Tag Archives: onion

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Don’t you love that moment when your spouse (or kids, friends, you get the idea) eats a dish containing a food that they supposedly “don’t like” and have a food epiphany? As soon as someone tells me that they don’t care for a particular food, I consider it my personal mission to create a dish using that food that will change his/her mind.

My husband used to think he didn’t like tomatillo salsa. He was wrong.

The thing about traditional (uncooked) tomatillo salsas is that it can be rather watery and lackluster when it comes to the flavor… If you like tomatillo salsa, that’s great. I actually like it. And, I often get my own little cup of it when we are chowing down on chips and salsa.  But, I do understand why my hubby never really cared for it. Continue Reading

Sausage Ragù

Perhaps this blog post should be titled “The Best Sauce Ever”…  However, that’s a fairly subjective claim to make.  If you ask my husband, though, he’ll tell you this is not only the best sauce ever, but that it is the best thing I have ever made.

So, while this rich meat sauce is certainly not the most photogenic food in the world (especially since I was taking photos well after the sun had gone down), I just had to share the recipe with you! I’ve been meaning to share this one for a while, actually. I first discovered this sauce last January.  My hubby bought me Anne Burrell’s book Cook Like a Rockstar for Christmas, and her sausage ragù was one of the first things I made.  We were having my family over for a birthday dinner, and I planned to make lasagna. I wanted a rich, meaty sauce to take the lasagna up a notch, and the recipe was just what I was looking for.

I’ve made the sauce a few times since then (not as many as I’d like, though, since I couldn’t eat tomatoes during most of my pregnancy), and it continues to be a favorite at my house. I’ve changed the recipe a bit to make a slightly bigger batch since the sauce is always such a big hit.  It takes quite a while (4+ hours!), so it’s one of those recipes where it pays to make a big batch.

I’m pretty sure you won’t need much help figuring out how to use the sauce.  It’s perfect on its own, so all you really need to do is add some cooked pasta.  Of course, I frequently use it in lasagna.  The sauce is so rich that you don’t really need much else… Just layer the noodles with ricotta cheese, a blend of mozzarella and provolone, and sauce. I’ve also made pizza with leftover sauce, too. It was some of the best pizza I’ve ever had.  Since the recipe makes a big batch, you’ll likely have plenty of leftovers.  I highly recommend freezing individual portions of the sauce (I usually freeze it in 2 cup containers) so that you have it on hand.  I’m not big on leftovers, but this is one of the few things that I get excited to pull out of the freezer and heat up for dinner!

Sausage Ragù
Makes about 10 – 12 cups
(Adapted from Cook Like a Rockstar)

  • 4 ribs celery, cut into large chunks
  • 2 large onions, cut in a large dice
  • 1 large bulb fennel, cored and cut into a large dice
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 18 ounce can of tomato paste
  • 1 bottle (750 mL) bottle of red wine
    (Pick one that you like to drink… I used a merlot)
  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Water
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Begin by pulsing the vegetables (celery, onion, fennel, and garlic) in the food processor until finely chopped. Depending on the size of your food processor, you may need to work in batches.

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large dutch oven or heavy pot. Add the vegetable mixture, and cook until the vegetables are tender and start to brown. Stir every few minutes to scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pot and let new brown bits develop again. Continue to cook until the mixture is well browned, up to 30 minutes.

Add the tomato paste to the pot and stir to mix into the vegetables.  Cook for just a minute or two.  Then, add the bottle of wine and scrape up any remaining bits from the bottom of the pot. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the wine has reduced by about half, about 8 – 10 minutes.

Add the sausage to the pot and use a wooden spoon to break it cooks. Continue to cook until the sausage is completely browned, scraping the pot occasionally.  The sausage will take about 10 minutes to cook.

Once the sausage is cooked, add the herbs to the pot and then add enough water to cover the sausage mixture by about 1/2 inch. Season with salt and pepper.  Stir the sauce, scraping the bottom of the pot once again.  Then, bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for a minute, then reduce to a simmer.

Simmer the sauce for about 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Once the sauce has cooked and thickened up, taste and adjust the seasonings accordingly.

Please Note – The links to Cook Like a Rockstar provided in this post are Amazon affiliate links.  If you purchase this cookbook (or another item) after  clicking on my link, I receive a small percentage of the sale price, which helps to keep My Kitchen Addiction up and running. Thanks!

Simple Roasted Tomato Basil Sauce

Most years, I attempt to grow tomatoes in the garden.  In the past, I’ve never had luck with anything but cherry tomatoes.  I’ve been lucky to get one or two ripe tomatoes off of my plants throughout the entire summer.  This year, however, I seem to have developed a knack for tomatoes.  I started heirloom tomato plants from seed in the spring and then moved them outside to a new raised bed that my hubby built for me.  The plants are now about 6 feet tall and full of tomatoes.

For the longest time, none of the tomatoes were ripening. I figured that was just my usual luck wth tomatoes.  But, naturally, after returning home from Yellowdog’s surgery last week (we were out of town for two days), I had about 10 ripe tomatoes on the vines.  And, they keep on coming. Between the heirloom tomatoes and yellow grape tomatoes growing in my garden, along with our two CSAs, I’ve had more than my share of tomatoes in the last week.

Of course, now that I actually have lots of tomatoes, I haven’t had much time to deal with them.  So, I’ve been roasting them to make a simple and easy tomato sauce that works on all sorts of recipes.  The recipe is so simple that I almost didn’t share it.  But, I’ve made it a few times now, and we’ve really enjoyed it (both for a pizza night with friends and on some roasted veggie lasagna).   In fact, I have a batch of tomatoes roasting in the oven as I’m writing this blog post.  This time, I plan to freeze the sauce so that we have plenty left to enjoy throughout the winter.

I’ve included approximate measurements for the recipe, but this is one where you can really just wing it.  There’s no need for exact measurements.  Use whatever tomatoes you have on hand and feel free to throw in extra herbs or other veggies you may have from your garden or CSA.  The great thing about this recipe is that roasting the ingredients brings out great flavors and thickens up the sauce without any work on your part.  Then, just throw it in the blender, and you’re good to go! Continue Reading

Italian Turkey Meatloaf

Meatloaf is one of those foods that is often overlooked in my kitchen.  I have nothing against it. In fact, I quite like it.  I just don’t usually think to make it, and it doesn’t make its way into the weekly menu very often.

A few weeks ago, though, my mom mentioned that she had made meatloaf over the weekend so that she had it for dinner during the week, and a lightbulb went off in my head.  Meatloaf really is an easy meal to make during the week.  It can be prepared the night before (or even two or three days before) and just popped in the oven before dinner.

So, I decided that I would make some meatloaf, too. Instead of my usual meatloaf, though, I decided to make a turkey meatloaf with lean ground turkey that happened to be on sale at the store that week.  Since I didn’t want the meatloaf to be lacking in flavor, I decided to give it an extra boost with some of my favorite Italian ingredients.

It was quick and easy to mix up, and it stayed nice and moist when it was baked.  I served it with a green salad and some of the garlic bubble loaf I shared last week. Both my hubby and I enjoyed the Italian twist on traditional meatloaf dinner. I may even be adding meatloaf to the weekly menu a bit more frequently! Continue Reading

Bacon Horseradish Onion Dip

I hear there’s a big football game on this weekend…  That’s right, it’s Super Bowl weekend. Of course, the Ravens are out of it now, so I’m not as excited about the game.  But, I still have the commercials and the half-time show.  And, of course, there’s the food.

Even if you don’t really like football, I’m guessing that you have some weekend plans to watch the game and eat some pretty fabulous food while you’re doing it. And, if you haven’t finalized your menu yet, I’ve got a great (easy!) last minute recipe for you.

I have always been a fan of dips… Especially ranch dip. My favorite snack growing up was pretzels dipped in ranch dressing. I think I ate that every day after school for a very long time.  I still indulge in it once in a while, I admit.

When we were visiting family over the holidays, I discovered a new favorite dip… Bacon horseradish dip. Oh my goodness! If you look for it at your local grocery store (in the dairy aisle, near the sour cream), you will probably find it… And, I admit that it does taste pretty good. But, take a look at the ingredients before you buy it.  I won’t name names, but this prepared dip has all kinds of junk in it.

All of that got me thinking… It wouldn’t be too hard to make my own version of the dip at home, sans junk. So, that’s exactly what I did. I threw in some sweet onions (cooked in bacon fat!) to up the flavor anty a bit, too. And, I have to say… I think my version of the dip is even better than the one in the store. My husband agrees. Continue Reading