Tag Archives: Sauce

Spicy Italian Drunken Noodles

New favorite pasta alert!! I made this for my hubby last night for Valentine’s Day and it was all I hoped it would be and more. Full of spice, flavors, beautiful colors, and the pasta was so silky and delicious. You could lighten this up with turkey sausage, but it was a special occasion, so I went all in.

Begin by warming a couple tablespoons of EVOO in a large, heavy saucepan. Remove casings from 5 spicy Italian sausage links and crumble into medium size pieces.

Once browned, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Now add a thinly sliced onion and cook for 5 minutes or so in the sausage drippings until they begin to caramelize. While the onions cook, thinly slice a red, yellow, & orange bell pepper.

Add the peppers into the pot with the onions along with about a teaspoon of Italian seasoning and cracked salt & pepper.

Once the peppers soften, add in about a tablespoon of minced garlic and a half a cup of white wine. Once the wine has reduced, add a 28oz can of diced tomatoes with the juice and fold your sausage back into the mixture.

To finish the sauce, drizzle more EVOO on top, and about 1/4C of fresh chopped basil leaves & around 2tbl freshly chopped Italian flat leaf parsley.

Prepare pappardelle noodles according to the al dente instructions. Toss the noodles into your sausage mixture. Serve and top with additional basil and shredded Parmesan cheese.

So, so good!!!

Adapted From: The Cozy Apron

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Sausage & Spinach Stuffed Shells

I literally hadn’t made these in years and we forgot how amazing they are. They were one of my original freezer meals back in the day. This meal is so easy and tasty – perfect for kids and grownups alike.

Begin by cooking 16-18 jumbo shells about 2 minutes shy of their cooking instructions. Drain and set aside.

Heat a tablespoon of EVOO over medium heat. Add an onion and a pound of Italian sausage and cook through. Add a spoonful of minced garlic, cook for 30 more seconds, and remove from heat. Set aside.

Now combine 7-8 ounces of fresh, cooked spinach or a box of frozen spinach that has been thawed and wrung out with the following: 1 lightly beaten egg, 1.5C grated Parmesan, 1/4C Italian style breadcrumbs, 15oz ricotta cheese, 1tbl chopped fresh basil, and cracked salt & pepper to taste.

Add in your sausage and onions and fold to combine.

Using a 28oz can of Italian seasoned diced tomatoes, spoon a layer into the bottom of a large baking dish. Begin filling your shells and line them close to each other.

Top with the remaining tomatoes.

Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese. Bake for 10 more minutes.

Top with shredded parmesan. Serve with salad and crusty bread to complete!🥖🍷

Adapted From: Everyday Annie

Crockpot Pesto & Mozzarella Chicken Pasta

On Sundays we put the lean eating aside for an indulgent family dinner. I look forward to this tremendously.😋

Trying out new recipes makes my heart so happy. As soon as I saw the words pesto, cheese, & pasta I knew this would not disappoint.

I always make my own pesto because it’s super easy and noticeably better, but if you’re short on time you could substitute with a jar variety. My pesto is easy: Simply combine the leaves of 1 basil plant, 1/3C pine nuts, 1/2C shredded Parmesan, 1/2C EVOO, juice of a lemon, and cracked salt and pepper to taste.

Trim 3 chicken breasts and place them in your crockpot. Top with a liberal amount of cracked salt and pepper.

Top with your pesto and one tablespoon of stick butter.

Turn your crockpot to low and let cook for 5-6 hours (don’t remove the lid!).

Shred you chicken and add in 1/2C shredded Parmesan and 1/2lb pasta.

Grate 2C mozzarella. Buying shredded cheese isn’t the same as grating your own. Trust me.

Combine your Parmesan and pasta with the chicken. Top with the mozzarella and cover for an additional 15 minutes.

Serve with grated parm, dried basil, and cracked pepper. Bread and a mixed green salad would complete this meal.😋

Adapted from: The Magical Slow Cooker

Turkey & Spinach Meatballs

So I convinced my husband to do a juice cleanse with me for the past couple of days. About halfway through (in the midst of stomach growling and grumpiness overload), I told him that at the end of the tunnel (today), I would make him anything he wanted for dinner. Much to my surprise he asked for something from the vault…..something I haven’t made in so many years…..something I used to make weekly when we were getting in shape for our wedding.👀

I honestly forgot what they tasted like. That was before I attempted to up my cooking game when I became a stay at home wife. They were part of the menu when there were only about 5 things on the menu. So, I wasn’t sure if they would be worth talking about…but they are!

Start with 2lbs of lean ground turkey in a mixing bowl. Add a pack of frozen spinach (thawed and wrung out with a kitchen towel), 1 large egg, 3/4c Italian bread crumbs, 1/2c grated Parmesan, 2tsp minced garlic, 1/4c milk, & 1/2 of a finely diced onion. With your hands, mix to combine.

Divide your mixture into 4 sections for easy dividing. Now form 12 large meatballs and place on prepared baking sheets.

Drizzle with EVOO and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

These can be served many ways; over sautéed veggies, spaghetti squash, traditional pasta, alone with melted cheese? The possibilities are endless. Tonight, I made homemade marinara and served them over angel hair with pecorino romano cheese. They were so good. Back on the rotation for sure.😋

Adapted From: Rachel Ray

Creamy Sundried Tomato & Mushroom Chicken

This may be the ultimate comfort food without the guilt.I made it last night and am still thinking about it — so, SO good!! It tastes like it must be loaded with butter and heavy cream, but guess what? It’s not!!🎊

Combine 2tbl flour, 2tbl grated parm, 1tsp salt, and cracked pepper.

Slice 2 chicken breasts horizontally and dredge them through your mixture.

Rinse 2 cups of sliced baby bellas and drain an 8.5oz jar of Italian sliced sundried tomatoes (save the oil).

Warm half of the reserved oil into a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add in your chicken for 5-6 minutes on each side until it’s browned and cooked through.

Remove and place on a warm plate.

Pour the rest of your tomato oil into the saucepan. Now add 2tbl of minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds (until fragrant). Add your mushrooms and sundried tomatoes and cook until mushrooms soften.

Turn your heat down to low. Add in 12oz of evaporated milk. I used reduced fat, however I think fat free would be fine as well. Stir in a couple of teaspoons of Italian seasoning and cracked salt & pepper to taste.

Combine 2tbl milk and 1tbl cornstarch.

Once the sauce is simmering, quickly stir in your cornstarch mixture. Once it thickens, add in 1/3C shredded Parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese melts.

Now add back in your chicken and top with fresh basil.

Serve over pasta, rice, quinoa, veggies, or anything really. Top with more shredded Parmesan and cracked pepper. Try not to have seconds (or thirds!)!😃

Adapted from – Cafe Delites

Chipotle BBQ Pulled Pork Tacos with Cilantro Lime Slaw

Honestly this was the first time I had made a new dish in a while. We were attending my cousin’s wedding last weekend and a version of these were served during cocktail hour. My husband and I had at least 3 each (they were minis I swear!) and haven’t stopped thinking about them since. So, we had to give it a try…🌮🌮🌮

I’ll start by saying that there is quite a bit of prep work. Luckily most can be made in advance. I began with a 7lb pork shoulder and trimmed off about 80% of the fat. You will want to soak it in a brine for at least 5 hours. It can soak up to 24 hours, but we couldn’t wait that long.😄

For the brine you’ll need 6 cups of cold water, 1/4 cup of lime juice, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of salt, and 3 smashed garlic cloves.

Once everything is combined and you submerge your pork, cover it and set it in the fridge.

Meanwhile, I went ahead with the slaw prep. Combine 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 1tsp Dijon, 2tbl chopped cilantro, 1 lime zested and juiced, 1tbl sugar, and 2 green onions sliced (green and white parts).

Fold in 4 cups of finely shredded cabbage and 1 cup of shredded carrots. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate.

For the chipotle barbecue sauce begin by warming 2tbl EVOO over medium heat. Add 1 large, finely diced onion and cook until it becomes soft and translucent. Then add 3tsp minced garlic and continue cooking for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add 3/4tsp salt and 1/4tsp pepper. Pour in 1/2 cup white wine. Whisk to combine. Now add the following: 1/4 cup tomato paste, 1/4 cup honey, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2tbl Dijon, 1 chopped chipotle pepper and a tablespoon of the adobo sauce that it comes in. Reduce your heat and let that simmer for 25-30 minutes. Now add 2tbl white wine vinegar and 1tbl Worcestershire.

Pour into a blender or food processor and purée.

For the meat seasoning combine: 2tbl brown sugar, 2tsp onion powder, 2tsp garlic powder, 1tsp cumin, 1tsp salt, 1tsp pepper.

You can use an oven or slow cooker to cook the pork, but we used our pressure cooker to drastically speed up the process. If you don’t have one of these magical machines, I HIGHLY recommend you get one!

We used fresh corn tortillas and layered in the shredded pork, slaw, bbq sauce, and topped them with avocado and jalapeños. Wow, talk about an instant favorite! And I’m not sure I’ll ever buy bottled bbq sauce again either. Ah-maz-ing.🙌🏼💃🏻🌮

Adapted From: Fashionable Foods

Classic Chicken Parmesan

We love comfort food in my house and this ranks right up there with all things warm and cheesy. It’s so simple, anyone can do it.

Begin with a couple of large chicken breasts and slice them horizontally. Make an assembly line of 1C of flour, 3 beaten eggs, and 2C Italian style Panko bread crumbs.

Salt and pepper your chicken and dredge them through the flour (pressing the flour in tightly), then the egg, and finally the breadcrumbs. Lay them onto a plate and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.

Now I like to prepare my homemade marinara that is super easy and about a million times better than the store bought variety. That recipe is also on this blog. If you are short on time, the jar variety is just fine.

Warm a few tablespoons of EVOO over medium heat in a sauce pan and add in the chicken. Cook 4-6 minutes per side until the chicken is cooked through.

Transfer the chicken into a prepared baking dish. Slice fresh mozzarella onto each piece.

Set oven to broil and cook until cheese is melted and bubbling.

Prepare the pasta of your choice – I like angel hair with this dish but anything is fine. Lay a spoonful of marinara on top and some shredded Parmesan cheese.

Now place a piece of chicken on top with more marinara, cheese, and parsley. Serve with garlic bread and a Caesar salad. Enjoy!

Southwestern Chicken Eggrolls

Here is another favorite in my house. It’s packed with veggies and both my boys (husband & son) are always excited when this is served. We usually have it once a week or so.
Southwestern Chicken Eggrolls:
~Warm a couple tablespoons of EVOO in a large saucepan over medium heat.

~Add 3 uncooked diced chicken breasts. Salt and pepper. Cook about 5 minutes.

~Add 1 diced onion and 2 seeded, diced jalapeños. Continue stirring until chicken is cooked through.

~Add 1 tablespoon cumin and 1 tablespoon chili powder.

~Add a drained and rinsed can of black beans, kernels from 4 corn cobs, and 3 cups of baby spinach.

~Once spinach wilts, remove from heat and add 1 cup pepper jack cheese.
Spoon mixture into freshly cooked flour tortillas, roll burrito style, and place in large prepared baking dish.
Brush all sides of your eggrolls with EVOO. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes, then flip them over and bake 15 more minutes until tortillas begin to crisp.
Optional (and recommended!): Top with the Jalapeño Cilantro Cream Sauce (shared a couple of days ago) and avocado slices. My husband also adds raw jalapeño slices on top and I like to add Sriracha on top of mine. #yum
Adapted from: MrsHappyHomemaker

Roasted Shrimp Enchiladas with Jalapeño Cream Sauce

Want to really wow your guests with my personal favorite shrimp dish? These are incredible, just make sure you have plenty of time to prep (aka don’t make these when you are in a pinch for time!).
~ Roasted Shrimp Enchiladas with Jalapeño Cream Sauce ~

~Begin with 1.5-2lbs of fresh shrimp. Peel, devein, and coat with EVOO, sea salt, & pepper. Lay them out on a lined baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes based on the size of your shrimp.

~Warm 2 tablespoons EVOO over medium heat.

~Toss in a small diced onion and 2 cloves of minced garlic, sauté for 5 minutes

~Add in 2 cups finely shredded cabbage, 1 peeled and grated carrot, 3 cups baby spinach, 2-4 tablespoons chipotle in adobo sauce (depending on how spicy you like it), 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, and 1/4 teaspoon oregano.

~Once spinach wilts, remove from heat and toss in your shrimp (cut them into bite size pieces first).

~Roll in freshly cooked flour tortillas (Tortilla Land are the best).

~Place seam side down in prepared baking dish.


Jalapeño Cream Sauce:

~Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan.

~Wisk in 2 tablespoons flour and stir continuously for 2 minutes.

~Wisk in 1.5 cups chicken broth.

~Stir in 3/4 cup Greek yogurt.

~Add in 2 seeded and diced jalapeños plus 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.

~Simmer until sauce thickens, remove from heat and add a handful of chopped cilantro.


Preheat oven to 375. Pour half of the sauce over the enchiladas and cook for 20 minutes covered with foil. Serve with another spoonful of sauce then top with avocado and Sriracha. OMG!!

Adapted from: Damn Delicious (My favorite food blogger and total inspiration 💛)

Jalapeño Cilantro Cream Sauce

No offense to salsa, but want to really add some zip to those Mexican inspired dishes? Must. Try. This. Jalapeño Cilantro Cream Sauce:

~8oz softened cream cheese

~2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt

~7oz salsa verde

~1 teaspoon black pepper

~1 teaspoon celery salt

~1 tablespoon taco seasoning

~1 bunch fresh cilantro

~Juice of a lime

~2-4 jalapeños unseeded if you love spice like we do (or you can seed them!)

Blend everything together in the food processor and let stand in the fridge for a couple of hours. This will keep in a jar for a couple of weeks and the possibilities are endless!!💃🏻

Inspired by: MrsHappyHomemaker