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Aug 27, 2009

Sauces, Cooking Sauce, Marinara, Nonna Fina Fresh Sauce

Nonna Fina Fresh Sauce
Last Recipe and step by step video

Cooking Sauce


Cooking Sauce = Puree, thick sauce, can be eaten with plain pasta or with meat added to pasta. Never cook "cooking sauce" and add fish or veggies. It just doesn't taste well at all.

Hint: on Puree, Before cooking your puree it should look red and taste good (but of course, it has no great flavor yet). If you open the can and your puree looks dark brownish red, then I personally don't like the flavor. It taste to strong, like burnt. Ex. I don't like Pope Puree.

I useTutta Rosso, Contadina or Progresso. Commerically bought product that is great is Suzy Bell. It is bright red and fresh looking.

Marinara Sauce or Whole, Chopped Tomato Marinara Sauce: Can be eaten with plain pasta or with veggies or fish added to pasta. It is a light tomato sauce.
Marinara Sauce = crushed tomato
Whole tomato sauce = whole Plum tomatoes that you will sliced up. More chunky slices of tomato. It just depends it you like chunky pieces of tomatoes in your sauce or not. Can even be mixed with marinara sauce.

Cooking Sauce (as my family calls it):
Yields 6  -  32 oz containers


  • 5  (28oz) large cans of Tomato Puree Progresso/ Contadina               or   1 Suzy Bell 6Lbs 11oz can.
  • hot water. Use the can from the sauce containers.  I fill up 1/2 can of hot water of each puree can and stir it up so the puree that was left in the can will be used. (Rule of thumb. Water measurement is 1/2 the amount of cans used.) Sauce needs to be not to thick or not to loose either. It depends on how thick the puree is.
  • 1 large Onion chopped (yeilds 2 cups chopped)
  • 8 Cloves of garlic chopped
  • 2 Tbs Sugar
  • 1 Tbs Salt
  • 1Tbs garlic powder
  • 1 Tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp dry Basil
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh Basil leaves.
  • Pinch of Oregano
  • 11/2 cup Olive Oil (12 oz) enough to cover the onions and garlic.
  • 4-6 sausage links (Optional)
  1. In a large pot over med High heat. Sautee Onions and Garlic w/ Olive Oil to lightly golden brown.
  2. While onions are sauteeing open the cans of puree and Add all the spices listed above on top of the puree.
  3. When the onions are lightly golden, Take the pot off the heated burner. I take the pot off the burner so when I am add the other ingredients the sauce doesn't pop up and burn me.
  4. Add all the puree cans with all the spices and stir.
  5. Add the hot water and stir.
  6. Put back on the burner and Cook on mediumhigh heat and cover. ( now add Sausage links if you like.   Gives sauce more flavor. But, can be made without sausage links too.)
  7. Once it comes to a full boil.                                                                         A. Cook over  medium heat. (sauce should boil but not too rapidly)        B. Cover. leaving the lid slightly opened. (Hint: slightly opened side facing back of stove. so, you won't get sauce popping out at you.)
  8. Stir every 3 minutes.  Cook for around 25 - 30 minutes.
Done. It's that easy. Hard part is not to get burned with the popping sauce.

Great with my Meatball Recipe. Freeze any sauce you are not using. Great for a fast Pasta dinner.
Marinara or Whole Plum Tomato Sauce.
2 Cans of sauce Crushed Tomato or Whole Plum Tomato (sliced).
1/4 cup of Olive Oil
3 Cloves Chopped Garlic
4 leaves of fresh Basil Chopped
1 tsp dry basil
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbs Sugar
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  1. In Pot fry Garlic with Olive Oil. (NO Onions.) until Golden Brown.)
  2. Stir in all ingredients. No extra water. unless 2 oz to rinse out cans.
  3. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Boils but not to rapidly.
  4. Done. .
Can add Shrimp, Calamari, mussels, Eggplant, etc.
Will Post recipes that you need Marinara Sauce for shortly. Look under Seafood Marinara, Penne alla Stefana w/ Shrimp- (Which I use the whole Plum Tomatoes for.)


Giuseppe has no choice but to help. As you can see he is so HAPPY!!

Fresh Garden Tomato Sauce. A September Ritual. Us Italians just like to do more work!
        4 Bushels = 7 hours of prep/cooking = 60 - 32oz plastic containers to freeze! Yes that's right. I have a freezer Just for my sauce.  Now that's Italian or I'm just crazy.  Maybe a little of both.
    1st Step: Plum Tomatoes.   Wash w/ dish soap and warm water. Place plum tomatoes on a large towel so they can dry.  
    2.   Cut them up into 4 pieces.  In large deep cooking pot put a little bit of olive oil just enough to coat the bottom and then put in the chopped up tomatoes. Only fill the pot 3/4 the way full.  
    Add 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp garlic,  4 pieces chopped basil.  Boil and stir until tomatoes become soft and you see the skin on them peeling off.  If you pinch one the sink peels off easy.                                                                  

3.  Take the tomatoes and pour them into a tomato mill machine (shown below).  As you turn the handle you will see the pulp and juices come out on one side and the skin of the tomato on the other side.
Put the skins of the tomato through the mill atleast 3 - 4 times.  You will get a lot of pulp from the skins.

4.  Next throw out the skins and place all the tomato sauce into a deep cooking pot. 
Add 1/4 cup Olive Oil
2  tsp salt, 1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp black pepper, granulated garlic powder
6 gloves of garlic. sliced in half only
8 chopped up pieces of basil.
Cook for about 30 - 45 minutes.  Stirring frequently.  the sauce will become thick by boiling out the water from the tomatoes.
5.  Place in 32 oz or 16 oz plastic containers and freeze.  Last for over a year.  to defrost. Lift cover and place on top on container place in microwave for 7 minutes and then cook in sauce pot until hot.
6.  Repeat all steps until all tomatoes are done.
Here are step by step video clips.

Aug 19, 2009

Chicken Ginuzza

For Bariatric Friendly. Do not flour Chicken. 

Created by Mama G and named after my daughter Gina, for she always helped me with the cooking and catering orders @ Pizza Palace.

Chicken Ginuzza became an all time favorite for my family and customers. It was #1 for our catering orders. So, enjoy!!

6 Servings:

6 Lg pieces Chicken Cutlet - cut into 2 x 3 inch pieces
pinches of Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder.
2 cups Flour (whatever needed to prep Chicken)
3 Eggs (whatever needed to prep chicken)
8oz Spinach Chopped (can buy frozen chopped spinach)
10 Mushrooms sliced
4 Sausage Links
2 gloves Garlic
1 small can - Chicken Broth
Olive Oil
3 tbs Butter
2 tbs Grated Cheese Romano
1/4 cup White Wine (Chardonnay)

Prep the ingredients separately -(Sausages, spinach, Mushroom, and Chicken)and then put it all together @ the end.)

  1. Take Sausages out of skin and sautee in a little oil. Strain. Leave in strainer for now. Once cooled off then Chop into small pieces (not too small) and leave on side.
In frying pan:

1. Sautee olive oil and garlic (enough oil to sautee) to lightly brown .
2. Add Spinach pinch of salt, blk pepper, garlic and sautee approx. 2 minute. If dry add little bit more olive oil so not to burn.
3. Sprinkle in 2 tbs Grated Cheese. (now stir or flip rapidly for 10 sec. just to enough to mix the cheese. and remove from stove. set aside.

In frying pan.  Add Mushrooms,  1 Tbs  Butter, dash of blk pepper and Sautee for 2 minute or until 1/2 way done.  Set aside. (You will be baking this recipe so you don't have to cook the mushrooms too much.  It's just to get some flavor to them.)

To Prep Chicken:

2 bowls - one for Eggs and one for Flour. 1 large flat pan to put prepared chicken into until ready to fry. 
Put flour in bowl: add pinch of garlic powder, salt and pepper and mix.
  1. Cut Chicken into approx. 2"x 3" cubes. Set aside in bowl.
  2. Put eggs in bowl: add pinch of garlic powder, salt and pepper and beat.
  3. Dip Chicken pieces into eggs first, then flour pressing down. (both sides). Place in pan. flat. don't double stack.
  4. In frying pan. Put enough olive oil to fry chicken. approx. less than half way up the sides of the chicken. don't deep fry. cook chicken pieces flipping to have both sides lightly golden brown. (pictures will be included) Place in large pan.
  5. Depends on your taste. you can add on top or the frying chicken pieces a pinch of salt, pepper, and garlic for more flavor. otherwise the chicken can taste bland.
ALL MOST DONE. HOW TO MIX EVERYTHING TOGETHER. NOTE: don't over stack you need to do these same steps until all ingredients are mixed properly together. This is where you get the best flavor.


                A large frying pan, (preferably a deep one) medium heat.
               Enough chicken to cover the bottom of the frying pan.
  1. Add White wine, (enough to sprinkle on top) and Tbs Butter. Flip ingredients to mix and glaze the chicken for about 30 secs or until butter is melted.
  2. Add Sausages, Spinach/Mushroom. Flip again. for about 1minute and add little bit of chicken broth just enough so it won't burn and you can simmer on same heat for about 1 minute.
  3. Put this mix in a flat Pan.
  4. Add a little bit of mozzarella on top. This way it will be layered with cheese.
Follow steps 1 - 5 until all ingredients are mixed together.
In long baking pan.
  1. Add chicken broth to pan. about 1/4 way up.
  2. Add mozzarella sparingly on top.
  3. Bake in oven on 450 degrees, uncovered until mozzarella is golden brown.

This recipe is good for a party tray. Can be prepared a day before and place in fridge until ready to bake. But, one change.
1. Bake COVERED @ 350 degrees until everything is very warm then remove the cover and bake @ 450 degrees until golden brown.

Jul 30, 2009

Meatballs, Meatloaf, Swedish Meatballs, Chicken Burgers

Please look below on what to add to this Meatball recipe for Swedish Meatballs, Tasty Meatloaf, Hamburgers and   Chicken or Turkey Burgers.

If you Follow this recipe. It will take 4 minutes to mix everything together and 4 minutes to roll the meatballs ( If you are fast enough!) and 20 minutes to cook.  So, no excuses. Fresh delicious tasting meatballs in 28 min.

3 lbs Beef Chopmeat
4 Eggs
1 tsp each of Salt, Garlic Powder and Dry Basil.
1/2 tsp of black pepper
3 leaves of fresh basil finely chopped (1 Tbs chopped)
2 lg pieces of garlic.  Sliced thin and chopped fine, = (2 tsp chopped)
1 cup of grated cheese, Peccorino Romano.
1 1/4 cup of Water
1 1/2 cup of bread crumb.
(note: I have found that 4c Seasoned Breadcrumbs are toooooo salty so, I mix seasoned
and grind italian bread to make plain breadcrumbs, then mix them together to have it taste better.)  4C uses too much salt so they don't have to use too much grated cheese. but, grated cheese is what gives your meatballs the delicious flavor.   

1. Everything Highlighted in Blue above Mix In Large Bowl with whisk or fork.
All steps below mix by hand
2. Place Chopmeat in bowl and mix.

3. Put in Breadcrumbs a little at a time while mixing .
4. Add into the chopmeat 1 cup of Water. Mix and than add little bit at a time of the 1/4 cup of water that is left. ,(note below) 

You should be able to feel that you can make a meatball that feels moist but not soaking wet. If you feel it is too wet add more breadcrumbs.
You can use an ice cream scooper or cup the palm of your hand and fill it with the mix. Squeeze it down than Roll your hands together making a ball.
adjust the size of the meatball to your liking.

  • 5. Use a non - stick cookie sheet w/ 1/2 - 1 inch sides. (you don't want a pan with sides too high then you cannot scoop out the meatballs and it won't cook right, so don't use a roasting pan)
  • Add little bit of water to bottom of pan. little more than to coat it, but not for it to over flow. This will keep the meatballs moist and not to stick to the bottom of pan.
  • Place meatballs side by side. They can touch each other but, don't squish them.

Bake in oven on middle rack @ 450 degrees for about 20 minutes or until you see the meatballs cooked on top. You don't want them dark just alittle crispy and firm.
  • cut one in 1/2 and if chopmeat is fully cooked it is done.
  • ( O.K. it makes 29 meatballs now)
  • take out Meatballs with flat spatala with holes in it. So this way you can drain the liquid from the pan off the meatballs. Place meatballs in flat dish or pan don't double stack them until they cool off. otherwise you will have meatsauce instead of meatballs!!!

    Also, Meatballs now can be put into sauce that is already cooked. (different sauces will be on another blog) they also can be frozen. I like to freeze them with the sauce. Taste as good as first made it used within 2 months.
  • Can make: Meatball Parmigiana. just add meatballs, sauce and mozzeralla cheese bake in oven.
Swedish Meatballs: Well really Italian Swedish Meatballs !!! Their great!! Great for parties!! Especially, as appetizers. (forget the chips and snacks. they are costly and your guest came over to eat, not to snack.)

Same recipe as the meatball recipe just add to mix:
1. Onion. - Finely chop onions and fry in oil. cook until yellow - light brown. drain out oil. (in a small netted colandar otherwise onions will fall through holes. so make sure your collander has small holes. I bought a small netted one works great)
  1. Roll meatballs small. same exact cooking instructions.
  2. after cooked place meatballs in a roasting pan.
Add this Gravy Topping Mix to top of swedish meatballs and bake for 5 minutes @ 400 degrees. Cook until lightly brown.
  • 8 fresh mushrooms sliced
  • 1 onion chopped and fried in oil and drain
  • 1 reg Jar heinz beef gravy
  • 2 small cans cream of mushroom (not golden cream of mushroom)
  • 2tbs butter
  • Water - fill heinz gravy jar w/ water.
  • Put sliced mushrooms on top of meatballs (no need to pre cook they will cook in oven.)
  1. mix all other ingredients in pot. beat with whisk and cook on med low heat. No need to make it hot. Just enough so all the ingredients blends well. (blends well when it is warm) make sure you watch it because it will burn.
  2. Pour on top of swedish meatballs and bake.
NOTE: If you want to make side noodles keep 1/2 cup of mix above for noodles.
Noodles: Cook noodles & drain. Place in separate serving bowl.
In bowl put mix you saved above, Plus 2 tbs melted butter, 1 cup beef broth and 3 tbs grated cheese. Whisk together. Pour on top of pasta. ******************************************

All ingredients the same as meatballs just add: Chopped Celery & red peppers Sliced mushrooms, peas, and sauteed onions (drain out oil)Form the meatloaf into a log approx 5" x 8" x 4" high. (next time I make it I will measure it. ) you probably can make around 3 meatloafs.
My Aunt Josephine likes to add hard boiled eggs. (very tasty) slice them in small pieces and add them last after everything is already mixed and you are forming the meatloaf. put some in the middle and than once formed you can insert some on the top with your finger and the close the opening by pinching it.)

Add a little oil on bottom of pan. Cover Meatloaf with foil & bake in oven @ 450 for 25 minutes.
Can be served with gravy. I sautee onions and mix with beef gravy.

Mashed Potatoes is a must!!! I freeze extra for family to take to work for lunch.
Saute Sliced onions and mushroom in a little bit of Olive Oil and once cooked add gravy

CHICKEN OR TURKEY BURGERS .Makes approx. 12 -  5 oz Burgers.

3 pounds Ground Chicken or Turkey. 
 Don't use no fat ground meat, it doesn't taste good at all.  The one you should buy will say less fat on the package but don't buy the NO FAT.
1 Egg
1  cup Bread Crumbs
1/2 cup grated Chz
Chop up 1 pc celery, 1/4 pc red pepper, 1/4 small onion, 3 pcs mushrooms
1/2 tsp Basil and  1 pc chopped  fresh garlic
a Pinch or 1/4 tsp of  tsp garlic powder- granulated  (not garlic salt)
salt  and blk pepper.
2 tbs  water. Put 1 Tbs in first then mix everything together. Then pour in the other TBS if needed.  You need to put in enough water to make it moist but not too wet otherwise the burger won't hold together. If that happens add more breadcrumbs .

Mix everything together..

 Roll and push flat. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze.
Great on the George foreman grill 


GREAT HINT: After I prep my burgers, I wrap them up RAW in plastic wrap and freeze them. refrigate to defrost or use microwave to defrost not cook and then barbeque or use the George Forman Grill. Use as hamburgers, or cut up and put onto of salad.
Salad: Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, red peppers, apple or pear slices, feta chz ,
balsmic vinegerett.