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Fresh Cherry Tomato Sauce with Penne

 

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I felt so Ina Garten this weekend, I went to a Farmers Market in another town that I don’t go to very often, and I ran into my now retired vetertarian.  He’s got a farm, growing all organic vegetables and apparently loving life and I so happy for him, miss him as my vet but he did pick a wonderful vet to take over for him, so I can’t be too mad.  But while I was there, I picked up some organic garlic(So Ina).  Didn’t know what I was going to do  with it but I got it!  Then I came home, did a few things and headed out the to garden, and my cherry tomato plant has gone crazy…. like I picked 4 quarts off of one plant, and not to brag but I’m pretty sure I’m an organic farmer because I have a little garden and I don’t spray anything on it and use very little fertizilier, ok I’m not organic, but it sounds good.

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Anyway, I took my organic garlic and sauted Into some olive oil(I’m not sure if it’s really good, like Ina uses, but it’s some of the best Walmart stocks!) to flavor the olive oil,

 

 

cherry tomato sauce 142and then I popped a quart of cherry tomatoes into the pan and cooked them over medium heat and once they stated blistering, press down on them and make them pop and let them cook a little,

 

 

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add a little salt and pepper and once it starts thickening, add some parmensan cheese, stir, then add pasta and if it’s too thIck add a little pasta water.   W hen it’s nicely coating the pasta,

 

cherry tomato sauce 153take off the heat and add some fresh basil.

 

 

cherry tomato sauce 154 Oh my gosh, this is sooooooo goooooood!   So fresh, so ummmmm.  There’s no other words.   Please try this, you will not regret it!  You will love it.   and you make it time and time again!

 

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Fresh Cherry Tomato Sauce with Penne Pasta

  • Servings: 2-3
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1/2 a box of whole wheat Penne Pasta

1 quart of cherry tomatoes, washed and stems removed

2 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 cup olive oil

2 to 3 TBSP Parmansan Cheese

Big bunch of Basil, cut into ribbons

Cook pasta according to the directions and make you sure you salt the water before cooking.  Add garlic and oil to a skillet and saute slowly as to not burn the garlic for 3 to 4 minutes, then add tomatoes and when they start to burst, smush them with the back of a wooden spoon and let them until it starts to thicken, 4 to 5 minutes, then add the pasta, and cheese and some pasta water if it’s too thick.  When the pasta is nicely coated with the sauce and cheese about 3 to 4 minutes, remove from the heat and top with basil, and dinner’s done in 15 minutes!

I love this recipe, cause right now I’ve got a ton of cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and garlic.  All I need from the store is pasta, and I usually have that already. It reheats well for lunch and would be an awesome side with grilled chicken if you want to have a heartier meal.  And you can have this meal year round because cherry tomatoes even out of season are still sweet and no super expensive!

 

Italian Grilled Chicken with Grilled Veggie Salad

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There’s just something that when the weather turns warm, it makes me want to grill something healthy on Sunday night.  I’ve usually overindulged over weekend, so by Sunday, I’m ready to rein it in for little while.  Plus when I cook something healthy on Sunday, I have a healthy lunch ready for Monday.  I’ve always liked chicken breast with Italian dressing seasoning sprinkled on it marinading in the mix, olive oil and vinegar, but what to do when you don’t have one of those little packets…. come up with your own!

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Sunday afternoon, I took olive oil, white vinegar, oregano leaves, garlic sliced up and salt and pepper and marinated the chicken breast in it for a few hours.  When I got ready to grill, I cut up zucchini, peppers, onion, garlic add a little olive oil, salt and pepper and popped them on the grill when I put the chicken on.

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While everything was grilling up I made a dressing similar to what I saw Clinton Kelly make on the Chew.  He did a mixture of mayo, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.  I went with mayo, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper and this creamy dressing was beyond good.  I’d never used mayo for a salad dressing, I always use mustard, so it was a nice change that I’ll be using a lot in the future.

grill chicken & veggie salad 033It’s a pretty little pink dressing! And it packs a lot of flavor.

Italian Grilled Chicken with Grill Veggie Salad

1 lb. chicken breast

3 TBSP. olive oil

3 TBSP. white vinegar

1 clove garlic, sliced

1 TBSP. oregano

Combine the above ingredients in a Ziploc bag along with a little salt and pepper and marinade for 3 or 4 hours.

Before grilling the chicken, cut up

1 medium zucchini

1 onion

1 bell pepper

2 cloves of garlic

Put veggies in a foil tray or tin foil tray, sprinkle with salt, pepper and drizzle a little olive oil on them.

On a medium hot grill add your chicken and veggies.  Cook everything 10 to 15 minutes or until the chicken is done.

Dressing for the veggies

1 TBSP. Red wine vinegar

1 TBSP. lite mayo

1 clove of garlic

1 tsp. oregano

salt and pepper

Combine in a jar and shake and pour over the warm veggies when they come off the grill.

Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

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This is one of my favorite, go to recipes. It’s simple, easy but special enough for company.  Two three ingredient recipes, all baked in the oven at the same time for a simple hands off dinner.

 

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Serve it up family style and there’s something for everyone, kids like the drumsticks there’s two, want dark meat you got thighs and the breast stays moist and delicious, plus usually we have enough for a leftover casserole or quesadillas the next night. And if you think you don’t like sweet potatoes like I did, try them this way and I guarantee you even the pickest eater will like them.

 

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They get all carmelly and crisp, the onions get nice and sweet, I could make a meal out just the potatoes, and for the most part this meal is very healthy for you, plus once you cut up the potatoes and dry and truss up your chicken, your work for the most part is done.  So you have an hour to an hour in half to do whatever needs doing.

Roasted Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

1 4 to 6 lbs. whole chicken

2 to 3 sweet potatoes

1 onion

1 clove of garlic

Rinse your chicken and throughly dry it, you want the skin to be as dry as possible so it can get nice and crispy, then place it in a cast iron skillet, roasting pan or baking sheet with a rack, salt and pepper your chicken.  Season with more salt than you think you’ll need.  Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and roast your chicken for 30 minutes.  While it’s roasting wash and chop your potatoes and dice your onion and garlic up.  On a large baking toss your garlic, potatoes and onion with a little oil and salt and pepper. When the chicken has been in the oven for 30 minutes, reduce the temperature to 425 degrees and put your potatoes in the oven with the chicken.  After about 20 minutes, stir your potatoes and cook them another 10 to 15 minutes until soft and carmelly. Check to see if the chicken is done. If you do a 4 lbs chicken it may be done now, if your chicken is bigger it may take up to another 20 to 30 minutes to finish cooking.  If it’s getting brown, you may want to tent the top with foil so it doesn’t over brown. Let your chicken rest a few minutes if you can before serving!

This recipe was shared at The Country Cooks Potluck Party