Fresh Vegetable, Sage, and Ricotta Flatbread

I’m something of a pizza fanatic. Blame it on my Italian blood. Pizza is a simple idea, with many variations. I love pizza with adventurous combo’s and gourmet touches. A while back on one of my pizza tastings, I tore a bite out of a slice that had been delicately herbed with sage.  Miraculous! I instantly stored the idea in the back of my brain to pull out in the kitchen later on. Read More

Homemade Tomato Sauce

As requested, a recipe for delicious, fresh, homemade tomato sauce.

If there’s one thing an Italian child is raised on, it’s tomatoes. Italians are obsessed with tomatoes. I’ve even seen it go as far as a dinner conversation centered around the different kinds of tomatoes and their individuals uses – for a whole hour! Anyways, their obsession led to tomato sauce, which is something I think many of us could not live without. They’ve perfected it into one of the world’s best comfort foods, and it’s also pretty easy to make. I’ve taken tips from various individuals and come up with my own personal recipe. There’s nothing like homemade tomato sauce, so enjoy :)

Ingredients:

1 – 28oz Can of Whole Peeled Tomatoes

1 – 6oz Can of Tomato Paste

2 Extra Large Garlic Cloves (minced)

Approx 10 Basil Leaves (ripped into thirds)

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tsp Dried Oregano

10 Cherry Tomatoes

½ Cup 2% Milk

Salt and Pepper to taste

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Directions:

Place olive oil, garlic, and half of your basil into a sauce pan to sauté

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Once your garlic is browned, lower the heat as low as it will go, add in tomato paste and whole peeled tomatoes (it’s important to lower the heat A LOT so that it doesn’t explode all over you when you pour in the peeled tomatoes). Sprinkle with oregano, add remaining basil, and stir.

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Turn the heat up to about a medium flame. Once it starts boiling, lower heat and let simmer for about 25 minutes. Be sure to stir every 5-10minutes.

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While the tomato sauce is thickening you’ll want to peel the skins off of your cherry tomatoes. After you’ve peeled them, quarter each one.

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Once the sauce is almost to the desired consistency, put water on to boil for your pasta. As you do this, add the cherry tomatoes into the mixture so they have about 5-10 minutes of simmer time. Once you’re ready to throw in the pasta, turn off the sauce’s burner, and slowly stir in milk. Let sit until pasta is ready.

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Drizzle over or mix into pasta.

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Summer Spring Rolls

I love spring rolls, but when they’re fried, I can’t really eat them without feeling some guilt. That’s why these rice paper spring rolls are great. Fill them up with fruit and veggies, and you have a guilt free, fresh, summer hors d’oeuvre. You can find the rice paper wrappers at any Asian market, or I usually buy mine from our local Whole Foods. Messing around with combinations for filling is half the fun, but this combo has proven to be a favorite amongst my friends. It’s also one of my own favorites – easy, no cook, and so utterly fresh tasting.

You’ll Need:

1 avocado cut into slices

1 mango, peeled and sliced into strips

½ cup of cherry tomatoes, quartered

1 carrot, shredded

4 leaves of red leaf lettuce, torn up into pieces

2 sprigs of cilantro

9 rice paper wrappers

Basin filled with hot water to soak wrappers in

Directions:

Soak wrapper in hot water until it becomes pliable and bendy.

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Take the rice paper out, and lay it out on a kitchen towel to absorb some of the excess water. Pile on a bit of each ingredient right in the center of the wrapper.

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To roll it up, first fold up the lower half, keeping everything tightly together

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Then fold in either side

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And roll it up the rest of the way

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Do the same for each spring roll. Serve with any dipping sauce you would like. Chili dipping sauce or soy sauce are two that taste great

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