Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Marinara Sauce

Marinara is now one of my pasta sauce, anything made of fresh tomatoes and basil, I like. Anyway, aside from that it is easy to make, Marinara Sauce is very healthy. Just think of the health benefits of red tomatoes, garlic, basil and olive oil combined. Put it all together, use less salt, you're good to enjoy a plate of pasta.

In making Marinara Sauce, think tomato soup. Only, Marinara is just a bit chunkier and has basil. My Marinara recipe is very basic and easy to make.

Important tool:
Blender/ hand blender

If you don't have a blender, replace whole peeled tomatoes with diced or simply triple the amount of red fresh tomatoes and mince it. Skip the blending process and just follow the Pasta Procedure by adding the diced or minced tomatoes oped and the chopped fresh basil with the tomato sauce.

  • 1 whole garlic (minced) and divided into 2 equal parts
  • a handful or fresh basil (chopped)
  • 5 fresh red tomatoes ( chopped)
  • 1 cup mushrooms (any)
  • 2 cans of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 400g Rigatoni or any pasta of your choice (cooked)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese and a bit for toppings
  • salt and ground pepper

Procedure: Marinara Sauce
  • Drain the 2 cans of whole peeled tomatoes and place its contents in the blender.
  • Add chopped fresh tomatoes, fresh basil and half of the minced garlic.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Set aside in a separate bowl.

Procedure: Pasta
  • In a sauce pan, heat olive oil and saute remaining minced garlic until light brown.
  • Add mushrooms and saute for a few seconds.
  • Add the cup of tomato sauce and simmer in low fire for about 15 seconds.
  • Add the Marinara sauce part by part.
  • Add cooked pasta and Parmesan cheese then mix everything until well- combined.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Plate the pasta and top with fresh basil or Parmesan cheese.
As a personal preference, I find Marinara fitting for white meat than beef or pork because of its natural flavor. I like chicken or tuna. From this recipe, you can add any meat of your choice. Anything that taste healthy can perfectly match another healthy item too, like vegetables.

Monday, December 28, 2015

From My Kitchen and Beyond is going to be back January 2016.

Hope everyone is having an amazing time this Holiday Season.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas & Have a Blessed New Year!!!


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Simple Tomato Soup

I just made tomato soup from scratch. It's my first time actually. Aside from mushroom and corn soup, tomato soup is also a favorite. One stormy weekend, I went out to buy some sandwiches in a nearby Subway. While waiting for the sandwiches, I ordered a small cup of  tomato soup. It was very rich and yummy. With that, I also bought some for my boys and they loved it too. So this week, I decided to make home-cooked tomato soup.

The secret to a rich tomato soup are roasted fresh, ripe tomatoes. It brings out the natural sweetness and flavor of the tomatoes. Chicken stock is also a key ingredient. I bought chicken stock from the grocery just to shorten the process, but you can make your own stock as well.
  • 6 ripe tomatoes (roasted)
In roasting, cut medium sized tomatoes into half , place it in a baking pan or dish, then season with olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary then roast it in the oven for 20 minutes. Usually, garlic is included, but in my case, I like to saute the garlic with the onions in a separate pan before mixing everything together. 
  • 2 400g can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 medium white onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup green peas
  • 1 tsp dried basil or fresh
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • a dash of salt and black pepper

Important Equipment:
  • Blender or food processor or hand blender
  • Baking dish for roasting
  • After roasting the seasoned fresh tomatoes, cool it down for a few minutes and place it in the blender. Add 1 can of diced tomatoes and blend it together until smooth. If you're using a hand blender, pour the roasted tomatoes after the rest of the ingredients are sauteed, then blend everything together.
  • After blending the tomatoes, set it aside.
  • In a separate sauce pan, heat olive oil.
  • Saute onions and garlic both at the same time, stir for a few seconds.
  • Add the remaining can of diced tomatoes and green peas. Mix and simmer for a few seconds.
  • Add the chicken stock and simmer again for about a minute.
  • Add the roasted tomato mix and simmer for 10- 15 minutes until thick.
  • Add more chicken stock if necessary.
  • In low fire, Add heavy cream and dried basil, stir and simmer again for 3- 5 minutes.
  • Add salt, pepper and sugar to taste. Adjust according to preference.
  • Simmer the tomato soup until smooth and thick.
Best served with Parmesan croutons and grilled cheese.
I'm a happy cook! I was able to create a simple Tomato Soup recipe. It is very healthy especially tomatoes are rich in Lycopene, a cancer- fighting agent. It sure feels good knowing that I can make a healthy soup anytime I want to. This will probably end up on my weekly menu. Just like Okra, it's best to include healthy dishes if not daily at least, on a weekly basis, or just jumble these dishes to serve something new and healthy everyday.