Fresh and Easy Tomato Sauce

I really dislike jarred tomato sauce – I think it has a funny taste no matter how much I mess with it. (There is a yiddish word that I want to use here and although I can say it, apparently I can’t spell it to even begin to look up how to actually spell it!). So I made up my own little sauce last night and it was delicious. It was approved by Peter by evidence of his second helping of dinner and actually eaten by Baylie so it must be a winner:

2 cans of diced tomatoes. I like the organic kind and without added salt if possible

20-30 basil leaves depending on size

1 tablespoon of sugar

2 diced cloves of garlic or about a tea-spoon of minced, jarred garlic (I think Safeway’s organic is the best)

some spices – oregano, “pasta sprinkle”, whatever sounds good and is on hand

salt and pepper

Saute the garlic in some olive oil. Add in the two cans of sauce and stir. Chiffonade the basil leaves and add them to the pot. Add in a dash of whatever spice sounds good (oregano is my favorite) and salt and pepper. Add in the sugar and stir. Let it simmer for a few minutes and then taste for more seasoning.

That’s it! It’s a thinner sauce but the fresh taste is great. Add in partially cooked pasta to soak up some of the juice and or turkey meatballs to warm in the sauce. Serve with garlic bread, as a sandwich, with pasta or by themselves. If you don’t have canned tomatoes or would prefer fresh – hull the fresh tomatoes and put them on a foil lined tray. Add some salt and olive oil and roast for approximately 45 minutes in the oven. Add all parts of the tomatoes to a sauce pan and then the same ingredients above.  Enjoy!

My Meatballs Are Better Than Your Meatballs

I like to cook with ground turkey a lot – however, my recipes always need a little tweaking. The extra lean turkey is a little dry because of the lack of fat so it needs a little extra work to make it tasty. I hit pay dirt with my meatball recipe last night. The proof? I thought they were delicious and Baylie ate an entire meatball!

1 lb of ground turkey – lean or extra lean

1 packet of ranch dressing mix

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 mozzarella cheese sticks

1-2 eggs

bread crumbs or cracker crumbs

Combine the turkey, garlic, 1 egg and ranch packet. Chop the cheese sticks into small quarters (cut lengthwise into 4ths, then dice) and add to the turkey mix. If the mixture seems dry, add the second egg. If it’s too wet, add some bread crumbs. It should be very moist, but hold a ball shape.

In a big skillet, heat some olive oil. Roll the meatballs and drop them into the pan. If you leave them alone until  you see browning on the pan, then you can easily roll them to the opposite side to continue browning (i.e. if they stick, they aren’t ready to turn). Cover with a lid and reduce the heat until cooked through.

Sauce:

1 small zucchini or yellow squash OR 1/2 a large one

1 pint of grape tomatoes

1 jar of  your favorite red sauce

Dice the zucchini into small chunks. Add zucchini and tomatoes to a sauce pan with a tablespoon of butter. Saute until soft and a little brown and the tomatoes are popping. Add sauce and let simmer until you’re ready to eat.

Combine whole wheat pasta shells, meatballs and pour sauce over all of it. A little sprinkle of parmesan and you’re ready to eat a delicious and healthy meal! Some fresh basil or parsley would be a great addition too. It makes a ton and is awesome for lunches the next day (and probably the day after!). Bon appetite!