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Basil and Garlic Meatballs with Linguine

For the Marinara Sauce:

1 Large can of crushed tomatoes
1 Cup of yellow onion chopped (roughly half of a smaller onion or 1/4 of a larger one)
1 Tbsp of olive oil or canola oil
1/2 Tbsp of butter
2 Cloves of garlic minced
1 Tsp of Oregano
1/2 Tsp of dried parsley
1 Pinch of red pepper flakes

Melt butter in the bottom of a medium sauce pan under medium heat and add oil. Drop in onion and begin to sweat for 1-2 minutes. Add in minced garlic and stir frequently to ensure onions cook evenly. Now add the seasoning and stir for 15 seconds. This will help the aromatics of the dried seasoning. Add crushed tomatoes and lower to a simmer.

For the Meatballs:

16 Ounces ground sirloin
1/4 Cup panko
1/4 Cup breadcrumbs with Italian seasoning
1/3 Cup of chopped fresh basil
3 Garlic cloves minced
Pinch of kosher salt
Pinch of fresh ground black pepper
1 Large egg, slightly beaten
2 teaspoons of olive oil
1 Oz of Parmesan cheese

Combine seasonings, garlic and beef in a large bowl and mix using your hands. Add the egg and continue to mix the meat so the seasoning is spread evenly throughout. Shape the mixture into even balls roughly the size of a golf ball. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs, cook 5 minutes browning on all sides. Reduce heat to low and add marinara. If necessary, use some water from the pasta pot to add liquid. Cover and cook for 11 minutes (perfect time for cooking the pasta).

Serve over linguine and enjoy!


Tomato Bruschetta

1 Lb tomatoes
2 Cloves fresh garlic finely chopped
3 Tbsp fresh basil finely chopped
6-8 Fresh basil leaves for garnish
1 Pinch red chile peppers
4 Tbsp oregano
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6-8 Slices of country bread (sliced not too thin)
1 Tsp salt
1/2 Tsp black pepper
1 Tsp vinegar

Cut tomatoes in 2, core and clean by removing seeds and juice. Chop the tomatoes into very small pieces and transfer into a colander and sprinkle with some salt (this will help draw out excess moisture). After 20 minutes or so, transfer to a bowl and add the garlic, basil, oregano, red chili peppers, olive oil and a drop of wine vinegar. Cover and leave to marinate at room temperature for another 30-60 minutes. Toast the bread just before serving. Arrange the bread on individual plates, top with the tomato and garnish with a whole basil leaf and serve immediately.

Tomato Bruschetta

Tomato Bruschetta


Basil and Goat Cheese Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

1 1-1.5 Lb Pork Tenderloin (for 2)
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
3/4 Cup chopped basil
3/4 Cup crumbled goat cheese
1 Tsp lemon pepper
1 Tsp salt
1 Cup of grape tomatoes
Cooking twine or bamboo skewers for roast

Pre-heat oven to 375. Cut tomatoes in half, toss with (olive oil - pinch of salt/pepper) and arrange on cookie sheet or roasting pan. Once the oven is ready, place the tomatoes in the over for about 10 - 15 minutes or until nicely roasted.

Butterfly pork tenderloin using a sharp knife. Place sheet of wax/parchment paper over the butterflied pork and use a mallet to flatten out the roast. Be sure to flatten the roast evenly so when you roll the roast together with the filling inside the meat will cook evenly.

Combine the garlic, basil, goat cheese, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well until the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Spoon mixture evenly into the middle of the flattened pork roast and roll the meat until the roast is evenly closed and the mixture is sealed inside. Place the meat in a roasting pan and bake at 375 for about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the meat rest for a few minutes and top with roasted tomatoes.


Puff Pastry Tart with Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

1 Box of frozen puff pastry
2 Heirloom tomatoes sliced into bite sized sections or 1 basket or grape/cherry tomatoes halved (your choice)
1 Tablespoon of White Balsamic Vinegar
2 Cloves of Garlic, Chopped or Pressed
1/4 Tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 Quarter Cup of Fresh Basil, Minced
1 Container of crumbled goat cheese (fresh is fine but we think it can be harder to spread)

Combine ingredients from tomatoes to basil in a bowl and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Defrost puff pastry as instructed on the box. Lay out pastry and cut into even squares leaving one section to cut into 1/4 inch strips for edges. Lay 1/4 strips along the border on each side of the chart. Brush the raised edges of each puff pastry tart with egg-wash (1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp of water). Bake tarts for 20-22 minutes and remove from oven. Use fork to gently poke holes and deflate the center of the tart.

Layer goat cheese in the center of each tart (roughly 1-2 Tbsp, or to taste). Spoon tomato mixture on top of cheese and place in the oven for an additional 5 minutes. Remove and enjoy!


Lemon Basil Curry Aioli

The quantities used in this recipe are based on 2 - 4 people.

1/2 Cup light/canola mayonnaise
2 Tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 Fresh basil leaves, minced
1 Tsp of Curry powder (adjust to taste)

Add lemon juice, curry and basil leaves to the mayonnaise and whip the ingredients together. Refrigerate to chill and let the flavors develop.

We love this aioli with artichokes, asparagus, broccoli...essentially great with your go to green veggies!

Lemon Basil Curry Aioli

Lemon Basil Curry Aioli


Whole Wheat Pizzas for Two with Chicken Sausage and Artichoke Crowns

This is a recipe we are extremely excited about because we discovered an easy DIY pizza recipe to replace Boboli and costs about $5 less as a result. If you don't want get involved with rolling out dough, we completely relate and would still recommend using Boboli's whole wheat crust.

1 (16 oz) whole wheat pizza dough (uncooked) from Trader Joe's or a similar shop
1/2 Cup of flour
2 Cups of tomato sauce either store bought or home-made
2 Cloves of garlic peeled and minced
1 Cup of sliced artichoke crowns (or artichoke hearts if preferred)
1/4 Cup fresh basil minced
2 Links of Italian style (hot or sweet) chicken sausage - uncooked
1 Cup of part-skim mozzarella shredded
1/2 cup of fresh mini mozzarella balls

Remove dough from the refrigerator and let rest for several minutes (Note: If using a silicon rolling pin, place it in the freezer for a few minutes prior to use). Heat a skillet over medium-low flame and cook chicken sausage for about 8 minutes, rotating frequently. Remove from heat and let the meat rest. When cooled, slice sausages into 1/4 in slices or thinner if preferred.

Prepare a shallow roasting pan or cookie sheet by spraying or brushing a light layer of olive oil over the surface. Another option is to put down a thin layer of cornmeal to prevent sticking. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

For this recipe, we cut the dough into two even portions and roll out 2 pizzas. Prepare to roll out the dough by sprinkling a pinch flour over the surface you will be rolling the dough on. Sprinkle flour on the first portion and set aside the second; slowly knead the dough and work into a rectangular shape. Place dough on the counter and use the rolling pin (sprinkled with flour) to roll out the dough into an evenly portioned rectangle. Place the dough on the baking sheet and use your fingers to keep the rectangle stretching so that it doesn't shrink back to a smaller size. Repeat process for second portion of dough.

With dough now on the backing sheet, coat each rectangle with tomato sauce. Be sure to coat the rectangle evenly and leave a 1/4 inch border of plain dough around the sides. Now add minced garlic and basil, sprinkling each evenly on top of the sauce. Next comes the shredded mozzarella, sprinkle evenly around the pizza in a single layer. Add sliced chicken sausage and sliced artichoke crowns in even rows and add as much or as little as you desire.; each rectangular dough should hold the equivalent of roughly one sausage link. Finally, cut the mini mozzarella balls in half and add them to the pizza, roughly 8 halves to each rectangle.

Place baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool; handle with care when transferring to a cutting board to slice as the cheese may slide easily when fresh from the oven.

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