Tag Archives: tomatoes

Tomato, Sausage, and Peccorino Pasta

I initially ate pasta, then black listed it, and now i’m bringing it back.  I have such a love-hate relationship with pasta.  But I love it more than I hate it, so I can’t steer clear forever.  I came across this on the Cooking Light website and thought this would be a great way to add pasta to my meals with out domming myself and slipping into a carb coma.  It was delicious and even a hit with Brad.  Win-win!  I will definitely be making this again and SOON.  Also, this is a shout out to Michelle who really wanted to see this recipe up three weeks ago. 🙂  Better late than never, right?

My only substitution was instead of using fresh tomatoes, i used canned diced tomatoes with some oregano and basil seasoning.  I cut corners where I see fit.  I hate chopping tomatoes.

You’ll need:

8 ounces uncooked penne
8 ounces sweet Italian sausage
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup vertically sliced onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/4 pounds tomatoes, chopped
6 tablespoons grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove casings from sausage. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add sausage and onion to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring to crumble sausage. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in pasta, 2 tablespoons cheese, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and basil.

Delish! Go make this now. I’m serious.


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scalloped tomatoes

this should have been posted a while ago but somehow i let this one slip through my fingers.  at any rate, for the family christmas dinner, everyone brings something.  i took a different route this year and made ina garten’s scalloped tomatoes from her new book “How Easy Is That?”   something fresh to stand out of the cheese and carb loaded dishes.  yes, it would be better in the summer but a little summer in winter never hurt anyone.

you’ll need:

  • Good olive oil (in the spirit of Ina)

  • 2 cups (1/2-inch diced) bread
  • 16 plum tomatoes, cut 1/2-inch dice (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup julienned basil leaves, lightly packed
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.   add the bread cubes and stir to coat with the oil.  cook over medium to medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the cubes are evenly browned.

meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.  when the bread cubes are done, add the tomato mixture and continue to cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.  off the heat, stir in the basil.

pour the tomato mixture into a shallow (6 to 8 cup) baking dish.  sprinkle evenly with the parmesan cheese and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the top is browned and the tomatoes are bubbly.  serve hot or warm.

the dish was simple and a lot of reviews said that is super easy to make ahead.  it was a hit at christmas dinner.  i will be making this in the summer with a few tweaks.  overall, yum!


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Filed under side dish

Loretta’s Taco Pie

my mother makes this amazing casserole called “taco pie”.  now the name of it seems a little deceiving because there’s really nothing taco-y about it.  nor is it a pie.  regardless, it’s yummy.  i even requested it for my birthday dinner, so you know it has to be good!

  • 1 lb. ground meat  (turkey or beef)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 1 can green chilies
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup Bisquick
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tomatoes , sliced
  • 1 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 can black olive,drained, cut into thirds

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease pie plate.  Cook and stir ground meat until brown.  drain.  Stir in seasoning mix.  Spread into plate, top with chilies.  Beat milk, baking mix and eggs until smooth; add corn and olives. Pour into plate.  Bake 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted comes clean.  Take out of oven; top with sliced tomatoes and cheese.  Bake for 8 – 10 minutes longer.  Cool before serving.  Serve with sour cream,  hot sauce, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce and shredded cheese if desired.

taco pie is best when doubled.  more fiesta to eat!

thanks mom!


Filed under dinner, lunch

gnocchi with spinach and white beans

every Thursday, Market Square by my work turns into a farmer’s market.  i went down last week and after a recommendation by a coworker, i bought some fresh frozen pasta from this guy’s pasta stand.  gnocchi is one of my favorite things to eat so i bought the whole wheat gnocchi.  i could have taken the easy road by cooking the gnocchi and dumping some pasta sauce on it but i decided to take an easier road to flavor town and made it with spinach and white beans. you will need:

  • olive oil
  • one package of gnocchi, cooked
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups chopped spinach leaves, fresh not frozen!
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings
  • 1 15-ounce can of white kidney beans, rinsed
  • cup of chopped zucchini
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

in a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  add the garlic and zucchini.  cook until the zucchini cooks down.  add the spinach and stir until it starts to wilt.  stir in the tomatoes, beans and ground pepper.  bring to a simmer.  stir in the gnocchi and turn the heat down.  simmer for another 5-10 minutes. serve with parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

i can’t believe how stinking simple this was.  and how stinking DELICIOUS.  and it’s even better the next day for lunch.  i love those kind of meals.  and i really enjoyed cooking with spinach.  it’s so simple and tasty, i might make it a point to start cooking with it more.  i highly recommend this for a quick weeknight meal with some flavor.  yum and YUM!


Filed under dinner

chicken “pizzaiola”

So I don’t remember exactly where I found this recipe but I’m glad I stumbled upon it.  The recipe itself says this dish “has all the taste of pizza without the guilt.”  I don’t know where the pizza part came into play because it certainly doesn’t strike me as a pizza alternative.  What I will say is that it is YUMMY.

You will need:

1 spray of non-stick spray
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 potatoes, peeled, and cut into 8 pieces
1 onion, chopped
2 green bell peppers, sliced lengthwise into 1/2″ pieces
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 can (14.5 oz) italian style diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth

Preheat the oven to 350.  Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat and spray with the nonstick spray.  Season the chicken on both sides with the salt and pepper.  Saute the chicken breasts until browned on both sides.  Transfer the chicken to a large plate and cover.

Add the potatoes, onion, peppers, oregano, and pepper flakes to the skillet. Saute for 10 to 15 minutes, until just tender.  Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and broth. Bring it to a boil, and remove from the heat.

Add the chicken breasts to the skillet, cover tightly, and place in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes, and serve.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well this dish came out.  Serving it over rice, or even pasta, is the best way to enjoy this so you can get all of the juices as well.  So simple and yummy!

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chili cheese mac

i’m surprised i have NOT posted this one.  i’ve made this a few times already but it has slipped by on the blog posts.  this might be one of my favorite dishes.  why?  it’s so simple and yummy!  AND it’s done in one pot.  just one!  you really can’t ask too much more from this recipe.

you will need:

  • 2/3 pound extra lean ground beef or turkey
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 29 oz. canned stewed tomatoes, mexican style undrained
  • 2 1/2 cups canned tomato juice
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 cup uncooked macaroni, elbow sized
  • 31 oz canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup low fat shredded cheddar cheese

coat a large skillet with cooking spray; set over medium-high heat. cook beef and onion until meat is browned, stirring and breaking up meat with a spoon as it cooks, about 10 minutes; drain off fat.

stir in undrained tomatoes and their juice, tomato juice, and chili powder; bring mixture to a boil.

stir in macaroni and beans; return to a boil. reduce heat, cover and simmer until macaroni is tender, about 15 minutes. spoon chili into bowls and sprinkle with cheese.

this stuff is so yummy and isn’t so bad for you if you ease up on the cheese.  this might be my new comfort dish.  this recipe makes a lot so i like to take it for lunch the next day (and dinner and lunch and dinner and lunch…etc).  if you’re feeling adventurous, serve it up on some tortillas and with hot sauce.  yum!

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Filed under dinner