Friday, December 14, 2007


I love trying new pasta sauces, just by switching up the types of tomatoes, herbs & wine, you can invent a different red pasta sauce every time you cook. I have just discovered fire roasted tomatoes, and LOVE them. They just add another dimension to recipes, I have also used them in chili.

The ingredients for this sauce are accurate, however, the measurements are really close estimates. Sometimes I just get caught up in trying different things, and forget to write the exact numbers down. But have fun and experiment.

Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce with Meatballs Sauce:

1 (28 oz) can Muir Glen Crushed Fire Roasted tomatoes
1 (28 oz) can Muir Glen Whole Fire Roasted tomatoes, crushed into small pieces by hand
8-10 small button mushrooms, sliced
4 oz tomato paste (or more depending on how much liquid/how long the sauce simmers)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup onions
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper (or to taste)
handful of freshly chopped parsley

Heat olive oil in pot on medium heat, add onions & mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and 2 oz tomato paste and cook for an additional 4 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, except for fresh parsley, including partially cooked meatballs. Bring sauce to a simmer and cook for 3 hours on low-medium. Stir gently (don't break the meatballs, they will be soft!) every half hour, add more tomato paste if necessary to thicken, or simmer uncovered. Add fresh parsley in the last 20 minutes of cooking.

Serve with pasta, Parmesan cheese & some fresh parsley. I love pairing this with a salad & homemade roasted garlic bread.


1 lb lean ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced onions
1/4 cup , plus a tablespoon or more of grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 - 2/3 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup, plus a couple of tablespoons of skim milk
1 egg, beaten
a dash of salt & pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 tsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 375. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and form meatballs. I like to make them medium size so they do not take as long to cook. Place formed meatballs on a greased/non stick baking sheet, and bake for 25 minutes, turning once.

Drain off any excess drippings on a paper towel. Carefully add to the sauce to finish cooking.

Homemade Roasted Garlic Bread

6 clices crusty Italian bread
4 cloves garlic, roasted (put unpeeled cloves of garlic either in tin foil on a baking sheet or in a muffin tin, drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper, and roast on 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until golden)
2-3 tablespoons softened butter
fresh chopped parsley

Sorry no picture. But...allowed the garlic to cool, then squeezed them, and mixed it with the butter & parsley together and spread on bread. I drizzled with a bit of olive oil. Then I put the bread slices on a baking sheet in the oven on 350 for 5-8 minutes. Just watch it - it depends on how toasted you like it. This was sort of an improv kind of garlic bread, so I apologize for not being more specific ;)

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