Marinara Sauce

“To get the best results you must talk to your vegetables.”
Charles, Prince of Wales

The late summer garden calls out with her exuberant abundance in a teasing way. Almost saying… “Whatcha gonna do with all this smarty-pants?” Well this weeks bounty made more salsa & this wonderfully easy marinara sauce.

To see more recipes like this one (and my spaghetti sauce recipe) click this link https://bit.ly/3PzAkXG
to purchase my original cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats. The cookbook has almost 1000 recipes on almost 500 pages! Check out the testimonial page while you’re here as well!

Our Favorite Recipes

Aaron & I went out to the garden this afternoon to check on the harvest… and wow did we score! After he saw the load of tomatoes he said, “Let’s make spaghetti sauce!”

This recipe is for a single batch, but can easily be adjusted for canning by simply multiplying the quantities. It’s super easy and so delicious. You can add other ingredients to spruce it up, however it’s great just the way it is.

If you want to make this a meat sauce, just add 1 pound of lean organic ground beef or pork. Delish!

Pro-tip: Be sure to use only the ripest tomatoes as these will give you the most flavorful sauce.

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups of pureed tomatoes- about 8-10 tomatoes- Heirlooms are the most flavorful

1- 8 ounce can of tomato paste

¼ cup minced onion- about 1 medium onion. NOT white onions

4 fresh garlic cloves minced or 4 tsp of jarred

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 TBSP sugar

4 tsp basil- dried

1 TBSP pink Himalayan salt

Dave’s Eggplant Parmesan

Keep posted for Dave’s delicious eggplant parmesan recipe coming soon!

Our garden harvest!

What you’ll need to have to make the marinara sauce:
Large stock pot
Food processor
4 cup measuring cup
Measuring cups & spoons

Chop onion in food processor

Prep before you start:
Chop onions in food processer before sautéing and wash the tomatoes. Be sure to have all your ingredients ready.

Make sure you have all your ingredients before you start!

1. While the onions & garlic are sautéing, chop washed tomatoes into quarters removing any bad spots and the stem; place in a large bowl. After all the tomatoes are quartered begin pureeing them in your food processor until you have 4 cups.

Cut tomatoes into quarters
Put quartered tomatoes in processor & puree

2. Leave the pureed tomato in the processor; add oil, onion & garlic mixture, spices and sugar, blend until completely pureed. Move the mixture back to the stock pot.

Add tomato mixture back into stock pot and bring to a low boil

4. Bring tomato sauce to a low boil on medium heat covered, stirring often; cook on medium heat covered for 2 hours or until mixture has cooked down one third.

5. Add the tomato paste and whisk in; cook for an additional hour stirring often so the bottom doesn’t scorch.

If you would like to add meat, cook thoroughly and add to sauce for the final half hour of cooking. 

Serve over pasta noodles, or make a delicious eggplant or chicken parmesan!

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Happy Day,
Jean!

Bruschetta with Feta Cheese & Balsamic Glaze

“To make a great garden, one must have a great idea or a great opportunity”
Sir George Sitwell

Aaron & I were in Myrtle Beach last summer and visited a local restaurant where we ordered pizza & bruschetta. To my surprise it was served with feta cheese & a delicious balsamic glaze. The best part about it though was that Aaron loved it!! I could hardly get him to eat my ‘basic’ bruschetta, but he devoured this. So of course I decided to put my own spin on this for my sweet little guy to enjoy at home! 

Our Favorite Recipes

INGREDIENTS:

  • I loaf Italian bread unsliced
  • 6-8 large roma tomatoes diced, Heirlooms are the most flavorful!
  • 2 fresh garlic clove minced or 2 tsp jarred
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil + ¼ cup+
  • ½ cup fresh basil, snipped- Watch my video on how-to snip basil or any fresh herb in the video to the right
    OR 2 TBSP dried
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, snipped OR 1 TBSP dried
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1- 8 ounce container feta cheese crumbles
  • 1- 8.45 ounce bottle of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena glaze (I love the Kroger Private Selection brand).

With the garden bursting at the seams with ripe tomatoes, now is the perfect time to experiment with new recipes. Let me know if you have any tips for your bruschetta in the comments below!
Watch this video on how-to snip basil & other fresh herbs!

1. Combine in a medium sized bowl all ingredients EXCEPT feta cheese and balsamic glaze; mix well. Set in the fridge for 30 minutes.

2. While the tomato mixture is in the fridge, cut 6- 1” slices of Italian bread; use the ¼+ cup of olive oil and brush oil on both sides of each slice; place on a cookie sheet and toast bread on both sides under a broiler until golden brown. Remove and set aside.

3. Once bread is toasted, spoon tomato mixture evenly over bread; sprinkle 1 TBSP feta cheese on top of tomatoes; drizzle glaze over top.

Serve immediately with any pasta dish, chicken or fish dinner!

PRO TIP:  When snipping your fresh basil, bunch about 8 to 10 leaves, hold firming with your fingers and snip with kitchen shears. Also, be sure to only use the ripest tomatoes, and of course Heirlooms are best!

Added bonus tip: This recipe has been altered from the original in my cookbook. You can go to my blog at www.fordragonfliesandme.com to purchase my original cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats. The cookbook has almost 1000 recipes on almost 500 pages! Check out the Cookbook Testimonials while you’re there!

Italian Wedding Soup with Cheese Tortellini

Several years ago my good friend Kate Lawson, former food writer for The Detroit News shared her Italian Wedding soup recipe with my daughter. It quickly became one my families favorites. I have of course altered it to be my own & to suit our taste buds over the years. Hers was of course dynamite, but I love to be creative in the kitchen.

Pro Tip: I always use fresh veggies from the garden or the farmers market if in season & if not I purchase them. Fresh veggies always give a much fresher flavor to this delicious soup!

Meatballs:

1 pound lean ground beef
1 small red onion minced- about ½ cup
1 egg (farm fresh are best)
¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 fresh clove of garlic, minced
1 TBSP Italian Seasoning- see my recipe here: https://bit.ly/3dRCzIW
½ tsp Himalayan sea salt
½ tsp fresh ground pepper

  1. In a large bowl mix all ingredients until evenly blended.
  2. Form into walnut size or 1” balls.
  3. Place on a cookie sheet and place in the fridge for 30 minutes until firm.
    Makes approximately 24-28 meatballs.

While the meatballs are setting, start soup.

1 TBSP butter
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 cup sliced baby carrots- cut into ¼ inch coins
½ cup minced red onion, packed
1 fresh clove of garlic, minced
1- 48oz container of beef broth
4-6 tomatoes pureed to make 2 cups OR 1- 16 ounce can of diced tomatoes or sauce
(I like to use either a variety of Heirloom tomatoes or Roma’s)
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ tsp Himalayan sea salt
½ tsp fresh ground pepper
1- 16 ounce bag of 5 cheese tortellini
1 cup baby spinach, packed

  1. In a large pot put oil, butter, onions, carrots, and minced garlic in. Cook on medium heat for approximately 7-10 minutes or until veggies are fork tender.
  2. Add meatballs into veggie mixture, mix thoroughly, and sauté meatballs until golden brown on outside- approximately 10 minutes.
  3. Add broth, tomato puree, parmesan cheese, salt & pepper; stir until thoroughly blended, cover and cook for 30 minutes on medium heat stirring occasionally bringing to a low boil.
  4. Add tortellini and spinach, stir in and cook for 7 minutes.

This is a hearty soup and is delicious served with fresh Italian bread. Sprinkle a bit of freshly grated parmesan cheese on top & enjoy!

What’s your favorite soup? Tell me in the comments!

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Happy day friends,
Jean

My Cookbook is Returning… mid to end of September!