Spaghetti Sauce

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As you all know, I completely love cheese… and chocolate… and butter… (it’s a wonder I became a dietitian, everything in moderation right??)… But I’m not sure I have completely displayed my love of pasta. It is truly one of the best things on earth! And I’ll take it in any shape, it doesn’t matter, it’s all good! There is nothing like sitting down at the end of long, cold day with a plate of spaghetti, with my mom’s spaghetti sauce. This may be one of my favorite meals of all time, and that is saying something, seeing as I love food! This sauce is hearty and full of flavor. The best part is that you can fashion it to your own liking, or by whatever you have on hand. I like to load mine with veggies, especially in the summer when I have so many from the garden I don’t know what to do with (although then I like to make it completely from scratch using fresh tomatoes).

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This sauce is a very simple recipe. I use ground beef, red and green bell pepper, mushrooms, onions, garlic, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, some spices, and a jar of pre-made spaghetti sauce. It just adds a little heartiness to sauce. However if you would like to just add another can of crushed tomatoes that would work great too, just make sure to add a little more seasoning.

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To make the sauce start by browning some ground beef in a large pan, when it is almost done, add onions and saute until tender. Drain mixture. In the same pan, add a little olive oil and saute some diced bell pepper, mushrooms, and garlic. When those have browned, add in a can of diced tomatoes, a can of crushed tomatoes, and your jar of store bought spaghetti sauce. Then add in your spices, including salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Stir everything to combine, then but the beef and onion mixture back into the pot, and stir into sauce. Cover the sauce and let it simmer over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes. Give it a taste to make sure it is to your liking and add any spices if needed. Serve over a big pot of hot spaghetti, and enjoy!

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Spaghetti Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, any color
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 15oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 32 oz Jar Store Bought Spaghetti Sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Brown ground beef in a large pot. Add onion and cook until tender, then drain beef mixture. In same pot saute bell pepper, mushrooms, and garlic in a little olive oil, and cook until tender. Add in both tomatoes and jar of spaghetti sauce. Then add in spices, stir to combine. Pour beef mixture back into the pan and combine. Cover pot and let sauce simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over spaghetti.

Chicken Parmesan

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Last night I made chicken Parmesan for dinner. And let me tell you, it was SO good! My husband had four pieces, and if that doesn’t tell you how good it was then I don’t know what will. I love it when he really enjoys my cooking. It’s one of the little pleasures in my life. After a long day at work, coming home and cooking for him really makes my day. Especially when it turns out as well as it did last night with the chicken Parmesan.

Start by cooking the chicken. Season the chicken with a little salt and pepper. Then dredge the chicken in some flour. You could also use panko crumbs for a crunchier texture. Put some olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot put the chicken in the skillet. Cook the chicken until golden brown, about 5 minutes, and turn the chicken to cook the other side.

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Once the chicken is golden brown on all sides, and cooked through, place aside on a plate. At this point, turn the burner down to medium and add some chopped garlic to the pan and sauté for about a minute. Next add a jar of spaghetti sauce. I used a jar of homemade sauce that I canned earlier in August. It was made with tomatoes from my garden, some Chianti wine, garlic, onion, basil and oregano. I also added a 15 oz can of regular tomato sauce to the pan to give it an extra tomato flavor. When that comes to a simmer,add a little bit more basil to the sauce. After everything is incorporated, place the chicken back in the sauce and let everything get hot.

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In the meantime, cook some spaghetti in a pot of boiling water. Once the spaghetti gets close to done, add some parmesan cheese (a big handful if you like cheese as much as I do) to the top of the chicken and place a lid on top of the skillet and let the cheese melt. Serve chicken and sauce over the hot spaghetti and you have a wonderfully rich and cheesy meal. This one is definitely worth the effort!

 

Enjoy!

 

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Chicken Parmesan

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Chicken Breasts
  • 2-3 Tbsp Flour
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 15 oz. jar Spaghetti Sauce
  • 1 15 oz. can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Basil
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • Cooked spaghetti

 

Directions:

 

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat, and add olive oil. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour, so both sides are covered. Once oil is hot, add chicken to pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Then flip the chicken and cook the other side for an additional 5 minutes. Once both sides are golden brown, and cooked through, set chicken aside. Turn heat down to medium, and add chopped garlic to skillet, and brown for about a minute. Then add spaghetti sauce and tomato sauce and bring to a simmer, then add basil. Place chicken back in skillet, and bring sauce back to a simmer. Add Parmesan cheese to the top of chicken, and cover skillet to allow cheese to melt. After about 3 minutes, remove the lid and serve chicken and sauce over hot spaghetti.