegetables for 5-6 minutes.
2. Add all of the remaining ingredients, except the cream. Bring to a boil the reduce the heat. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
3. Add the cream, mix well to a creamy texture, and serve. Garnish with cherry tomatoes, if desired.

Fieri’s Marinara Sauce

Amazing! I love the fresh basil in here. This recipe is taken from Guy Fieri’s cookbook “Food”.

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion
8 medium garlic cloves, crushed
Three 28-ounce cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes (Muir Glen is recommended)
1/4 cup shredded basil
1 tablespoon chopped oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until the garlic is almost brown, another 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes. Simmer for 30 minutes.
2. Add the basil and oregano, and simmer for 30 minutes more to thoroughly marry the flavours.
3. Purée the mixture with a stick blender, food mill, or food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste. Freeze the extra sauce for the future.

Assorted Mushrooms with Chunky Tomatoes

I used this as a cold antipasto for my dinner party, but you can use this as a hot sauce on pasta. This recipe is taken from “The Italian Way – Cooking with the Deluca’s”.

1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, plus the juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 pounds assorted mushrooms, such as champignons, chanterelles, shiitakes, and oyster mushrooms
1/4 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
4-5 fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 cup pepato Sicillian (peppercorn) cheese, grated

1. Seed and chop the tomatoes and set aside. In a skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the garlic. Sauté for 5-10 seconds, turn up the heat to high, and add the mushrooms, bell peppers, chili flakes, and salt. Cook for 3-4 minutes and add the parsley, basil, oregano, tomatoes, and their juice. Turn the heat down to medium and cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Serve hot or cold as an antipasto with slices of Tuscan bread or as a sauce on pasta. Sprinkle with spicy peppercorn cheese before serving.
Serves 4

Marinara Sauce

This recipe freezes very well.  I make a batch of it and separate it into Ziploc bags and store them in the freezer for our next spaghetti dinner.  I have used this for pizza sauce and I use it for my Chicken Parmesan recipe.This recipe is taken from Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes, by Giada De Laurentis.  If you have a food processor this sauce takes minutes to prepare.

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes, undrained
2 dried bay leaves

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic and saute until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.  Add celery, carrots and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.  Saute until all vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.  Add tomatoes and bay leaves and simmer, uncovered, over low heat until sauce thickens, about 1 hour.  Remove and discard bay leaves. Season sauce with more salt and pepper to taste.  (The sauce can be made 1 day ahead.  Cool, then cover and refrigerate.  Rewarm over medium heat before using).  Makes about 2 quarts (8 cups); 1 quart will serve 4 over cooked pasta as a first course.  NOTE: To freeze, after sauce is completely cool, pour 2-cup portions into freezer bags and freeze up to three months.