Posts tagged: Tomato

Basic Marinara

This is a basic marinara sauce, and is a great starting point for creating your own recipe or just experimenting with new flavors. You can use this sauce in a variety of dishes from basic pasta to a chicken or veal Parmesan.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (26 oz.) can peeled whole tomatoes
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup flat chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil (1/2 cup fresh chopped)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion

Directions:

Heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until golden being careful not to burn. Add onions, basil, parsley and pepper flakes. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes with liquid. Break up tomatoes with fork. Cook over medium heat for 1 hour stirring occasionally. The sauce can keep up to a week in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

For variations you can add 1/2 to 1 pound of fine ground meat such as Italian sausage, chuck, sirloin, chorizo, chopped pancetta or even chopped pepperoni.

Italian Sausage Faux Risotto

Some may not consider this a real risotto but it’s close.  All of the ingredients are there but the exact preparation is not quite true to a traditional risotto. In this recipe the fat comes from the sausage, the wine is added at the end rather than the beginning, and the Romano is not stirred in. In any case, it’s a very tasty dish.

Italian Sausage Risotto

Italian Sausage Risotto

In a traditional risotto, the rice is cooked briefly in butter or olive oil to coat the grains with fat. White wine is added and absorbed by the grains. When the wine evaporates, the heat is raised to medium high and hot stock is gradually added in small amounts while stirring gently, almost constantly.  Stirring loosens the starch molecules from the outside of the rice grains into the surrounding liquid, creating a smooth creamy-textured liquid. At about 17 minutes from when the wine evaporated,  take the rice off the heat and dice cold butter and finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese.  Whip in the cheese and butter to make the texture as creamy and smooth as possible.

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb mild Italian sausage or hot Italian sausage, (2-3 links) casing removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 chopped onion, red preferred
  • 1 bell pepper, rough chop
  • 2 Anaheim peppers, rough chop
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese

Directions:

In a large frying pan, cook sausage over medium-high heat, breaking into small pieces, approximately 4 minutes or until browned. Add garlic, onion, bell pepper, Anaheim peppers, oregano, salt and pepper. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring often, approximately 3 minutes or until the vegetables are softened. Add rice and mix well. Add chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring once. Add white wine, stirring often and simmer approximately 5 minutes or until rice is tender and creamy. Stir in tomato. Top with Romano cheese and serve immediately.

Italian Sausage Meat Sauce

Fucilli tossed with Meat Sauce and garnished with Grated Romano Cheese

Fucilli tossed with Meat Sauce and garnished with Grated Romano Cheese

Any pasta can be used with this meat sauce which is also known as a bolognese.  I normally use Fusilli because the meat sauce clings to it easily. I serve this meal in a bowl with a spoon and top it with fresh grated Parmesan or Romano cheese.

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, medium chop
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper diced (red preferred)
  • 2 tomatoes diced (approximately 1 3/4 lbs)
  • 1 lb Italian sausage, removed from casing
  • 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 6 ounce can of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 4 1/2 ounce can mushrooms, drained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed

Directions:

Meat Sauce

Meat Sauce

In a large pot heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute until semi soft being careful not to burn them. Add Italian sausage and cook until browned. Drain sausage.

In pot with drained sausage, stir in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste. Mix in oregano, basil, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, red pepper flakes, mushrooms, cumin, fennel seed, and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer for about 1-2 hours, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes.

Sea Food Trio Paella with Lobster, Scallops and Shrimp

One of my favorite ways to prepare paella. It makes me wish I lived on the coast so I could get the proteins fresh all the time.

Ingredients:

2 6 to 8 ounce lobster tails
1/2 pound bay scallops (may substitute colossal scallops)
1 lb shrimp 30-40 count
4 oz Chorizo
2 medium red bell peppers (or 1 large)
2 medium green bell peppers (1 large)
1/2 medium white onion
1/2 medium red onion
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 1/2 cup white basmati rice
10 oz can of diced tomatoes with green chilies
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Lemon
Lime
Italian Flat Leaf Parsley

Prep:

Peel and devein shrimp.
Seed and devein bell peppers cut into 1/2 inch strips
Chop onions
Mince garlic
Cut lobster tails through the shell crosswise in 1-inch lengths
If using colossal scallops instead of bay scallops, quarter
Mince parsley as needed
Quarter lemon and limes as needed

Cook lobster. Add butter to medium skillet and melt over a medium heat. Add the lobster tail pieces to the pan and cook through, about 6 minutes, turning once. Remove the lobster meat from the shell and roughly chop. This can usually be done when the rice is in the oven.

Directions:

Sea Food Trio Paella

Sea Food Trio Paella

Preheat oven to 375.

In a large saucepan or paella pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil and add the onion, the garlic, the peppers, the saffron and the chorizo. Cook for 6 minutes or until vegetables are soft and chorizo is browned.

Stir in the rice, tomatoes and tomato paste until well mixed and cook for an additional 6 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover and place the saucepan in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring once or twice, until rice is fully cooked.

Return the saucepan to the stove top and add the lobster, scallops and shrimp. Steam the seafood for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes before plating.

Plate with the chopped parsley and a lemon and a lime wedge.

Notes:

Feeds an army!

The seafood amounts can be adjusted as long as the basic total weight stays close to 2 1/2 lbs.

Image | WordPress Themes