Fresh Tomato, Basil, and Garlic Sauce over Angel Hair Pasta

Recipe

2 pounds ripe tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 oregano sprig (I did dried)
Pinch chili flakes
1 teaspoon sugar
1 pound dried angel hair pasta
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup chiffonade basil, plus whole sprigs for garnish
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Bring a large pot of water to a boil
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and prepare an ice water bath. Cut a small “x” on the bottom of each tomato.
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In batches, place the tomatoes in the boiling water
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and blanch them for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the skins are easy to peel away. Remove and immediately plunge into the ice bath.
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Peel the tomatoes
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and halve horizontally. Squeeze out the seeds, using your fingers to get them all. Roughly chop the peeled and seeded tomatoes. Set aside. (You can also use whole peeled canned tomatoes. Simply drain them, seed, and roughly chop).

Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
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Add the thyme leaves,
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oregano sprig, and chili flakes
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and saute until the garlic begins to turn golden brown. Add the tomatoes
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and the sugar
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and stir well.
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Lower the heat and cook slowly until the mixture is fairly dry, about 15 minutes.

Cook the angel hair pasta in boiling, salted water
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until al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce.
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Add the Parmesan and basil
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and toss well. Place in a large pasta bowl and garnish with Parmesan and basil sprigs.
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Pasta Dough for Ravioli

Recipe

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, plus 1 for egg wash
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Cornmeal, for dusting
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To make the pasta dough: In an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook*,
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combine the flour
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and salt.
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Add the eggs,
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1 at a time,
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and continue to mix. Drizzle in 1 tablespoons of the olive oil
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and continue to incorporate all the flour until it forms a ball.
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Sprinkle some flour on work surface, knead and fold the dough until elastic and smooth, this should take about 10 minutes.
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Brush the surface with the remaining olive oil and wrap the dough in plastic wrap; let rest for about 30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.
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*Alternatively if you don’t have an electric mixer: Combine the flour and salt on a flat work surface; shape into a mound and make a well in the center. Add the eggs and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the well and lightly beat with a fork. Gradually draw in the flour from the inside wall of the well in a circular motion. Use 1 hand for mixing and the other to protect the outer wall. Continue to incorporate all the flour until it forms a ball. Continue as directed above.

Cut the ball of dough in 1/2, cover and reserve the piece you are not immediately using to prevent it from drying out. Dust the counter and dough with a little flour. Press the dough into a rectangle and roll it through a pasta machine, 2 or 3 times,
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at widest setting. Pull and stretch the sheet of dough with the palm of your hand as it emerges from the rollers. Reduce the setting and crank the dough through again, 2 or 3 times. Continue tightening until the machine is at the narrowest setting; the dough should be paper-thin,
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about 1/8-inch thick (you should be able to see your hand through it.). Dust the sheets of dough with flour as needed.

Beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water to make an egg wash. Dust the counter and sheet of dough with flour, lay out the long sheet of pasta,
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and brush the top surface with the egg wash, which acts as a glue. Drop tablespoons of your favorite filling on 1/2 of the pasta sheet,
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about 2-inches apart.
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Fold the other 1/2 over the filling like a blanket.
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With an espresso cup or fingers, gently press out air pockets around each mound of filling. Use a sharp knife to cut each pillow into squares
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and crimp the 4 edges with the tins of a fork to make a tight seal.
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Dust the ravioli and a sheet pan with cornmeal to prevent the pasta from sticking and lay them out to dry slightly while assembling the rest.
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Cook the ravioli in plenty of boiling salted water for 4 minutes;
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they’ll float to the top when ready, so be careful not to overcrowd the pot. Lift the ravioli from water with a large strainer or slotted spoon. Bath the ravioli in your favorite sauce to lightly coat and serve.

for the filling for my ravioli I used:

1 pound Italian sausage
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Ricotta Cheese
Parsley
mozzarella cheese
Parmesan Cheese
Garlic salt
Freshly ground black pepper
and Fresh Basil
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So start by cooking meat and I ground mine up while I cooked it real small
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when nice and brown and cooked through pour meat into a big bowl and set aside

Then take one cup of the ricotta and place it in a bowl and add one egg into the Ricotta
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Mix Egg and Ricotta really well together
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then add in Parsley
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and stir

then add the ricotta to the meat
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then add in garlic salt, to taste
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and pepper, to taste
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then grate one cup of parmesan cheese
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and one cup of the mozzarella cheese
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add both Cheeses to meat and Ricotta
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and mix together, the meat and cheeses

and see above on adding filling to the ravioli.

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Spaghetti with Vodka Cream Sauce

Recipe

1/2 pound dry thin spaghetti pasta OR any other pasta
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion OR 2 to 3 shallots <– That’s what I used
Scant 3/4 tsp salt, divided
1/8 to 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper OR 1 dried red chili, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup vodka
1/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup whipping cream
3 Tbsp thinly sliced fresh basil
Shaved or grated parmesan cheese, to garnish
Additional fresh basil leaves (optional)
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Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
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Drain and keep warm.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 4 minutes
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or until tender. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and garlic;
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sauté 1 minute. Add vodka (when cooking with alcohol, there is always the chance of it catching on fire, so be very careful);
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bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until liquid is reduced by about half.
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Stir in scant 1/2 teaspoon salt, broth, and tomatoes;
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bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes.
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Remove skillet from heat and let cool slightly.

IF you have stick blender, you can now puree the sauce right in the pan (easy peasy!). OTHERWISE, place tomato mixture in a conventional blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); and secure the lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters), and process until smooth. Return tomato mixture to pan. (I skipped this step and left mine chunky)

Mix in cream,
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then cook the sauce for 2 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in cooked pasta and basil. Taste the pasta and adjust seasoning if needed. Serve immediately.

I topped mine with spicy Italian Sausage as well
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I also topped mine with shaved parmesan cheese and fresh Basil
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Italian-Style Meat Loaf

Recipe

1 1/2 pounds 92% lean ground beef
1 cup fat-free tomato-basil pasta sauce, divided (I made my own)
1/2 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
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1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
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1/2 cup finely chopped onion
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1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
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1 teaspoon garlic powder
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1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
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1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 large egg whites
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Cooking spray
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Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine beef,
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1/2 cup pasta sauce, and remaining ingredients except cooking spray in a large bowl. Shape beef mixture into an 8 x 4-inch loaf on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray.
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Brush remaining 1/2 cup pasta sauce over top of meat loaf.
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Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°. Let stand 10 minutes.
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Cut loaf into 12 slices.
I sliced mine and added a little more sauce over the top and sprinkled some parmesan cheese over the top, tasted like a meat-a-ball!
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Dinner in served!
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When I made this, I forgot that I didn’t have Italian breadcrumbs. I had regular bread crumbs and then I searched online and found this Recipe

1 cup plain breadcrumbs
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1/2 teaspoon salt
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1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
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1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
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1/4 teaspoon dried basil
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1 Combine all ingredients in a small bowl,
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tossing to blend thoroughly.

2 Store in an airtight container and use in any recipe calling for Italian breadcrumbs.

 

Chicken with Tomatoes and Garlic

Recipe

8 pieces Chicken Legs Or Thighs
Salt And Pepper, to taste
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 can (28 Ounce) Diced Tomatoes (I did crushed)
1 can (14 Ounces) Whole Tomatoes
2 Tablespoons (Heaping) Tomato Paste
Fresh Herbs: Basil, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary
8 cloves Garlic
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16 ounces, weight Pasta (I Used Cavitappi)
Grated Parmesan Cheese, For Serving
1/2 cup White Wine
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Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Salt and pepper chicken legs.

Heat ovenproof skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and butter.
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When oil/butter is hot, add chicken legs to the pan.
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Using tongs, brown on all sides, about 2 minutes.
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Remove chicken from pan.

Pour in wine,
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scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any bits. Cook for 1 minute.
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Pour in tomatoes with their juice
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and add tomato paste. Add salt and pepper to taste,
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stirring to combine.
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Bring sauce to a boil, then turn off heat. Add plenty of fresh herbs,
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8 cloves of peeled (but whole) garlic,
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and the chicken legs.
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Put lid on pot and cook in the oven for 1 hour.
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Remove pot from oven and allow it to sit on the counter with the lid on while you boil the pasta.

Cook the pasta to al dente,
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Drain and add to a large serving bowl.
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Remove lid and check sauce. If it’s overly thin, remove the chicken from the pot and boil the sauce on the stove top for 5 to 10 minutes. Check seasonings and adjust as needed.

To serve, pour sauce over cooked pasta, then arrange chicken pieces over the top. Sprinkle generously with fresh Parmesan and serve with crusty French bread.
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Dinner for 3!
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This is the best meal I’ve had, since the last time I was here!

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Delicious and Nutritious!
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SIMPLE, SCRUMPTIOUS CAESAR SALAD WITH QUICK GARLIC CROUTONS

Recipe

Garlic Croutons

4 cloves garlic

A generous 1/4 cup pure olive oil

2 packed cups 3/4″ bread cubes, cut from a good-quality baguette or Italian loaf
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Large pinch of salt
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Salad

3 romaine hearts, separated into whole leaves

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire

5 tablespoon pure olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

Ground black pepper to taste

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (preferably Parmigiano Reggiano), plus extra for sprinkling.
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1. Heat a 10-inch skillet over low heat. With motor running, drop garlic cloves through feeder tube of a food processor
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fitted with the steel blade to mince. (A blender works as well.) Scrape down sides of bowl
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and add olive oil through feeder tube as well.
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Continue to process so that garlic releases its flavor into the oil, about 30 seconds. Strain garlic from oil through a fine-mesh strainer;
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reserve half of the garlic for dressing.

2. Increase skillet heat to medium. Place bread cubes in medium bowl. Drizzle garlic oil evenly over bread,
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along with big pinch of salt; toss to coat.

3. Add bread cubes to hot skillet and toast,
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turning the cubes and shaking the pan often, until crisp and golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Return croutons to bowl and set aside to cool while preparing salad.
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4. Place lettuce leaves in a large bowl. (I chopped mine)

5. Whisk lemon juice, mayonnaise, half the reserved garlic, and Worcestershire in a small bowl.

6. Drizzle lettuce with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and toss lightly and carefully. (Clean hands work well.)

7. Drizzle lemon mixture over lettuce; toss again.

8. Sprinkle Parmesan over greens; toss again.

9. Sprinkle croutons over the salad; toss and serve, sprinkling each portion with a little more Parmesan cheese.

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Then the next night I had left over dressing and lettuce, so I made breaded chicken and topped my Caesar salad with that…

So I breaded the chicken with Eggs, Italian Bread crumbs and Shredded Parmesan cheese
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Cook, then slice and lay on lettuce and top with dressing
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Orzo with Parmesan and Basil

Found this on Pinterest! Seems that is where I find alllllll my recipes these days!!

this recipe will be added to the go to recipes, as it is FABULOUS!

Recipe

3 tbsp. butter
1 ½ cups Orzo
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock, low sodium is best
6 tbsp fresh basil
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt/pepper to taste
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Melt the butter over medium heat.
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Add the orzo
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and saute for a few minutes,
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until the orzo start to get golden brown.
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Add the broth
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and cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until all the broth has been absorbed.

Remove from the heat,
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add the basil
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and Parmesan cheese
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and salt/pepper to taste.
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Chicken Parmigiana

Recipe

4 whole (up To 6) Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Trimmed And Pounded Flat
1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
Salt And Pepper, to taste
1/2 cup Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 whole Medium Onion, Chopped
4 cloves Garlic, Minced
3/4 cups Wine (white Or Red Is Fine)
3 cans (14.5 Oz.) Crushed Tomatoes
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1/4 cube Chopped Fresh Parsley
1 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
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1 pound Thin Linguine
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Mix flour,
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salt, and pepper together on a large plate.
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Dredge flattened chicken breasts in flour mixture.
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Set aside.
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At this time, you can start a pot of water for your pasta. Cook linguine until al dente.

Heat olive oil and butter together in a large skillet over medium heat.
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When butter is melted and oil/butter mixture is hot, fry chicken breasts until nice and golden brown on each side, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
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Remove chicken breasts from the skillet and keep warm.

Without cleaning skillet, add onions
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and garlic
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and gently stir for 2 minutes. Pour in wine
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and scrape the bottom of the pan,
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getting all the flavorful bits off the bottom. Allow wine to cook down until reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
Pour in crushed tomatoes and stir to combine.
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Add sugar
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and more salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cook for 30 minutes.
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Toward the end of cooking time, add chopped parsley
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and give sauce a final stir.
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Carefully lay chicken breasts on top of the sauce
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and completely cover them in grated Parmesan. Place lid on skillet and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer until cheese is melted and chicken is thoroughly heated. Add more cheese to taste.

Place cooked noodles on a plate and cover with sauce. Place chicken breast on top and sprinkle with more parsley. Serve immediately.

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Tangy Marinara Sauce and Angel Hair Pasta

I love to hike! Think I told you all this before. But in case you forgot I am telling you again. One of the (many) reasons I LOVE living in Colorado is because of it’s mountains. I also like living here for the dryness. I like dry. I can’t handle humidity, it kicks my butt! Not sure how people live in humidity? Just like I am sure people can’t handle the dryness of Colorado. So when I hike I am like a little kid and I look for Ladybugs and when I spot one I get all excited and have to stop and take pictures. It’s quite a sight let me tell you. But I don’t care. I love ladybugs!

Let’s do some hiking

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See The Ladybug?
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Another Ladybug
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Come on Woman, are we hiking, or taking pictures?
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Another Ladybug
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We are here!
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as we were leaving we saw this…
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I need to hike and workout, so that I can eat all the delicious foods I make!

Like dishes like this one…

Recipe

2 cans tomato sauce (15 ounces)
1 clove garlic (diced)
½ cup diced onion
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ cup water
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
½ teaspoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ teaspoons white vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt (or salt to taste)
5 1/2 teaspoons grated parmesan cheese (reserve 4 teaspoons for topping the pasta)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 servings of angel hair pasta (or your favorite pasta)
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Dice the onion.
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Add the olive oil to a pot and turn the heat to low.
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Add the diced onions to the heated oil and stir continuously so the onions don’t turn brown.
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Dice the garlic.

As the onions start to turn translucent, add the diced garlic and continue stirring.
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Add the red pepper flakes and continue stirring.
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Then stir in the tomato sauce.
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Add the water.
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Add the ground pepper, dried parsley,
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dried basil and dried oregano.

Stir all of the herbs and pepper into the sauce.
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Add the Worcestershire sauce
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and vinegar.
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Add 1 ½ teaspoons Parmesan cheese.
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Stir all ingredients together and salt to taste.
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Simmer on low heat for 45 minutes to an hour.
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Approximately 5 minutes before serving the dish, add the angel hair pasta to boiling water.

Cook the pasta for approximately 2 to 3 minutes.

Drain the pasta and serve with the marinara sauce.

Top each serving with the remaining grated Parmesan cheese.
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Simple Pasta Salad

recipe

1 lb. shells
½ cup pine nuts
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 bunch scallions
3 roasted red peppers
2 balls (large size) fresh mozzarella
1 bunch basil
olive oil
kosher salt
fresh cracked pepper
1 lemon
freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
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Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
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Add pasta.
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Cook about 8 minutes or until done but not mushy. Drain and set aside.
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Note: If you are going to prepare this salad ahead of time, rinse the pasta off and add the remaining ingredients once the pasta is completely cooled.

Meanwhile, place pine nuts in a small skillet over low heat.
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Toast, stirring often to avoid burning. Remove from heat when evenly golden brown. Set aside.

Cut grape tomatoes in half lengthwise. Remove ends from scallions and discard. Chop thinly, using only the white and pale green parts. Chop the roasted red peppers into small strips. Cut the mozzarella into cubes about the same size as the cherry tomatoes. Set aside.

Place pasta in a large bowl. Drizzle olive oil over pasta until nicely coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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Add all of the prepared ingredients.
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Remove tiny leaves from basil stems and add directly to the bowl. Stack four to five larger basil leaves on top of one another. Roll into a tight spiral, then cut into thin strips. Add to the bowl. Squeeze the lemon over the top of the whole mixture. Add a few handfuls of the grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
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Toss gently with a large spoon. Taste, add more salt, pepper, olive oil or lemon juice if necessary.

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