Tag: Basil

Marinara Sauce

Red Sauce

Marinara sauce is a quick and easy red sauce with few ingredients, minimal prep and short cooking time. It’s ready, start to finish, in an hour. Before you start, put up a large pot of salted water for pasta.

This recipe makes just about one quart, which is perfect for one pound of pasta. It’s dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan.

I use a little more oil to sauté the onions and garlic because a good olive oil is an essential component of a good red sauce.

Red Sauce

A medium onion minced is about one cup and 6 medium cloves garlic add a good punch of garlic without being overwhelming. I also like a little crushed pepper flakes for heat. Fresh basil adds a complementary flavor to the tomatoes. If you don’t have any, use a teaspoon of dried basil. One 28-ounce can crushed or puréed tomatoes completes the recipe.

Sweat the onions on medium heat for five minutes to soften and release the natural water content. Stir in the garlic, pepper flakes and dried basil, if using, and cook for 30 seconds. Just long enough to release the aromatic aroma of the garlic. Stir in the tomatoes and fresh basil, if using, bring to a boil, lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

Red Sauce

The best way to dress the pasta is to put a couple of ladlefuls of sauce in the drained pasta pan and add the pasta back. Stir to combine. Serve the extra sauce and some grated Parmesan cheese on the side.

See our recipe for garlic bread, a great accompaniment for a pasta with red sauce!

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Marinara Sauce

Red Sauce

Marinara sauce is a quick and easy red sauce with few ingredients, minimal prep and short cooking time. It’s ready, start to finish, in an hour. Before you start, put up a large pot of salted water for pasta.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 1 quart
  • Category: Sauce

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, minced

8 cloves garlic minced

¼ teaspoon pepper flakes

1 can (28 ounces) puréed tomatoes, such as San Marzano or Red Pack

2 large sprigs fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil

Instructions

Heat the oil in a medium, covered saucepan over high heat.

Stir in the onion and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. If the onion starts to brown, lower the heat.

Toss in the garlic and pepper flakes; cook and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the tomatoes and basil, bring to a boil, cover and lower heat to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes.

Discard basil.

Notes

Recipe easily doubles and freezes well.

Spaghetti and Shrimp with Spicy Pesto

Classic Pesto

This recipe for Spaghetti and Shrimp with Spicy Pesto didn’t start out with pepper flakes. It never even occurred to me to pair pepper flakes with pesto. However, when I was sautéing the zucchini and shrimp I forgot I wasn’t making a butter sauce and sprinkled in the spice. One of those “aha moments” – spicy pesto is delicious!

Sauté zucchini, shrimp and crushed red pepper flakes in olive; add pesto and combine, stir in cooked spaghetti and a little pasta water, if need to thin the sauce. Garnish with cherry tomatoes. Click here for the Classic Pesto recipe.

Classic Pesto

Watch the Spaghetti and Shrimp with Spicy Pesto Here:

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Spaghetti and Shrimp with Spicy Pesto

Classic Pesto

Spice things up with this spaghetti and shrimp dish with spicy pesto!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 12 mins
  • Total Time: 37 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium zucchini cut in quarters lengthwise and then in ½-inch cubes
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 pound large shrimp (16-20 count), peeled and deveined
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed pepper flakes
  • 1 cup pesto sauce
  • pasta water, as needed
  • GARNISH
  • Sliced cherry tomatoes

Instructions

  1. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta liquid before draining.
  2. In the meantime, heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat.
  3. Stir in the zucchini and salt and cook stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the shrimp and crushed pepper flakes, cook stirring occasionally until shrimp are pink and firm – about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the pesto sauce and ¼ cup of the reserved pasta liquid. Stir to loosen. Add the pasta, stir to combine and add as much pasta liquid as need to coat the spaghetti evenly.

 

Classic Pesto

Pesto

When basil is at its peak, the bunches are huge and plentiful. I scoop up tons and bring them home to make pesto; batch after batch. I freeze in one-cup portions, which is perfect for a pound of pasta.

Don’t limit yourself to pasta, though, it’s delicious over grilled chicken, just put a good dollop over each cutlet. I also like to use it in a caprese salad – instead of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, little dabs of green goodness on the tomatoes and cheese is a fantastic variation.

Grill some eggplant rounds and stack with mozzarella, roasted red peppers and slather a little sauce on each layer.

Pesto

Here’s some tips to making pesto. Young basil (thin stems) use both the stem and the leaves. Remove tough stems on mature basil. Pine nuts are the classic nut used in traditional pesto, but don’t hesitate to use walnuts or almonds. Be sure to toast your nuts to maximize flavor!

Pesto

Keep nuts in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent spoilage. Use the lemon juice not only for flavor, but it also prevents the pesto from turning black when mixed with hot food.

See our Spaghetti with Shrimp in Spicy Pesto recipe here.

Head out to the garden or the local farmer’s market and bring home the basil!

Watch the Pesto Video Here.

 

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Classic Pesto

Pesto

Classic pesto made from fresh basil is a multipurpose sauce. Make large batches and freeze for year-round use! Use on chicken, fish and vegetables.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 2 cups
  • Category: Sauce
  • Cuisine: Italian

Ingredients

  • 4 cups fresh basil
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Place the basil, cheese, nuts, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse to chop up the ingredients.
  2. Turn the processor to “on” and slowly pour the oil through the spout until an emulsion forms.
  3. Store in an airtight container with a piece of plastic on top of the pesto to keep the oxygen out.

Provolone and Roasted Bell Pepper Spread

provolone and bell pepper spread

This colorful, flavorful Provolone and Roasted Bell Pepper Spread is delicious on toasted baguette. Use all one color bell pepper or mix it up with red, orange and yellow for an eye-appealing presentation.

Green bell peppers are a little bitter, the basil adds a punch of green. Make the roasted bell peppers yourself or used jarred roasted peppers; be sure to dry them well before chopping.

Diced roasted bell peppers.

Combine the peppers, cheese, basil, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Stir to combine and garnish with the basil sprig.

All ingredients ready to be mixed.

To serve place the bowl on a large plate and surround the bowl with the toasted bread or top each bread with the pepper mixture and serve on a platter.

provolone and bell pepper spread

Watch the Provolone and Roasted Bell Pepper Spread here.

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Provolone and Roasted Bell Pepper Bruschetta

Use a variety of colors in the bell peppers for an eye-appealing presentation. The cheese provides a nice saltiness as well as texture in this spread. Make the roasted bell peppers yourself or used jarred roasted bell peppers; be sure to dry them well before chopping

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 2 cups
  • Category: Appetizer

Ingredients

Roasted Bell Peppers
3 bell peppers cut in half and seeds removed
olive oil

Spread
3 bell peppers (any color) roasted*, peeled and seeded; cut into ¼ inch dice OR 1 jar roasted bell peppers
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon coarse salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

 Garnish

leafy basil sprig

Instructions

Roasted Red Peppers:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Rub the peppers sparingly with oil.

Lie the peppers, cut side down, on a sheet tray. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Cover with a dish towel and steam for 10 minutes.

Remove the charred skin and seeds; follow recipe below.

Provolone and Roasted Bell Pepper Spread

Combine the peppers, cheese, garlic olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small serving bowl.

Garnish with the top of a basil sprig.

Best served room temperature.

Notes

To serve on individual toasted baguette, plate just before serving or the bread becomes soggy.

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Provolone and Roasted Bell Pepper Bruschetta

This colorful, flavorful Provolone and Roasted Bell Pepper Spread is perfect on toasted bread. Use all one color bell pepper or mix it up with red, orange and yellow. Green pepper is a little bitter for this recipe and the basil adds a punch of green.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups
  • Category: Appetizer

Ingredients

1 baguette, thinly sliced on the bias
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 bell peppers, roasted, peeled and seeded, ¼-inch dice
4 ounces Provolone, ¼-inch dice
¼ cup basil chiffonade plus one small basil sprig for garnish
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the bread slices on a cookie tray and brush with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove and cool. Store in an airtight container if not using immediately.

Meanwhile, combine the peppers, cheese, basil, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Stir to combine and garnish with the basil sprig.

To serve place the bowl on a large plate and surround the bowl with the toasted bread or top each bread with the pepper mixture and serve on a platter.

Notes

Don’t hesitate to use jarred peppers, just pat them dry before dicing.