1
White Sauce Lasagna
2
Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce
3
Homemade Sun-dried Tomatoes
4
Italian Sausage Soup
5
Italian Pasta Salad
6
Tri Color Pasta Salad
7
Slow Cooker Sausage and Cabbage
8
Roma Tomato Sauce
9
Easy Ciabatta Bread
10
EASY Three Cheese Baked Ravioli
11
Marinated Overnight Italian Diced Tomatoes
12
Oven Roasted Beef Tomato Sauce
13
Summer Pasta Salad
14
Spicy Cherry Tomato Sauce
15
Spicy Italian Crushed Tomato Sauce
16
Easy, Budget Friendly Basil Pesto Pasta
17
Not My Mom’s Meatloaf
18
Easy Cheesy Lasagna Skillet
19
Homemade Tomato Paste

White Sauce Lasagna

This white sauce lasagna recipe is one of our favorite comfort foods. Lasagna noodles are layered with spaghetti sauce, cheese, and a rich creamy alfredo inspired sauce. Serve it alongside a simple kale salad and garlic bread for a comfort meal that’s perfect for any time of the year!

This white sauce lasagna recipe is one of our favorite comfort foods. Lasagna noodles are layered with spaghetti sauce, cheese, and a rich creamy alfredo inspired sauce. Serve it alongside a simple kale salad and garlic bread for a comfort meal that’s perfect for any time of the year!

I love having delicious, creamy pasta-based recipes for the holiday season because they’re so comforting and taste SO good. This one is fantastic and can be a make ahead meal, a great one for a dinner party or something you can prep for a weeknight after work.

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Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

ROASTED Cherry Tomato Sauce is sweet, creamy and SO EASY to make! This is the best recipe for growing garden tomatoes! You can serve immediately on pasta, can it or freeze it! Find out why thousands of people love this sauce!

ROASTED Cherry Tomato Sauce is sweet, creamy and SO EASY to make! This is the best recipe for growing garden tomatoes! You can serve immediately on pasta, can it or freeze it! Find out why thousands of people love this sauce!

My life has officially been taken over by tomatoes.   Is there anything else to talk about except tomatoes right now?    Tomato this, tomato that, do the tomato dance.

Do you know how many cherry tomatoes are in this big bowl below? 16 cups! And there’s a few plants that need to be picked… so double that or more.  And that’s just cherry tomatoes!

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Homemade Sun-dried Tomatoes

Oven Baked Sun-dried Tomatoes in olive oil and Italian spices recipe.  This easy homemade recipe will leave your kitchen smelling great and you saying MMMMMM! Includes directions on how to make and freeze sun-dried tomatoes. Use them in pasta, chicken, shrimp, bread, pizza, dip and so many other recipes!

When life gives you a whole lot of tomatoes you make cherry tomato sauce, roma tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato soup, slow cooker tomatoes….. and then you make these Sun-dried Tomatoes!  Can you tell I really love tomatoes?

Oven Baked Sun-dried Tomatoes in olive oil and Italian spices recipe.  This easy homemade recipe will leave your kitchen smelling great and you saying MMMMMM! Includes directions on how to make and freeze sun-dried tomatoes. Use them in pasta, chicken, shrimp, bread, pizza, dip and so many other recipes!

How to Make Sun-Dried Tomatoes in the Oven

Baking the tomatoes in my opinion makes the best sun-dried tomatoes.  They’re rich in flavor, they don’t loose their color and they taste as authentic as those fancy store bought bottles that cost a small fortune.

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Italian Sausage Soup

Italian Sausage Soup with collard greens, white beans and diced tomatoes. Your entire family is going to love this easy to make hearty soup, and even better it’s only 180 calories a serving!  This creamy soup is dairy free, keto and low carb. 

Italian Sausage Soup with collard greens, white beans and diced tomatoes. Your entire family is going to love this easy to make hearty soup, and even better it's only 180 calories a serving!  This creamy soup is dairy free, keto and low carb. 

Italian Sausage Soup

This Italian Sausage Soup is one of my family’s favorites! It’s become a staple on our dinner table, no matter what the season.  In the Summer it’s perfect because you can use garden vegetables and really taste the freshness.  In the Winter, it’s the perfect bowl of comforting soup on a chilly night!

Italian Sausage Soup with collard greens, white beans and diced tomatoes. Your entire family is going to love this easy to make hearty soup, and even better it's only 180 calories a serving!  This creamy soup is dairy free, keto and low carb. 

You’re going to love how flavorful and zesty this Italian Soup is. It’s like you’ve gone on a Mediterranean vacation in your own kitchen!

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Italian Pasta Salad

EASY Italian Pasta Salad recipe!  This vegetarian recipe uses Italian dressing, tri color pasta, fresh cherry tomatoes, celery and arugula! It’s the perfect garden Summer salad!

Best Pasta Salad for Summer

When it’s hot out all I crave is fresh vegetables.    That’s why this Italian Pasta Salad is one of my favorite meals in the Summer! 

When it’s hot out, I don’t want to think about turning our oven on.  I also don’t want to even think about drinking or eating anything hot, instead I like to rely on chilled recipes, like Chilled Strawberry Soup and this Pasta Salad!

That’s why my family loves this recipe during the Summer months!
EASY Italian Pasta Salad recipe!  This vegetarian recipe uses Italian dressing, tri color pasta, fresh cherry tomatoes, celery and arugula! It's the perfect garden Summer salad!

One thing that I do enjoy about the Summer is that it means fresh vegetables are being picked in the garden by the handful.  And because this recipe is bursting with fresh cherry tomatoes, arugula and celery – it’s a garden lovers dream recipe!   I get so excited when we start to fill our basket with garden tomatoes, that means we’ll making this pasta salad often! 

If you wanted to add some more Summer time vegetables, you could even chop up some onions or green peppers to throw into this salad!

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Tri Color Pasta Salad

Easy recipe for the best tri color pasta salad!  This is the perfect Summer time salad that uses Italian dressing, fresh vegetables and rotini pasta! 

Tri Color Pasta Salad

 The great thing about pasta salad is once you have the basics of pasta, salad dressing, herbs – the vegetables are really up to you.  There needs some type of tomatoes (I prefer halved grape tomatoes).   There needs to be celery chopped up.   What else?  Well that’s up to you.  You can add carrots.  You can add onions.  You can add broccoli.  You can add chopped up cauliflower.  You can can add black olives (yum!).  

Tri Color Pasta Salad

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Slow Cooker Sausage and Cabbage

Slow Cooker Sausage and Cabbage is a easy crock pot recipe ready in 6 hours! Add Sweet Italian Sausage links and vegetables (potatoes, cabbage, carrots and onion!) into your slow cooker for a delicious comfort meal!

It’s Fall! It’s really fall! The leaves are changing, I need to wear a jacket in the morning, I prefer my coffee hot now.   What else does Fall mean?  Time to bring out the crockpot for my family’s favorite crock pot recipes!

You guys have been telling me that I need to share more of my slow cooker recipes, since you’ve enjoyed my Cabbage and Kielbasa and Cabbage Roll Casserole. So here I am – now it’s time to share Slow Cooker Sausage and Cabbage!

Slow Cooker Sausage and Cabbage is a easy crock pot recipe ready in 6 hours! Add Sweet Italian Sausage links and vegetables (potatoes, cabbage, carrots and onion!) into your slow cooker for a delicious comfort meal!

Slow Cooker Sausage and Cabbage

I love this crock pot recipe becase of the ingredients and the directions.  

The ingredients are basic, you might have everything in your kitchen already!  The stars of the show are Sweet Italian Sausage, cabbage, potatoes, carrots and a onion.    Close your eyes.   Imagine the smell of your kitchen while this cooks.  It’s going to smell SO GOOD!  

Whenever I make this cabbage recipe, my husband can smell it in our hallway as soon as he steps off the elevator.  He gets a little strut in his step because he knows it’s going to be a good dinner.  

Slow Cooker Sausage and Cabbage is a easy crock pot recipe ready in 6 hours! Add Sweet Italian Sausage links and vegetables into your slow cooker for a delicious comfort meal!

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Roma Tomato Sauce

Roma Tomato Sauce recipe that requires no peeling or blanching! This is a easy creamy sauce that’s perfect for growing garden tomatoes! Serve on pasta, or use later by canning or freezing.

It’s August so you know what that means, right? Our tomato plants are giving us pounds of tomatoes to pick every day! Usually I collect the week’s tomatoes and spend hours in the kitchen on the weekend making sauces and stewed tomatoes.  And of course Fresh Tomato Salsa – what would be a August be without salsa?

Fresh Roma Tomatoes Cut Up For Sauce

My go to favorite tomato sauce is Cherry Tomato Sauce, but this year we only grew Roma tomatoes so I wanted to create a recipe that was 1) easy 2) delicious 3) let the roma tomato taste shine!    Let me introduce you to Roma Tomato Sauce!
Creamy Thick Roma Tomato Sauce

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Easy Ciabatta Bread

Ciabatta bread recipe! This homemade bread is crusty and filled with holes! It’s easy to make in the bread machine. Serve it for sandwich, soup or a dinner side dish!

Do you love bread?  Of course you do! Who doesn’t love bread?  In this bread machine recipe I’m going to show you how to make a delicious loaf of Ciabatta bread!

What is Ciabatta bread?

Ciabatta bread is a Italian white bread, kinda like a French baguette, but more elongated and broad. It’s usually chewy in texture and filled with crumbly air holes. It’s perfect for dipping in soup, eating for a sandwich or just eating sliced with a little bit of butter!

Ciabatta bread recipe! This homemade bread is crusty and filled with holes! It's easy to make in the bread machine. Serve it for sandwich, soup or a dinner side dish!

Ciabatta bread machine recipe

This bread recipe is really easy to make because it’s made with a bread machine!  Load the ingredients into the pan of your bread machine, in whatever order your machine recommends.  Select the dough cycle and start it!

Ciabatta bread recipe! This homemade bread is crusty and filled with holes! It's easy to make in the bread machine. Serve it for sandwich, soup or a dinner side dish!

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EASY Three Cheese Baked Ravioli

EASY Three Cheese Baked Ravioli is one of my family’s favorite meals!  This homemade recipe uses wonton wrappers for the ravioli to make it faster and is filled with ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese!  Instructions include how to make and bake immediately or freeze for frozen ravioli. 

Do you know what I love? Ravioli! Do you know what I really love? Homemade ravioli!  Do you know what I really really love? Crispy Baked Ravioli that is easy to make and filled with three types of cheese!  
EASY BAKED Three Cheese Ravioli is one of my family's favorite meals! This homemade recipe uses wonton wrappers for the ravioli to make it faster and is filled with ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese! Instructions include how to make and bake immediately or freeze for frozen ravioli.

Right now I don’t have the time to make homemade ravioli dough so I came up with a simple solution.  Instead of spending hours making dough from scratch, use wonton wrappers!  By using the wonton wrappers you’re going to get crisp ravioli once baked in the oven.  

You’re also going to save yourself a lot of time instead of having to knead and let dough rise.    To save even more time, you can freeze these for quick weeknight meals. At the bottom of this post I’m including full instructions on how to freeze this Easy Baked Three Cheese Ravioli!
EASY BAKED Three Cheese Ravioli is one of my family's favorite meals! This homemade recipe uses wonton wrappers for the ravioli to make it faster and is filled with ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese! Instructions include how to make and bake immediately or freeze for frozen ravioli.

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Marinated Overnight Italian Diced Tomatoes

Marinated Overnight Italian Diced Tomatoes with spices for full flavor. Unlike other diced tomato recipes no boiling, water bath or peeling is needed!  Bonus how to make tomato paste below the recipe!

Let me welcome you to tomato week!  If you didn’t see in last week’s garden video it’s raining tomatoes for us in New York so I’ve been spending lots of quality time with our lovely tomatoes in the kitchen!  Today I’m going to show you these Marinated Overnight Italian Diced Tomatoes which are easy and delicious!

Tomorrow is all about creamy tomato soup!  Later this week I’m giving you a quick tomato/rice dish that is perfect for taking to work for lunch! And finally I’m going to pick tomatoes, lots of them, and show you many photos of them like any proud tomato Mother would.  So let’s jump in to tomato week!

These Italian Diced Tomatoes are marinated overnight with spices for full flavor. Unlike other diced tomato recipes no boiling, water bath or peeling is needed!

We use diced tomatoes frequently in recipes so I like to always have some on hand.   Last year I only made a few homemade batches but we went through them quickly so this year I was determined to make at least twice the number of batches to freeze.  

Diced Tomatoes With No Boiling or Peeling

There’s 2 ways to go about making diced tomatoes, there’s the longer process of boiling and removing the peels (which is delicious but it takes time), or there’s this way whith is also delicious but is quick!  We are picking at least 50 pounds of tomatoes a week right now so I need to be careful of time, or I’ll have to quit my job because preserving vegetables can sometimes be a full time job!  I

n this recipe, all you have to do is cut them up, marinate them over night in the refrigerator and then cook for 30 minutes.   You can also duplicate this recipe as many times as you need per how many tomatoes you are picking.  For example the recipe calls for 5 tomatoes but I quintupled it because I had so many tomatoes!   

These Italian Diced Tomatoes are marinated overnight with spices for full flavor. Unlike other diced tomato recipes no boiling, water bath or peeling is needed!

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Oven Roasted Beef Tomato Sauce

Oven Roasted Beef Tomato Sauce is the best spaghetti sauce recipe. It’s easy to make with beef or heirloom tomatoes.

Have you guys tried my Oven Roasted Creamy Cherry Tomato Sauce (or with a kick)? How about my diced tomatoes?  They’re all delicious. I promise you.  

But sometimes you might not have a over abundance of cherry tomatoes.  Sometimes your garden might be full of beef tomatoes. Can you make a simple and quick oven roasted tomato sauce with them? You bet your tomatoes you can!  

Oven Roasted Beef Tomato Sauce is the perfect spaghetti sauce recipe. It's great to use with beef or heirloom tomatoes.

 

The beef tomatoes are cut up into bite size pieces, a little olive oil is poured on then a little onion powder is sprinkled on top.  At this time the good smells are about to start.  Then they go into the oven for 35 minutes.  Now the good smells are really starting to happen.  I dare you not to get hungry after smelling this Oven Roasted Beef Tomato Sauce in the oven.  It won’t happen, you’ll immediately want to eat it, trust me.

Oven Roasted Beef Tomato Sauce is the perfect spaghetti sauce recipe. It's great to use with beef or heirloom tomatoes.

What can you do with this sauce? Anything! Pour it on some pasta.  Bake some lasagna.  Use it in a stew. Eat it by the spoonful (hey, it happens, and it should!).

Enjoy this Oven Roasted Beef Tomato Sauce!  It’s a garden favorite!

Oven Roasted Beef Tomato Sauce is the perfect spaghetti sauce recipe. It's great to use with beef or heirloom tomatoes.

Oven Roasted Beef Tomato Sauce is the perfect spaghetti sauce recipe. It's great to use with beef or heirloom tomatoes.   

Oven Roasted Beef Tomato Sauce is the perfect spaghetti sauce recipe. It's great to use with beef or heirloom tomatoes.

Oven Roasted Beef Tomato Sauce is the perfect spaghetti sauce recipe. It's great to use with beef or heirloom tomatoes.

Oven Roasted Beef Tomato Sauce is the perfect spaghetti sauce recipe. It's great to use with beef or heirloom tomatoes.

Oven Roasted Beef Tomato Sauce is the perfect spaghetti sauce recipe. It's great to use with beef or heirloom tomatoes. 

 Enjoy!

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Oven Roasted Beef Tomato Sauce is the best spaghetti sauce recipe. It's easy to make with beef or heirloom tomatoes.

Oven Roasted Beef Tomato Sauce

Oven Roasted Beef Tomato Sauce is the best spaghetti sauce recipe. It's easy to make with beef or heirloom tomatoes.

Course Main Course

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of beef tomatoes - cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt + pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Spread tomatoes single layer in a pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with your onion powder.
  3. Bake for 35 minutes, your tomatoes should be wrinkly.
  4. Let cool for a few minutes, then put tomatoes in food processor.
  5. Add dried basil, garlic powder and salt + pepper to taste in food processor.
  6. Blend to smooth and creamy.
  7. Use it right away, or throw it in the fridge to use tomorrow, or freeze it for next month.
  8. Enjoy!

 You may also like:

Oven Roasted Creamy Cherry Tomato Sauce
Oven-Roasted-Creamy-Cherry-Tomato-Sauce

Oven Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce With a  Kick
Oven Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce With A Kick_4

How to Make Homemade Diced Tomatoes
How to Make Diced Tomatoes Recipe_19

The Best Stewed Tomatoes Ever
The-Best-Stewed-Tomatoes-Ever

Chicken and Cherry Tomato Toss Stir Fry
Chicken-and-Cherry-Tomato-Toss-Stir-Fry_3

 

Summer Pasta Salad

Summer Pasta Salad recipe that uses fresh seasonal ingredients!  Recipe ingredients include cherry tomatoes, radishes, green pepper, lettuce and mushrooms!  This is perfect for a healthy dinner or picnic lunch. 

Summer Pasta Salad

Guys, it’s August 21st.  We’re in the 20’s already! Soon it will be September! September…already? Don’t get me wrong you know I love Fall, Halloween and everything that comes along with it but there will be a few memories I miss from Summer.  

Fresh Pasta Salad recipe that tastes just like Summer! Recipe ingredients include cherry tomatoes, radishes, green pepper, lettuce and mushrooms! This is perfect for a healthy dinner or picnic lunch.

It’s not over yet, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be dramatic and romantic about the sweltering garden days of picking tomatoes, weeding out the boxes and nurturing seedlings to grow big and strong.

Fresh Pasta Salad recipe that tastes just like Summer! Recipe ingredients include cherry tomatoes, radishes, green pepper, lettuce and mushrooms! This is perfect for a healthy dinner or picnic lunch.

 Healthy Pasta Salad

A basket full of harvest is one of the proudest things I could carry.   Seeing the fresh colors of red, green, yellow and more topple over the basket makes me a happy girl.  Although we’re picking tomatoes, lettuce, radishes and melons as the Summer continues, we’re also getting ready for the Fall garden.  

Fresh Pasta Salad recipe that tastes just like Summer! Recipe ingredients include cherry tomatoes, radishes, green pepper, lettuce and mushrooms! This is perfect for a healthy dinner or picnic lunch.

Some plants have already been transplanted while others wait their turn downstairs for containers to be cleared away on the roof.   There seems to never be a empty day in the garden, there’s always something that needs to be transitioned and moved in or out.

Fresh Pasta Salad recipe that tastes just like Summer! Recipe ingredients include cherry tomatoes, radishes, green pepper, lettuce and mushrooms! This is perfect for a healthy dinner or picnic lunch.

Mushroom Pasta Salad

Mushroom is one of my favorite ingredients to add to a pasta salad! 

For this recipe here I’m really layering in freshness with cherry tomatoes, radishes, green pepper, lettuce and mushrooms! What a combo, right?

Fresh Pasta Salad recipe that tastes just like Summer! Recipe ingredients include cherry tomatoes, radishes, green pepper, lettuce and mushrooms! This is perfect for a healthy dinner or picnic lunch.

Enjoy the end of Summer with this Summer Pasta Salad!Fresh Pasta Salad recipe that tastes just like Summer! Recipe ingredients include cherry tomatoes, radishes, green pepper, lettuce and mushrooms! This is perfect for a healthy dinner or picnic lunch.    

 

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Fresh Pasta Salad recipe that tastes just like Summer! Recipe ingredients include cherry tomatoes, radishes, green pepper, lettuce and mushrooms! This is perfect for a healthy dinner or picnic lunch.

Summer Pasta Salad

Summer Pasta Salad recipe that uses fresh seasonal ingredients!  Recipe ingredients include cherry tomatoes, radishes, green pepper, lettuce and mushrooms!  This is perfect for a healthy dinner or picnic lunch. 

Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword mushroom pasta salad, pasta salad recipe, summer pasta salad
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 12 oz penne pasta
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 green pepper chopped up
  • 3 radishes chopped up
  • 1 packed cup of lettuce chopped up
  • 1/2 sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

Instructions

  1. Prepare your pasta as directed. Drain.
  2. Put your pasta in a big bowl.
  3. Add your chopped vegetables, salad dressing and dried herbs.
  4. Mix together so everything is coated in salad dressing.
  5. Add in your mozzarella cheese, toss around.
  6. Cover, put in fridge to chill.
  7. Enjoy!

You may also like:

Stuffed Pepper Casserole
Stuffed-Pepper-Casserole

Peanut Butter Pasta Salad
Cold-Peanut-Butter-Pasta-Salad

Chopped Mexican Chicken Salad
Chopped-Mexican-Chicken-and-Corn-Salad

Spicy Cherry Tomato Sauce

Spicy Cherry Tomato Sauce Recipe

Did you see yesterday’s tomato harvest post?  If you did then it’s no surprise to see a tomato sauce recipe today!  Let’s add another one to the cherry tomato recipe list!

When you think cherry tomatoes you probably imagine them as bite size snacks, or tomatoes that can be thrown in a salad.   What I see them as (besides throwing in the air and catching them in my mouth and by catching them I mean not catching them and then running after them as they roll on the roof) is a delicious creamy tomato sauce.  

My Oven Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce is one of my favorite tomato sauce recipes ever.  I love that cherry tomatoes can turn that creamy with some oven heat.  So with a bunch of cherry tomatoes and jalapenos being picked in the garden I decided to mix them together and make some tomato sauce with a kick!

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Spicy Italian Crushed Tomato Sauce

Doesn’t a big bowl of pasta just fill you up with happiness for dinner?  How about we add a touch of spice with some crushed tomatoes?  Magic, right?

That’s how I feel about this recipe, it’s absolutely magical.  I think most times when we think of tomato sauce it doesn’t have that kick to it, but this Spicy Italian Crushed Tomato Sauce definitely has some spice.   It’s not overly spicy, but there’s enough that gives it a extra zip zap taste.    Also, can we talk about the aroma that that this sauce has?  It’s delicious.  If you give this sauce a shot, just watch your  kitchen start to fill up with people asking when dinner is ready.   Tell them them a few more minutes and kick them out of your kitchen.  Then take a few big spoonfuls of this sauce first. 

Speaking of tomatoes… our tomatoes have adjusted from their transplanting period and are now firm in their containers.  I love seeing them start to add a few inches of height and turn a nice green color.  Expect a big garden update post at the end of this week!  The other fresh star of this recipe is the basil.  I was able to throw in a big bunch of basil chopped up in this sauce and it was a perfect fit (not to mention the smell was amazing!).  Don’t you just love fresh basil?  Mmmm!

Spicy Crushed Tomato Sauce

Spicy Crushed Tomato Sauce_1

Spicy Crushed Tomato Sauce_2
You can totally use whatever pasta you want to use.  This was one of those nights where I threw a bunch of quarter filled boxes together for a pasta mix!

Spicy Crushed Tomato Sauce_3

Spicy Crushed Tomato Sauce_4

 Now go on and have a great pasta dinner tonight.. enjoy!

Spicy Italian Crushed Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes or fresh crushed tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil chopped up
  • 1 small bell pepper chopped up
  • 1 12 ounce package dried pasta of choice

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
  2. Add red pepper flakes and saute for 1 minute.
  3. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil and pepper.
  4. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring a few times.
  5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add your pasta of choice and cook as instructed on box. Drain.
  6. Add pasta sauce to pasta and stir.
  7. Serve hot and enjoy.

Easy, Budget Friendly Basil Pesto Pasta

EASY, BUDGET FRIENDLY Basil Pesto Pasta recipe made with fresh basil and almonds! This easy, healthy homemade recipe makes delicious basil pesto that can be served over pasta, as appetizers or on a sandwich!  Pine nuts are expensive so this is a much more budget friendly pesto.  Recipe also includes a vegan alternative. 

I’m in love with this Basil Pesto. Big time.

BUDGET FRIENDLY Basil Pesto Pasta recipe made with fresh basil and almonds! This easy, healthy homemade recipe makes delicious basil pesto that can be served over pasta, as appetizers or on a sandwich! Pine nuts are expensive so this is a much more budget friendly pesto.

Growing up, pesto wasn’t big in our house. It’s one of those things that I honestly can’t even remember having until I was in my 20’s.   Then I started to make it and fell in love. Then when started to grow our own basil and could pick it and immediately make the freshest pesto possible, then I really fell in love with it.

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Not My Mom’s Meatloaf

Do you like the title?  I hope you do.    So many of my favorite meatloaf recipes are inspired by the cook’s mother or grandmother, but because this recipe is inspired by Amy’s mother’s meatloaf, and she’s not my mother, I decided to name it Not My Mom’s Meatloaf.   

I don’t think meatloaf gets the love it deserves but I’m here to change that.  I love meatloaf. It reminds me of my childhood, it reminds of plaid printed aprons, and mothers with perfect hair and televisions with antennas.  Doesn’t it have that vintage feel to it?  I like to think June Cleaver in the picture below is whisking eggs for meatloaf.  Also I’d like to think that one day I will look that fabulous in the kitchen.  Someone remind me to buy a strand of pearls.
June-Cleaver

Have you been to Disney World before? AKA, the greatest place on Earth (honestly, it’s amazing).  At Hollywood Studios they have a restaurant named 50’s Prime Time Cafe and it’s everything you hoped it would be like, from the tables to the waiters.   Everything on the menu is home cooking inspired from Dad’s Grilled Pork Chops to Aunt Liz’s Golden Fried Chicken to Grandma’s Chicken Pot Pie and of course Cousin Ann’s Traditional Meatloaf. I got the Meatloaf when I was there and it was served with green beans by our waiter Uncle Gary.  Throughout the dining experience he would introduce us to our cousins and just be that Uncle we all know.  When we left we we wrote him a love letter, he was so much fun. 
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Meatloaf is often made with ketchup but I love this recipe because it uses spaghetti sauce instead which personally I find more pleasing and tasty.  The spaghetti sauce acts like a gravy that you can lather your meatloaf in which I love, I definitely will put a few spoonfuls on.    Also, this meatloaf has mushrooms that are baked in it which will cause your entire dinner table to fight over who gets the mushrooms, so be sure to fight hard for them. 🙂  

Hope you enjoy this delicious dinner table favorite! 

 Not My Mom's Meatloaf_4

Not My Mom's Meatloaf

Not My Mom's Meatloaf_3

Not My Mom's Meatloaf_1

Not My Mom's Meatloaf_5

Not My Mom's Meatloaf_2

Not My Mom's Meatloaf_6

 

Not My Mom's Meatloaf

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds ground turkey
  • 3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 2 cups pasta sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried mustard
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 8-10 whole fresh mushrooms

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix ground turkey, bread crumbs, egg, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce together completely. I use my hands for this to mix thoroughly.
  3. Form turkey mixture into a loaf and put in a loaf pan.
  4. Push mushrooms into the top of the meatloaf, pushing their stems into the loaf.
  5. Mix the rest of the pasta sauce, brown sugar, dried mustard and worcestershire sauce together in a bowl. Pour this sauce mixture over the mushrooms and meatloaf.
  6. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  7. Enjoy and be sure to slather in sauce!

Easy Cheesy Lasagna Skillet

Welcome to a new week, I hope you all had a lovely weekend.   

We have a new favorite dinner that we’ve been making almost bi-weekly now, it’s Easy Cheesy Lasagna Skillet.   Lasagna is hands down one of our favorite dinners, but sometimes you just don’t have the time to organize the layers and bake in the oven, this skillet is quick, cheesy and oh goodness is it delicious.    What makes this lasagna extra special?  Well besides the ricotta cheese which makes everything creamy, there’s Sweet Italian Sausage which I’m pretty  much in love with at the moment.  After I brown the sausage there’s a good 3 minute period where I just stand by the stove and eat it out of the pan.   

Easy Cheesy Lasagna SkilletIMG_7431

Added into the lasagna is garden fresh spaghetti sauce, fresh basil, green peppers and some mushrooms.  In my opinion life is better when there is mushrooms and green peppers involved.  Lately, we’ve been putting them on our pizza too – what a great combo.  

Easy Cheesy Lasagna SkilletIMG_7463

So next time you are craving lasagna but don’t want to wait or do the extra work, throw all these ingredients in a skillet and you’ll have the creamiest dinner in all the land!  This is definitely a keeper.  Bonus: Leftovers are delicious!

Easy Cheesy Lasagna SkilletIMG_7445

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Easy Cheesy Lasagna Skillet

Ingredients

  • 12 lasagna noodles - broken in half
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage - out of their casings
  • 24 oz jar of spaghetti sauce
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 8 oz cut up mushrooms
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • handful of fresh basil

Instructions

  1. Brown sausage in skillet.
  2. Break lasagna noodles in half and cook as directed. Drain.
  3. When noodles are cooked add them to the skillet of browned sausage. Add in spaghetti sauce, ricotta cheese, 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, mushrooms and diced green pepper.
  4. Cook until melted and well heated, about 10 minutes on medium heat. Stir so ricotta is distributed evenly.
  5. Put remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese on top, sprinkle fresh basil on top. Cover and cook until cheese is completely melted.
  6. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Servings: 4

Homemade Tomato Paste

This is the beginning of many tomato posts to come in the next few weeks.   Right now we’re handling Tomato Season 2013 so I’m constantly looking for new tomato ideas to both use our harvest, but also preserve so we can enjoy it until next summer!

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A great way to use up lots of tomatoes you have is to make homemade tomato paste.  Tomato paste is a great ingredient to have on hand to thicken up sauce and soups.  Not to mention it’s a great base to make some yummy marinara sauce.  I love this specific recipe because we are going to freeze them in ice cube trays which means you can use a little bit  at a time. No more using one of those tomato paste cans that you only need 2 tablespoons for.   By using ice cube tray size you use what you need, nothing goes to waste.  

The best type of tomatoes for paste is roma or plum tomatoes (think elongated in shape) because they have the least amount of seeds.  In this recipe, we don’t take the skin off or deseed the tomatoes, we just cut them in half.   Tomato paste is super easy to make, it just takes a little patience until it’s done.  It’s made by cooking the tomatoes on the stove for hours to the point of where you boil away all the liquid, causing a very concentrate form of tomatoes, which turns into “paste”.     By the time the hours are over, you are going to have beautiful tomato paste.. and a house that smells wonderful!  You will be hungry after smelling this on the stove.. 🙂  These cubes last a very long time, months. I could easily throw a cube in some tomato sauce in January that I make this week.   I love these tomato paste cubes because when it’s snowing out and I reach for one, I get to remember the good garden days had months prior.. and that just makes me smile!

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Homemade Tomato Paste

Ingredients

  • 3-4 pounds of roma or plum tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cloves garlic

Instructions

  1. Slice tomatoes in half.
  2. Put tomatoes and garlic in food processor (in batches), pulse until smooth.
  3. Put your tomatoes in a pot, add salt and stir.
  4. Turn your stove on to medium high heat and bring the tomatoes to a boil.
  5. Turn your stove down to low medium heat to keep them at a constant low simmering boil.
  6. Cover and cook for 3 hours, stirring once in a while, until tomatoes turn into a paste and liquid is gone.
  7. Put your paste in ice cube trays and freeze.

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Here’s your beautiful roma tomatoes.  

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Slice them in half and take the stems off if there are any.

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Throw in food processor and pulse until liquid smooth.  Then it goes onto the stove.. in a few hours all that liquid tomato  will turn into…

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Great smelling tomato paste!

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Fill up your ice cube trays and throw in the freezer.

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Pop a tomato paste cube out whenever you need one!

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Easy and fresh, does it get any better?

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