Strawberry French Toast

_DSC0252What better way to start a Sunday morning than by serving delicious french toast to those you love most? OMG what a cute rhyme! I didn’t even plan for that…

This past Sunday morning I whipped up some french toast with a delicious twist. Instead of using maple syrup, I created my own strawberry maple syrup topping- and it was not only awesome- but so easy.

Begin by dicing up some strawberries. _DSC0235Next, heat a small sauce pan and add some butter. Add the chopped strawberries, some sugar, a touch of cinnamon and mix. Let it melt down for a few minutes over low heat and add a few tablespoons of maple syrup. Mix once again and then begin on the french toast.

I used cinnamon swirl bread for this one. This is one of my favorite types of bread to use for french toast because it adds a little something extra- the burst of cinnamon in the french toast is wonderful.

_DSC0236Prepare an egg wash for the french toast using egg, milk, a drop of half and half, vanilla extract and cinnamon. You can use a different type of extract if you prefer but I like vanilla with this one :). Whisk it together and dip each side of the bread into the wash.

Make sure the skillet has been heating up and is hot before you add the toast. Butter the skillet.

_DSC0242Wait until the toast is nicely browned on each side. Meanwhile- give the strawberries a nice stir.

Plate the toast and pour strawberries over. You can serve this with butter and whipped cream if you really want to indulge! Ya only live once…

_DSC0258Frankie and I split the first serving. It was done in a matter of seconds…

One of the zillion reasons why I love him so much…._DSC0266 _DSC0263 _DSC0271

Strawberry French Toast

About 6 Servings

For the Strawberry topping:

  • 2 c. diced strawberries
  • 2 tbs. butter
  • 2 tbs. sugar
  • 2 tbs. maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice (optional)

For the French Toast:

  • Cinnamon Swirl Bread
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbs. milk
  • 1 drop of half and half
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Butter to grease skillet

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the strawberries and sugar. Mix. Lower the heat and add the maple syrup, salt and cinnamon (lemon juice if desired).

Meanwhile begin whisking the eggs, milk, half and half, vanilla and cinnamon for the french toast. Dip each slice of bread in the wash and place on buttered, hot skillet. Cook until a light golden brown color on each side. Pour strawberry mixture over the toast and serve hot. Add whipped cream and butter if desired before serving.

 

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Shrimp Sushi Salad with Honey Soy Glaze

photo 3It has been a week full of eating for me, and when I say eating…I mean eating everything in sight without a care in the world. I told myself that after this weekend I am going to start eating a “cleaner” diet, so I can get in shape for summer and of course, my wedding.

I really was craving sushi for lunch today but decided that instead of going out for sushi, I would make my own healthy twist on my favorite shrimp roll. Why not start the health kick a few days early. And let me tell you, this healthy lunch will not leave you unsatisfied. It was absolutely delicious and I think this may be one of my new favorites. DSC_0149Did I mention I got a new camera? Finally, I can really begin to learn the art of food photography. I am so excited about it too. I have no clue how to edit pictures yet but I will slowly be figuring it out and hopefully there will be some picture progress recorded on this blog. My fiance Frankie really invested in me with this one and that’s why I love him so much. He believes in me more than I do sometimes :). Thanks dink!!

This meal was such an easy one to prepare. Just cut up some tomatoes and cucumbers. Oh and some avocado too….DSC_0158I happened to have some pre-cooked shrimp in the fridge that I just diced into bite size pieces. Next time I may try tuna- I’m sure both would be just as delicious.

photo (21)

Next, I whipped up a simple soy honey glaze using soy sauce, honey, dijon mustard, a squeeze of lemon and some olive oil. DSC_0175Mix it all together and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top. Voila. Bon Apetit.

photo 2 photo 1

Shrimp Sushi Salad with Honey Soy Glaze

Serves 2 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb cooked shrimp (cleaned and shells removed)
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1/3 c grape tomatoes cut in half
  • Sesame seeds for topping

For the Glaze

  • 2 tbs. honey
  • 2 tbs. lite soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 tbs of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. olive oil

Dice all ingredients to be about the same size and combine in a mixing bowl. For the glaze, in a separate bowl whisk together all ingredients. Pour desired amount of glaze over salad and toss lightly. Sprinkle sesame seeds over top and toss once more. Enjoy! Serve cold.

*If you are not using pre cooked shrimp- best if you wait until the shrimp cool before serving. Enjoy!

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Lidia’s Apple Crumble

photo 6Is it already Monday? And is it really the middle of March already? I can’t believe how fast the time is flying this year. I am less than 3 months away from my wedding and the day-of nightmares have begun. Last night, my hairdresser never showed up for the big day and I forgot to call of the vendors confirming that they were going to show up. I think I probably need to get used to these dreams….

I had my bridal shower last weekend and it was absolutely the most perfect day I could have ever dreamed of. The amount of planning and personal touches that were put into the shower truly touched by heart. They even themed it after this very blog! How cute is that!?! From the pink candy bar, to the tricky tray raffle (with each basket dedicated to a specific part of Frankie and my journey), to the life size cutout of myself, to the cooking demonstration and so much more. It was truly a day to remember.

Here are some photos I wanted to share from my special day.

19789_358242557700760_7445808179527590793_n 11016823_354649688060047_351688446960170839_n 11027958_358241567700859_3057468020311118976_n 11043259_354832318041784_958596587005805216_nIt’s so easy for me to get side tracked these days. Back to the REAL reason I blogged today. Apple Crumble. This was a recipe Frankie and I saw on Saturday night on one of Lidia Bastianich’s cooking shows and our mouths quickly began to water. We NEEDED to make it the next day, and, well, here we are.

What could be bad about apples, brown sugar, butter and some crumbles? The answer is nothing. This dessert was a wonderful blend of sweetness, a touch of lemon and that wonderful crumble texture that everyone has to love. And to top it off, it was easy.

Begin by peeling, coring and cutting up 6 apples. The recipe calls for Granny Smith’s but I used whatever I had in the fridge- none of which were grannys.

photo 1Next, mix 1 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and nutmeg in large bowl.

photo 3Add the apples and 1 cup of dried cherries. Sprinkle with lemon juice and toss to coat.

*If you don’t want to or don’t have dried cherries- you can leave them out or add some other berry! Up to you.

photo 2Transfer to a buttered 9×13 baking dish.

photo 10Now it’s time for the crumb topping. My favorite part. Using your fingertips, mix the butter, brown sugar, lemon peel, remaining 1 1/2 cups flour, and remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon in medium bowl until moist clumps form. It should resemble wet sand.

photo 4Sprinkle it all over the mixture. It will look weird. Don’t worry- once its brown and crumbly after being in the oven, you’ll forget alllll about it.

photo 11Cook for about an hour and voila! Enjoy with some whipped cream or ice cream.

photo 7 photo 8 photo 9Lidia’s Apple Crumble

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 4 cups)
1 cup dried cherries (about 6 ounces)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
1 cup chilled whipping cream
Vanilla ice cream

PREPARATION
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 13x9x2-inch oval ceramic baking dish. Mix 1 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and nutmeg in large bowl. Add apples, pears, and dried cherries to bowl; sprinkle with lemon juice and toss to coat. Transfer to prepared dish.

Using fingertips, mix butter, brown sugar, lemon peel, remaining 1 1/2 cups flour, and remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon in medium bowl until moist clumps form. Crumble butter mixture over fruit.

Bake until fruit bubbles at edges and crumble is crisp and beginning to brown on top, about 1 hour. Cool about 20 minutes.

Spoon crumble into bowls and serve with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.

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Lentil Soup with Sausage

photo 7What do ya know, another snow day! I have to say, I’m starting to get sick of all of this snow- although it does look beautiful from my warm home with a cup of tea in hand; but I think I’m just about ready for the spring. I wanted to make a comfort soup for my family (especially Frankie and my dad) for when the shoveling was all done. I had some lentils in the pantry- but I wanted to add something to spice it up a little- make it a little more hearty since they worked so hard. What better way to spice it up than by adding some hot Italian sausage?? It came out absolutely delicious! The perfect amount of heat to warm our bellies on this cold, cold day.

photo 1

To start, I removed the casings from the sausage and browned it in the pot. No olive oil or anything just plain ol’ spicy Italian sausages. YouknowhwhatImsayin’ *insert Italian/Brooklyn accent*.photo 4Meanwhile, I chopped up about a half a cup of celery, carrots and onions. And 2 cloves of garlic..photo 6photo 8Once the sausage was  browned, I removed it to a separate dish with a slotted spoon, added 2 tablespoons of butta and dumped all these beauties in to sauté. Remember to scrape the bottom of the pan after you remove the sausage- that’s where all the good stuff is!photo 5Once the onion gets a bit translucent, after about 2-3 minutes, over medium heat, add back the sausage.photo 3Then a can of San Marzano whole tomatoes with the juice. I chopped the tomatoes up first- but that’s up to you…

11Let this simmer for about 20-25 minutes uncovered. After the 25ish minutes- add the lentils, beef broth and salt & pepper. Remember- you may need to continue to add liquid as the soup cooks. Lentils tend to absorb a TON of liquid. I added almost 2 cartons of beef broth- and then some water. If you run out of beef broth- no problem! Water will do the trick!

12Place the cover on the pot and bring to a steady simmer for about 45 minutes or until the lentils are done. Serve with parmesan cheese and if you like the extra spice, red pepper flakes are great. Enjoy!

photo 2

Lentil Soup with Sausage

Ingredients

  • 1 lb spicy Italian sausage (casings removed)
  • 2 tbs. of butter
  • 1/2 c. chopped carrots
  • 1/2 c. chopped celery
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 can whole San Marzano tomatoes
  • 32 oz. beef broth (plus extra if you like a soupier soup hehe or use water)
  • 1 lb. lentils washed in cold water
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Parmesan for serving

Brown the sausage in a large pot over medium heat. Once browned, remove from pot with slotted spoon and set aside. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon and add 2tbs. of butter. Add the carrots, celery & onion and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add in the garlic and saute for another minute. Add the tomatoes, reduce the heat and simmer for about 20-25 minutes.

Rinse the lentils in cold water. After the 25 minutes, add in the lentils, beef broth and salt and pepper. Cover the pot and cook at a steady simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you notice the liquid is being absorbed, continue to add beef broth or water until the soup is at a consistency you like.

Serve hot with parmesan cheese.

*This can be made ahead*

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Golden Grahams S’mores Bars

photo 1Another cold, cold day and cold weekend coming up. I am losing my fiance to the temptation of a weekend snowmobiling upstate, yet again. I have to send him up with some goodies- or I’m not sure he’d come back. A nice warm pot of chili and this twist on the ol’ campfire smores should do the trick.

I admit, I got a little carried away with taking these pictures in “natural” light. It was a little too bright… So excuse the glare in some of the photos. Doesn’t take away from the taste of these treats- I can assure you of that.

Any snack with Golden Grahams involved is alright in my book. This recipe was one I got from Betty Crocker herself (or her website) and I think it has the perfect amount of each essential ingredient. One box of GG’s will do the trick for this.

photo 7Microwavable bowl, marshmallows, chocolate chips, butter, light corn syrup.

That was easy.

photo 6Microwave.

I put it in for 2 minutes and took it out after each minute to mix it. This was after the first minute.

photo 5And this was after the second….

photo 4I’m getting spoiled with how easy this is.

Pour this mixture over the cereal. This is some sticky s*&^..don’t say I didn’t warn you. The mixing part is the toughest- which is why if you need to get the mixture smoother in the microwave- don’t be afraid to throw it back in.

photo 3Ohhhhhh yeaaaaaaaaaaaa. (you can add whole marshmallows here- I highly recommend it- I ran out, so make sure you buy 2 bags if you plan to add this step in)

Press it into a buttered 13×9 inch pan with a buttered spatula. (I told you it was sticky!!!)

Let stand at room temperature for an hour and enjoy! If you need to leave overnight- do not cover tightly- it will get soggy.

photo 2

Golden Grahams S’mores Bars

Ingredients

8 cups Golden Grahams cereal
5 cups miniature marshmallows
1 1/2cups milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup light corn syrup
5 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup miniature marshmallows, if desired

Directions

Into large bowl, measure cereal. Butter 13×9-inch pan. In large microwavable bowl, microwave 5 cups marshmallows, the chocolate chips, corn syrup and butter uncovered on High 2 minutes to 3 minutes 30 seconds, stirring after every minute, until melted and smooth when stirred. Stir in vanilla.

Pour over cereal; quickly toss until completely coated. Stir in 1 cup marshmallows.

Press mixture evenly in pan, using buttered back of spoon. Let stand uncovered at least 1 hour, or refrigerate if you prefer a firmer bar. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Store loosely covered at room temperature up to 2 days.

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Honey Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

photo 2 (2)Usually on a Sunday after Church, we look forward to our Prosciutto sandwich tradition (see the link for recipe/ photos) (http://www.thesweettasteoflove.com/prosciutto-mozzarella-and-roasted-pepper-sandwich/) ; but today was different. As I said in my last few posts- I have been making an attempt to come up with some healthier recipes and this was one that really worked. It was absolutely delicious- a perfect blend of flavors and healthy nonetheless.

I can’t say I didn’t miss my favorite sandwich, but this definitely eased the pain…

I began by dicing up some butternut squash…DSC02761Easy enough, right?

After, I took about 2 tablespoons of honey and about a half a tablespoon of butter and melted it for 10 or so seconds in the microwave. I took it out, mixed it together and poured the mixture over the squash- then I took my hands and sh** got messy. Sprinkled some salt and pepper, and voila! It was ready for the 400 degree oven.

photo (10)

photo (9)Oh and as a side note- the amount of honey and butter I used, when spread to all the butternut squash does not make it “unhealthy” at least not in my book. But if it makes you feel better you can omit the mixture and sprinkle some olive oil, salt & pepper. I can guarantee it will still be delicious- but not as delicious as honey roasting. Just sayin’… 🙂

While they were roasting I made a super yummy and very easy honey balsamic dressing. (Recipe to follow.)

photo (11)Now time to put it all together.

photo 1 (1)

Manjia!

Honey Balsamic Dressing

  • 1/4 c Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tbs. honey
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • dash of dried oregano

Whisk it all together and serve.

Honey Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 2 tbs. honey for tossing
  • 1/2 tbs. butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Spinach Lettuce
  • Craisins
  • Goat Cheese
  • 1 recipe of honey balsamic salad dressing

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and dice the butternut squash. Place the honey and butter in the microwave for about 10 seconds and drizzle over the butternut squash. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes or until tender.

Assemble the salad beginning with the spinach. Place the honey roasted squash on top. Sprinkle with craisins and goat cheese. You may want to add some crushed cashews or chopped pecans if you like nuts. Drizzle with the honey balsamic dressing. Serve and enjoy!

(Sidenote: It is difficult to give measurements for salad garnishes- use your judgement and if you like more of something and less of something else- do it! There are no rules!)

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Raspberry, White Chocolate, Granola Treat

photo (7)Here’s a little sweetness for your Friday! I have been trying my best to eat healthy in the New Year but I have a slight, two-word problem; sweet tooth. No matter what I eat- I ALWAYS feel like I need something sweet afterwards. I know, I know- craving sweets might mean I’m not nourishing properly- but hey, if a touch of white chocolate in my otherwise “healthy” snack is going to be the worst thing I do all day- so be it.

This is too simple to even make a recipe- and you can change the ingredients however you like, but here is what I used to create this sweet afternoon snack:

  • Low-fat Raspberry yogurt (only used half)
  • Honey Bunches of Oats (Morning Energy Cinnamon Crunch)
  • Fresh raspberries
  • White chocolate morsels

Took all of 3 minutes to prepare this. And the lighting was perfect outside :). I’m finally realizing the real secret to great pictures is great natural light. Have a great weekend everyone!

photo (8)

 

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Strawberry-Nectarine-Banana Green Tea Smoothie

 photo 2

Now that is a mouthful of a title, isn’t it? I really wanted to call it “Strawberry-Nectarine-Banana-Acai-Melon-Dragonfruit-Coconut Milk & Honey Smoothie” but I was outvoted. Just kidding, but seriously. All of the ingredients sound so wonderful together so it’s hard to just pick a few for the post title!

I haven’t posted in soooo long but I am very excited to get back into the swing of things and to start posting some more health conscious recipes. Now don’t get me wrong- I love myself a hearty meal, or two, or three, but I need to get myself in a wedding dress in 4 months and counting. EEEEEEEEEEK!!!

For lunch today I wanted to throw something together quickly- and this was perfect after my workout. There aren’t many steps or directions that you need to worry about for this one. Just know that it is delicious, refreshing and extremely healthy!

DSC02746You can use regular green tea for this- but I saw this in my tea collection and got soooo excited. I highly recommend it! What I did with the green tea was: I boiled water as if I was making myself a cup of tea and dissolved the tea bag into it (I only did a half a cup so the flavor was more concentrated). Then, I added the honey to the tea and mixed it- and set aside to add to the blender.

photo 1

I didn’t lie- I did add a banana.

Didn’t even peel skin off or chop anything up just threw it in the blender like so. Added all the ingredients and voila! Most refreshing part of my day!

photo 5 Strawberry-Nectarine-Banana Green Tea Smoothie

Ingredients for 2 servings

  • 3 tbs. water
  • 1 bag of green tea (I used acai, dragonfruit & melon green tea)
  • 2 tsp honey
  • ½ banana
  • ½ nectarine
  • ¼ c coconut milk
  • ¼ c plain yogurt
  • Ice about 1 c (more or less to your preference)

Boil the water for the tea (less than a half a cup) and add the tea bag. Allow to brew for about 2 minutes and remove the bag. Stir in the honey until it dissolves into the tea.

Combine all the ingredients in the blender along with ice. Some blenders may need more liquid to crush the ice (in this case add more tea). Blend until smooth. Serve and enjoy!

Italian Anise Christmas Cookies

photo 1‘Tis the season and the holiday baking is in full force! There is something about the tradition of baking Christmas cookies and other holiday treats that gets me soooo in the mood for Christmas. I feel like it’s not just the night of Christmas eve, or Christmas day that I look forward to so much, but it’s the entire holiday season leading up to it (which for me starts in October :)).

The best part of the holidays for me at least, is just spending time doing fun things with the people I love, and holiday baking is at the top of my list of “fun things.” It doesn’t take much to set the mood, except for a little Christmas music and maybe some hot chocolate! This Saturday I will be spending the entire day baking with Frankie’s side of the family and hopefully I will come out of it with some delicious posts- but in the meantime, this one is an easy and guaranteed success!

For cookies, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition and then add in the anise extract. You can use almond extract also or even lemon! This is where you can get creative, but I lovvvvvvvveeeeee that anise flavor. The batter will be very watery at this point, like so:DSC02689Next, mix the flour and baking powder together well and start by adding about 1/3 of these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, then add 1 T. milk. Add another third of the flour and another 1 T. milk. Finally, mix in enough of the remaining flour.DSC02690The dough will be extremely sticky. There- I warned you. If you want to shape the cookies nicely- wet your hands a little big- it will be much easier to handle.DSC02693Use a 1 T. spoon or cookie scooper to make round drop cookies – or make them into whatever small shape you want! They do rise so take note of that…

Then just bake them for 10-12 minutes (they shouldnt be brown at all, the inside will be cake-like. Set Aside and prepare the icing. (SO easy) You can’t mess it up!

For the icing: mix sugar, milk and extract to make a sugar glaze. Hold the cooled cookie in your hand and turn upside down so you can dip the top half in the glaze; turn over and top with sprinkles right away so they will stick.

VOILA!

photo (6)photo 2

Italian Anise Christmas Cookies

Makes about 40 (depending on size)

COOKIE

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons anise extract (or almond extract)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (may need up to 3 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 -3 tablespoons milk

ICING

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon anise extract
  • Non-pareil Sprinkles

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

For cookies, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add anise extract.

Blend flour and baking powder. Start by adding about 1/3 of these dry ingredients to the butter/sugar in your mixer, then add 1 T. milk. Add another third of the flour and another 1 T. milk. Finally, mix in enough of the remaining flour until your dough is like a brownie batter (it should be softer than a drop cookie dough).

Use a 1 T. cookie scooper to make simple round drop cookies.

Bake cookies 10-12 minutes (they won’t be brown but the insides will be soft and cake-like).

For icing:

Mix sugar, milk and extract to make a sugar glaze.
Hold cookie in your hand and turn upside down so you can dip the top half in the glaze; turn over and immediately top with sprinkles so they will stick.

Allow icing to harden overnight; then store in air-tight containers or freeze.

Bolognese Meat Sauce

photo 8There is nothing like a hearty pasta dish with a glass of red wine on a winter night. I have been loving the Christmas season and the coziness of laying in front of the fire at nights with my family, watching movies, decorating the house and the tree, and all the other fun things that go along with this time of year. It is the most wonderful time of the year, isn’t it?

I have been MIA for a while. Let me just say, blogging is a heck of a lot of work. It’s fun when you’re in the mood for it- but otherwise- it’s time consuming. And it’s super easy to find everything else that needs to get done in your life instead of posting about food. I have pictures of food that will last me a ton of posts right now- so hopefully there will be more frequency to come :).

This is one of Frankie’s favorite meals- I only made it once last year- and as a treat again this year for our “tree lighting party”. I have a feeling a tradition has begun! photo 6A few things to keep in mind before preparing this delicious bolognese sauce:

  • The more fat in the meat- the tastier the sauce will be
  • If you want to add a bit of ground pork it will make this all the more tasty- if possible
  • Add salt right away when sautéing the meat

You begin this dish by putting the oil, butter and chopped onion in the pot, setting the heat to medium.photo 3Cook and stir the onion until is translucent, then add the chopped celery and carrot. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring the veggies to coat them well.photo 4Add the ground beef, sprinkle it right away with salt and a little bit of pepper and stir it well until the beef is browned. Once it is brown, add the milk and let it simmer- stirring frequently until it has bubbled away and add a tiny pinch of nutmeg.

As a side note, we cook the meat in milk before adding wine and tomatoes to protect it from the acidic bite of the wine. I learned this from my favorite Italian cookbook :).photo 2Don’t panic if the milk combo looks a bit yellow because of the butter- looks a little funky but I promise the taste will be DEEEEELICIOUSSSS.

Add the white wine and let it simmer until it has evaporated and then add the tomatoes and sauce and stir it well. When the tomatoes begin to bubble, turn the heat down to the lowest option so that the sauce can cook at the lowest heat. photo 1Cook uncovered for 3 hours or even more (the more the better the flavor will be). You will notice that when the sauce is cooking it begins to try out and the fat will likely separate from the meat. To keep it from sticking, continue the cooking adding 1/2 cup of water whenever you need. At the end, no water should be left and the fat should separate from the sauce. Taste and add salt if needed.

Note: I did not need to add any water- see photo below for consistency towards the end of cooking.photo 7Cook whatever pasta you choose to go along with this sauce- my favorite is rigatoni. Toss it with butter and serve with red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese. And a nice red wine :). Enjoy!

photo 5

 Bolognese Meat Sauce

Serves about 6 (1 1/2 lbs. pasta)

  • 1 tbs. vegetable oil
  • 3 tbs. butter (plus 1 for tossing the pasta)
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 2/3 c. chopped celery
  • 3/4 c. chopped cattor
  • 3/4- 1 lb. of beef chuck
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 can imported San Marzano tomatoes (28 oz) with the juices
  • 1 1/2 lbs. pasta
  • red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese for serving

Put the oil, butter and chopped onion in the pot and turn the heat to medium. Cook and stir until the onion is translucent and then add the chopped celery and carrot. Cook for about 3 minutes and stir to coat.

Add the ground beef, a large sprinkle of salt and a few grindings of fresh pepper. Crumble the meat with a fork and stir well until the meat is browned.

Add the milk and let it simmer gently- stirring frequently until it has bubbled away completely. Add the nutmeg and stir.

Add the wine and let it simmer until it evaporates and then add the tomatoes and stir to coat all the ingredients well. When the tomatoes begin to bubble, turn the heat down so that the sauce cooks at the smallest simmer. Cook uncovered for 3 hours or more- stirring frequenly. If the sauce dries out- you can add 1/2 c water as needed but in the end no water should remain and the fat should separate from the sauce.

Taste and add salt if needed.

Boil the pasta in salted water and coat with butter when done. Add the sauce and serve with parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes on the side.