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Tag Archives | Spaghetti

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Tender meatballs in rich marinara sauce served on spaghetti.

The Sauce: Marinara Sauce – Rich, full flavored, home simmered for a couple hours until the flavors meld into irresistible pasta sauce.

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 

Meatball day

Meatball day happens once a week in some households. In China narrow carts nudge around crowded tables offering the original ‘small plates’ with steamed meatballs and soy sauce. Glistening red lingonberry jam accents cream gravy seasoned with allspice and smothered Swedish meatballs. Maybe your favorite are the bristly Porcupine Meatballs with protruding rice that become popular on Depression era tables in the United States to stretch every food dollar. But let’s do Italy.

Spaghetti and MeatballsSouthern Italian meatballs are tender, juicy and immersed in rich tomato marinara. These, made with fresh bread crumbs, are way better than those with dry breadcrumbs. Traditionally served over spaghetti, any long pasta works such as fettucini, bucatini or fusilli lunghi. I’ve said before that ragu or bolognese sauce evenly distributes the meat over the pasta plus it’s faster. Maybe I’ll renege because these meatballs are well worth a little extra time. Is today your meatball day?

You might also enjoy Italian Bread Dipping Oil, Tuscan Tomato Trottole, Andrew’s Pizza, and Bramwell’s Spaghetti Sauce.

3 of 3 part series ”Marinara and Friends”. Part 1 Marinara Sauce and Part 2 Lasagna. More on Marinara.

2013 AniversaRecipe – Fish Sticks
2012 AniversaRecipe – Maple Oatmeal Scones
2011 AniversaRecipe – Perfect Pie Pastry

Recipe: Spaghetti and Meatballs

Active Time: 20 Minutes | Total Time: 35 Minutes | Yield: 4-6 Servings

Meatball Mix1 lb ground beef
1 egg
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese, plus extra for garnish
2 tsp chopped fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish
1/2 clove garlic, grated
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 to 1/1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 cup olive oil, for cooking
4-5 cups Marinara Sauce
hot cooked spaghetti

Special Equipment – large skillet, medium pot

1 Combine beef, eggs, cheese, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper and blend together with hands.

Forming Meatballs2 Add bread crumbs and work into meat mixture. Add water 1/2 cup at a time until mixture is very moist.

Brown Meatballs3 Heat oil in a large sauté pan until very hot but not smoking. Brown meatballs in batches with space between each ball; don’t over crowd. Once the bottom is very brown turn and cook top. Remove and drain on rack. Meatballs will continue to cook in the marinara sauce so they don’t need to be cooked all the way to the center.

4 Place the meatballs in simmering marinara sauce and cook for 15 minutes to meld flavors and cook through to the center. Serve alone or over pasta. Garnish Meatballs in Marinarawith extra Parmigiana-Reggiano and parsley.

To make fresh bread crumbs place several slices of bread in a food processor and process into crumbs.

Dry bread crumbs absorb too much liquid.

Bake the meatballs for 10-15 minutes on 375 degrees.

Use an small ice cream scoop to quickly form meatballs.

Serve over spaghetti squash to reduce carbs.

Form 2-inch or 3-inch size meatballs for spectacular, one giant meatball per serving. Simmer in the marinara sauce long enough to cook through the center.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange ground beef for meatloaf mix (ground beef, pork and veal) or use a combinatin of ground beef and turkey.
  • Exchange Parmigiana-Regianno for Pecorino Romano cheese.

Inspiration – Rao’s Meatballs
Cook with Sauces
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: April 18, 2014

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Marinara Sauce

Full bodied Marinara Sauce that stands alone or can be used in other pasta dishes.

The Sauce: Marinara Sauce – Rich, full flavored, home simmered for a couple hours until the flavors meld into irresistible pasta sauce.

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 

Dynamite marinara

My friend Debbie got me hooked on San Marzano tomatoes. I’m a relatively new convert to pancetta. These two are a dynamite combination for this simple, mere five ingredient marinara sauce. I’ve always believed marinara shouldn’t need more seasoning or other ingredients. When this sauce has slow simmered to the final Marinara Saucestages of tasting and seasoning, I’m tempted, well OK, I just give in and savor a small bowl of sauce dipped from the pot.

Of course that doesn’t mean that you can’t use it as a base for more complex pasta sauces like meatball sauce or lasagna. If you do you’ll have an Italian table right in your own home. Use it solo or try Tomato Cream Sauce and Spicy Tomato Sauce. If you make Spaghetti and Meatballs or Lasagna, oh baby!

You might also enjoy Bramwell Spaghetti Sauce, Italian Spaghetti Ragu, Amatriciana, Spaghetti Carbonara and Braided Italian Bread.

1 of 3 part series ”Marinara and Friends”. Part 2 Lasagna and Part 3 Spaghetti and Meatballs. More on Marinara.

2013 AniversaRecipe – Shamrock Corned Beef Brisket
2012 AniversaRecipe – Cranberry Orange Scones
2011 AniversaRecipe – Southern Pecan Pie

Recipe: Marinara Sauce

Active Time: 20 Minutes | Total Time: 2 Hours 20 Minutes | Yield: 12 Cups

Tomatoes1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 lb pancetta, 2 1/4-inch slices, diced
3 medium onions, 1/4-inch diced
1 Tbsp kosher salt
5 cloves garlic, grated
4 28-oz cans whole peeled tomatoes
2 cups water

Special Equipment – large pot

Marinara Sauce
Pancetta1 Place olive oil in a large pot and heat on medium-high. Add pancetta and cook until the fat renders, about 4-5 minutes.

2 Add diced onions, kosher salt and cook until onions are soft and barely starting to take on a light golden color, about 6-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.

3 Crush the tomatoes with your hands into small rustic pieces over the pot discarding the fibrous stem ends. Add sauce plus 2 cups of water. Bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours stirring occasionally.

Pancetta is sold at supermarket deli meat counters. Ask for two or three 1/4-inch slices. Otherwise find a package of pre-sliced pancetta. Usually it’s thinly sliced but you can chop in small pieces.

Rinse out the cans by placing the 2 cups water in one of the cans and swirl, dump it into each subsequent can swirling around to wash out the remaining tomato juice, then pour it into the pot.

When I make a double batch, sometimes I pulse the tomatoes once or twice in the blender rather than hand crush.

Try San Marzano tomatoes for this marinara.

If you’d like to simmer the sauce for 3 hours add 3 cups of water.

Use marinara sauce fresh or freeze in air tight containers or freezer zip bags.

Make a double the batch in a double large roaster or p0t.

To make Tomato Cream Sauce – Add 1/3 cup heavy cream to 4 cups of marinara sauce. Serve over pasta and garnish with chopped parsley. Also serve as Tomato Bisque.

Spicy Tomato Sauce – Add 1/3 cup jalapeño pickling juice to 4 cups of marinara sauce. Serve over pasta and garnish with pickled jalapeño slices. This also makes a spicy Tomato Soup served in small bowls.

Use as red sauce when layering lasagna.

Add browned meatballs into this marinara and simmer for 10 minutes then serve over spaghetti.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange pancetta for bacon.
  • For Tomato Cream Sauce, increase or decrease amount of heavy cream depending on richness desired or use half and half.
  • For Tomato Jalapeño Sauce, increase or decrease amount of pickling juice depending on spiciness desired. Make your own Jalapeño Peppers with sauce.

Inspiration – Ann Burrell’s Marinara Sauce (with my instructions and adaptations)
Cook with Sauces
Marinara Sauce
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: April 16, 2014

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Bramwell Spaghetti Sauce

Thick, chunky ragu-style spaghetti sauce loaded with sliced mushrooms.

The Sauce: Spaghetti Ragu – Rich, chunky meat and tomato sauce with sliced mushrooms, onions, herbs and a splash of apple juice and cider vinegar.

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 

Wooing Italian style

Good food brings people together. Lincoln is a food aficionado. He loves to eat good food and tailors his rigorous exercise program to encompass the dishes he loves. So it’s no surprise that when I asked Lincoln and Christi how they met, the story included New Mexico and this fabulous Italian pasta sauce.

While dating Christi, Lincoln made this thick and chunky spaghetti sauce loaded with sliced mushrooms on more than one occasion and basically wowed her. That turned into wooing and now they share their love of good food on their life journey together. A terrific cook in her own right, Christi cooks ‘made from scratch’ dishes for him

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on a regular basis. I can vouch because I’ve dined at their table and exchanged recipe cards with them, the kind that have a splash of tomato sauce Bramwell Spaghetti Sauceon one corner and a thumb print of olive oil on the other.

Is there someone in your life you want to draw closer? This spaghetti sauce could be just the ticket. At a minimum, it’s a meaty, savory dish that’ll bring together family and friends.

You might also enjoy Italian Spaghetti Ragu, Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Florentine Lasagna Rolls, Amatriciana, Gnocchi with White Beans and Spinach and Herb Garlic Bread.

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2011 AniversaRecipe – Corn Muffins

Recipe: Bramwell Spaghetti Sauce

Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 80+ Minutes | Yield: 6-7 Cups | Level: Easy

sliced mushrooms

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, micro grated
  • 8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp sugaradd tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp crushed dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp dried parsley flakes

Special Equipment – large pot

1 Brown the ground beef in a large pot. Drain fat.

2 Add oil, onion, garlic, mushrooms and sauté until onions are translucent and mushrooms softened.

3 Add tomatoes, stirring to loosen the brown bits on the pan. Add apple juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, basil, oregano and combine. Bring to a boil then reduce and simmer for 1 hour stirring occasionally. The ingredients meld together for a very tasty pasta sauce.
after 1 hour
If time permits, simmer for 2 hours. The ingredients break down and begin to concentrate.
after two hours
If possible, simmer for 3 hours. The sauce becomes a luxurious, rich sauce you would find in a restaurant in Italy.simmered 3 hours

4 Fifteen minutes before serving, add the tomato paste and parsley. Adjust for salt. Serve over spaghetti or other pasta of choice.

Grate fresh parmigiana-reggiano over the sauce.

Double or triple this sauce. It only takes a couple extra minutes to dice extra onions and slice more mushrooms. Maximize the output of the simmering time yielding enough for a crowd or freezing for later.

Penne, shells, twists or other tube pasta pair well with chunky pasta sauces such as this one.

Serve this pasta dish with a fresh green salad and Italian dressing and Herb Garlic Bread.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange fresh garlic for 1/8 tsp garlic powder.
  • Use button or crimini mushrooms.

Inspiration – Saucy Cuisine Kitchen
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: March 23, 2013

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Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Spaghetti with cream, eggs, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and crisp smoky bacon.

Essential instructions, essential eating

Olive Garden used to serve Spaghetti Carbonara a long time ago. On my occasional visits, that’s what I always ordered. Then it disappeared from the menu. While scanning the free online pharmacy technician exam menu for another dish to order and lamenting the lost item, my waiter promised the chef would make Carbonara anyway. Happily this strategy worked for a couple of years and even that option dried up.

Learning how to make this dish in my home kitchen became essential… as essential as having fresh lemons on hand. The problem is vs viagra that I keep making it and sometimes it prepares beautifully; other times it’s either Spaghetti-alla-Carbonara-served-on-a-deep-platterclumpy and tight or running and raw. Trying to find the answer to consistent results, I turned to my sister Jo Ann whose husband lived in Italy for a couple of years and is a pasta lover. Carbonara is a family tradition in their household. Why didn’t I think of this sooner?

The sauce is lightly rich and creamy but can be finicky because it’s heated through with the pasta heat. Right, not gas or electric but pasta heat. After following her suggestions and making a bunch of successful iterations, here is a practically foolproof method for this dish. Simple easy ingredients, simple essential instructions, simply delicious.

2011 AniversaRecipe – Moroccan Scallops and Shrimp and Citrus Layer Cake

Recipe: Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Inactive Time: 4 Hours | Cook Time: 15 Minutes | Yield: 3 Servings | Level: Moderate


  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, microplane grated, divided, room temperature
  • 3/4 lb diced bacon
  • 1 clove garlic, microplane grated
  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp plus 1 Tbsp snipped flat leaf parsley, divided
  • fresh ground black pepper

1 Place eggs, cream, butter and cheese on the counter and bring to room temperature, about 4 hours.

2 When ingredients are at room temperature, crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk. Add cream, butter and all the cheese except a small handful for garnish. Set aside.

3 In a small frying pan, cook bacon until crisp. Turn off the heat and add the garlic. Stir just long enough for the residual heat to make the garlic smell, about 30 seconds. Remove bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and divide in two piles, 2/3 in one pile for the dish and 1/3 in the other for the garnish.

Ladle-hot-pasta-water-into-a-small-bowl4 Meanwhile, in a large pot bring 4 quarts of water with olive oil and salt to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 7-9 minutes.

5 Working quickly, ladle about ½ to 1 cup of the pasta water into a small bowl and reserve. Drain the pasta in a colander.

6 Place the pasta back in the hot pot and add the egg mixture all at once stirring to allow the residual heat to warm the sauce. If not warm enough or becomes too thick, add a little of the reserved hot pasta water and stir long enough to warm through. As a last resort, place on very low heat while constantly stirring for a couple of minutes to finish warming through. Don’t over cook.

7 Add the large pile of bacon, 3 tablespoons parsley and stir just to combine. Stir in pepper and taste for salt adding as needed. Pour into a large deep plate or open bowl. Garnish with remaining parmesan, bacon and parsley. Serve immediately.

Grate-the-parmesan-cheese-on-a-microplane-graterFor best results make one recipe but it could be doubled.

Measure the cream in a 4 cup measurer. Once the ingredients are at room temperature, add the eggs then whip, add the cheese, butter and combine.

If grated on a microplane grater, 4 ounces of cheese will make nearly 2 cups. It’s very light and will melt easier than shredded cheese using less residual heat. Save a hand full to garnish the top.

Garlic-grated-on-a-microplane-graterThe garlic can be microplane grated right into the pan with the bacon.

Cook pasta cialis 5mg canada in water that is as salty as the sea in order to season it while it cooks. Add the olive oil to help prevent sticking. Don’t run water over the pasta while draining as all the starch will be washed down the sink. The starch is especially important in this dish to help give body to the sauce.

The cheese and bacon are salty ingredients so added salt is usually not necessary. Just before pouring it into the serving bowl, taste and adjust for salt if needed.

Keep a pint or quart of heavy cream on hand in the fridge. Because of the high fat content it will keep much longer than milk, several weeks. Use it in recipes that call for Half & Half. For 1 cup combine 2/3 cup skim milk and 1/3 cup heavy cream or 3/4 cup whole milk and 1/4 cup heavy cream.

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Anytime a dessert needs a flourish of whipped cream, it will be on hand to whip with a good whisk.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange the parsley for about 1/2 cup of frozen petite peas which have been heated.
  • Exchange bacon for pancetta.
  • Exchange spaghetti for linguini, vermicelli or other long pharmacy online hydrocodone pasta.
  • Exchange 1/3 cup of the parmesan for Italian cheese blend.

Spaghetti-CarbonaraInspiration – Jo Ann Seely
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: September 1, 2012

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Italian Spaghetti Ragu

Slow simmered thick Italian spaghetti ragu sauce.

No more meatballs makes ragu

I can remember a couple of times when I was young, mom made a pot of spaghetti sauce with meatballs.  I helped roll the meatballs and mom fried them off.  After the marinara sauce was simmering, she dropped them into the pot to infuse the sauce and seasonings into the meatballs.  We children, there are seven of us, had some lively discussions around the dinner table about how many meatballs we each got.  I don’t know if it was the ‘warm conversations’, the extra time or the extra dishes it took.  Maybe a combination of all three converted mom to cooking ragu on a regular basis.

Ragu alla Bolognese style sauce is slow simmered and contains ground meat, vegetables, herbs and tomatoes.  Back in the day I didn’t know it was called ragu or Bolognese but I prefer it.  I enjoy the meat infused with the marinara in every bite.  Double the recipe and squirrel away some ragu in zip pouches for easy dinner days.  It’s a great Saturday or Sunday dish to simmering away while busy with other activities.  Makes the whole house smell Italian.

Recipe: Italian Spaghetti Ragu

Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 75 Minutes | Yield: 12 Cups | Level: Easy


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 to 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 med carrot, finely grated
  • 1/2 lb fresh chopped mushrooms, optional
  • 2 Tbsp dried sweet basil
  • 2 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • spaghetti, cooked
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • parsley, chopped

1 In a large pot on medium heat, sauté onion in olive oil until transparent.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.

2 Crumble meat into the pot and brown.  Drain fat.

3 Add carrot and mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes.  Add basil and cook for 2 minutes.

4 Stir in diced, paste and sauce tomatoes, plus salt, bay, and oregano.  Simmer uncovered stirring occasionally for at least 1 hour or several hours as time permits.

5 Adjust salt.  Serve over pasta and garnish with cheese and parsley.

Carrot – Finely grated, the carrot adds natural sweetness, nutrition and is undetectable by picky eaters. Triple score.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange fresh mushrooms for 1 4-oz can of mushrooms but add with the tomatoes.
  • Make a double batch and stow away zipper packets of ragu for busy day meals.
  • Exchange spaghetti for tube type pasta such as rigatoni or penne.

Inspiration – Norma Horton, via an Italian friend
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: May 16, 2012

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