Category Archives: Sauce

Bucatini al’Amatriciana

Amatrice is a small town in Italy outside of Rome and this dish is named for it.  What I love most about this sauce is that it’s a return to simple Italian food, nothing excessive here.  This dish is intended to be made with guanciale , which is a pig jowl and it tastes like a porkier version of bacon or pancetta. I use pancetta, which now comes pre-diced in packages making for a very easy time. I also keep packages of the diced pancetta in my freezer, they defrost very quickly which makes them a perfect dinner ingredient.  I also use bucatini pasta which is thick and ropey with a hole like a straw. I wouldn’t wear white while eating this it’s a messy one. Super easy and delicious. I made it tonite with my marinated flank steak. I also used 2 containers of grape tomatoes, but you can easily substitute with 1 large  can of San Marzano tomatoes ( crushed )The cherry/grape tomatoes give it a lighter sauce, and I prefer it especially in the summer months but for the winter months or for a heavier tasting sauce use 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes with juices instead of fresh tomatoes.

45 minutes from start to finish and full of bright sophisticated flavors.

serves 4 as a main dish.

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons olive oil

4 – 6 oz. diced pancetta ( or 1/4 lb. glacial)

1/2 yellow onion chopped finely

2 garlic cloves , minced

2 containers of tomatoes halved ( I used grape tomatoes , I love them ) or 1 can 28 oz. crushed or whole tomatoes with their juices. If using whole tomatoes just crush them with the back of a wooden spoon.

*1 teaspoon red pepper flakes ( we like spicy) use your own discretion , can always add at the table

1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste

Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese, or any kind of Parmesan Cheese

1 lb. bucatini ( you can obviously use 1/2 pound and save any leftover sauce to freeze for another time) any thick spaghetti will do but I love this one in this recipe. Perciatelli is another good choice.

Directions:

In a large heavy skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring constantly. I like my pancetta crispy, but just get it golden brown, about 5 – 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon remove pancetta into a separate bowl. Add onions to olive oil till translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes , I do this off the heat. I then add all the tomatoes, some kosher salt ( to taste) and some black pepper and add back in the pancetta. I also add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook the tomatoes till they start to break down and form a sauce. Taste for salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered for at least 45 minutes , up to an hour for perfect sauce.

Cook Pasta according to package directions, tender but still firm to the bite. Before draining pasta take out about 1 cup of pasta water and set aside. Drain the pasta and place in a large serving bowl, I add a little of the pasta water and then I add the sauce. Toss gently and serve. I served with Parmesan Cheese .

Fresh Basil Pesto

photo 2 (6)

Chicken and Pesto on the Grill

photo 2 (8)

Pasta Pesto

The original recipe for this delicious pesto appeared back in May 2011 on Cooking with Candi.  Yummy Pesto was the title. This is the same recipe from my BFF Suki. I have tried many pesto sauces and this remains my absolute go to favorite. It is super easy and while the basil is abundant you should make it and freeze it. When you freeze the pesto in a container, pour a thin layer of olive oil over the top . I have it frozen for up to 3 months. I use it on chicken, pasta, and it’s wonderful as a spread. This recipe is good for 2 lbs. of pasta usually. So I use 1/2 and freeze the rest if it’s just the 2 of us.

Pesto Chicken on the Grill with Grilled Peppers and Roasted Sweet Potatoes

DSCN3588

Fresh Basil

If you are going to use on chicken , just brush on the chicken sprinkle a tiny bit of  kosher salt on it and  let it marinate for a few hours at least and it can be marinated  overnight in the refrigerator. Take it out of fridge and let it sit at room temp. before putting on the grill. That’s it!

*if you’re going to freeze the pesto for a later date–put into a container and add a thin layer of olive oil to the top. Then when you defrost it just mix the olive oil in this will keep it green .

*You’ll need a food processor

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh basil (washed)

1/2 cup romano cheese (grated)

1/2 cup parmesan cheese ( grated)

1/2 cup pignolli nuts or walnuts

1 cup extra virgin olive oil–use a good one

1 – 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter (it’s good if the butter is softened before adding) you can soften in microwave

4 cloves garlic – peeled and whole

freshly ground black pepper–to taste

*kosher salt to taste if you feel you need it after finished making pesto

Directions:

I put all ingredients except for olive oil in the food processor. Give it a few grinds using the blade attachment. Then I slowly add in the olive oil through the top of processor while it’s on. Beautiful green pesto! so easy. Taste for salt and pepper

Cook pasta and drain and add pesto. Done!

Summertime Fresh Tomato Sauce–no cook sauce

IMG_7930 (2)FullSizeRender (3)Nothing better than a really fresh tomato sauce , so fresh that you don’t even have to cook it. Just let the tomatoes marinate for a few hours with some olive oil , basil and a few spices and you’re good to go. So very easy and delicious. A must go-to for summertime and why not anytime? The only down side to making this sauce is that I really feel it needs to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and really 4 hours is best. You can taste for salt and pepper during this period.

The other delicious thing to do with this is to add small balls of mozzarella and make a wonderful Caprese salad. I also love this tomato sauce on grilled chicken. And on grilled bread as bruschetta!!!

This recipe is sort of thrown together so there will be a lot of tasting as you go along, depending on the tomatoes you may or may not need extra salt and pepper. I made this for my grandson so I left out the crushed red pepper, if I were making for us I would have thrown in at least 1/2 teaspoon.  Crushed red pepper can always be added at the table.

*This should make about 6 servings, you can adjust to any amount you need, I used 1/2 for the 2 of us .

Ingredients:

app. 3 pints of grape tomatoes ( the little ones), you can use any beautiful fresh tomatoes especially in the summer months.  You’ll just have to eyeball the amounts of tomatoes. I like the pieces cut small but you can just roughly chop up larger tomatoes. If you’re using cherry or plum tomatoes you can cut in half or quarters. It’s not an exact science.

1/2 cup olive oil

app. 4 cloves garlic , minced ( you can adjust this to your liking, a little more or less)

app. 18 basil leaves plus extra for serving. Nothing beats the taste of fresh basil in this so don’t omit. You’ll want extra for serving. I roll up the basil and use a kitchen shear to slice it.

*this is optional –1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper–we love it but adjust to your liking or just serve on the table

Kosher Salt–app. 1 teaspoon and then you’ll taste for more

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper–again you’ll have to taste and adjust to your own liking

1 pound pasta of your liking , I like a thin spaghetti best with this sauce. Angel Hair, Cappelini, any of these.

1 cup Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese, plus extra for serving.

Directions:

Combine the tomatoes, 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, basil leaves, red pepper, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and just let it sit out on the countertop . The longer it sits the better, at least 2 hours to macerate and 4 hours would be ideal.

Just before you are ready to serve, cook pasta. Cook al dente according to the box directions. Angel Hair cooks up in under 5 minutes.

Drain the pasta and add to the bowl with the tomatoes. Add in 1 cup of parmesan cheese and some more fresh basil if you’d like and toss well. Serve in big bowls with extra cheese on the side . Cheese will melt, so keep giving it some good tosses to integrate tomatoes and sauce.

Yum!

Bucatini al’Amatriciana

Amatrice is a small town in Italy outside of Rome and this dish is named for it. This dish is intended to be made with guanciale , which is a pig jowl and it tastes like a porkier version of bacon or pancetta. I use pancetta, which now comes pre-diced in packages making for a very easy time. I also keep packages of the diced pancetta in my freezer, they defrost very quickly which makes them a perfect dinner ingredient.  I also use bucatini pasta which is thick and ropey with a hole like a straw. I wouldn’t wear white while eating this it’s a messy one. Super easy and delicious. I made it tonite with my marinated flank steak. I also used 2 containers of grape tomatoes, but you can easily substitute with 1 large  can of San Marzano tomatoes ( crushed )The cherry/grape tomatoes give it a lighter sauce, and I prefer it especially in the summer months.

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons olive oil

4 – 6 oz. diced pancetta ( or 1/4 lb. glacial)

1/2 yellow onion chopped finely

2 garlic cloves , minced

2 containers of tomatoes halved ( I used grape tomatoes , I love them )

*1 teaspoon red pepper flakes ( we like spicy) use your own discretion , can always add at the table

1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste

Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese, or any kind of Parmesan Cheese

1 lb. bucatini ( you can obviously use 1/2 pound and save any leftover sauce to freeze for another time) any thick spaghetti will do but I love this one in this recipe. Perciatelli is another good choice.

Directions:

In a large heavy skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring constantly. I like my pancetta crispy, but just get it golden brown, about 5 – 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon remove pancetta into a separate bowl. Add onions to olive oil till translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes , I do this off the heat. I then add all the tomatoes, some kosher salt ( to taste) and some black pepper and add back in the pancetta. I also add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook the tomatoes till they start to break down and form a sauce. Taste for salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered for at least 45 minutes , up to an hour for perfect sauce.

Cook Pasta according to package directions, tender but still firm to the bite. Before draining pasta take out about 1 cup of pasta water and set aside. Drain the pasta and place in a large serving bowl, I add a little of the pasta water and then I add the sauce. Toss gently and serve. I served with Parmesan Cheese .

Fresh Basil Pesto

photo 2 (6)

Chicken and Pesto on the Grill

photo 2 (8)

Pasta Pesto

The original recipe for this delicious pesto appeared back in May 2011 on Cooking with Candi.  Yummy Pesto was the title. This is the same recipe from my BFF Suki. I have tried many pesto sauces and this remains my absolute go to favorite. It is super easy and while the basil is abundant you should make it and freeze it. When you freeze the pesto in a container, pour a thin layer of olive oil over the top . I have it frozen for up to 3 months. I use it on chicken, pasta, and it’s wonderful as a spread. This recipe is good for 2 lbs. of pasta usually. So I use 1/2 and freeze the rest if it’s just the 2 of us.

Pesto Chicken on the Grill with Grilled Peppers and Roasted Sweet Potatoes

DSCN3588

Fresh Basil

If you are going to use on chicken , just brush on the chicken sprinkle a tiny bit of  kosher salt on it and  let it marinate for a few hours at least and it can be marinated  overnight in the refrigerator. Take it out of fridge and let it sit at room temp. before putting on the grill. That’s it!

*You’ll need a food processor

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh basil (washed)

1/2 cup romano cheese (grated)

1/2 cup parmesan cheese ( grated)

1/2 cup pignolli nuts or walnuts

1 cup extra virgin olive oil–use a good one

1 – 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter (it’s good if the butter is softened before adding) you can soften in microwave

4 cloves garlic – peeled and whole

freshly ground black pepper–to taste

*kosher salt to taste if you feel you need it after finished making pesto

Directions:

I put all ingredients except for olive oil in the food processor. Give it a few grinds using the blade attachment. Then I slowly add in the olive oil through the top of processor while it’s on. Beautiful green pesto! so easy. Taste for salt and pepper

Cook pasta and drain and add pesto. Done!

Summertime Fresh Tomato Sauce–no cook sauce

IMG_7930 (2)FullSizeRender (3)Nothing better than a really fresh tomato sauce , so fresh that you don’t even have to cook it. Just let the tomatoes marinate for a few hours with some olive oil , basil and a few spices and you’re good to go. So very easy and delicious. A must go-to for summertime and why not anytime? The only down side to making this sauce is that I really feel it needs to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and really 4 hours is best. You can taste for salt and pepper during this period.

The other delicious thing to do with this is to add small balls of mozzarella and make a wonderful Caprese salad. I also love this tomato sauce on grilled chicken. And on grilled bread as bruschetta!!!

This recipe is sort of thrown together so there will be a lot of tasting as you go along, depending on the tomatoes you may or may not need extra salt and pepper. I made this for my grandson so I left out the crushed red pepper, if I were making for us I would have thrown in at least 1/2 teaspoon.  Crushed red pepper can always be added at the table.

*This should make about 6 servings, you can adjust to any amount you need, I used 1/2 for the 2 of us .

Ingredients:

app. 3 pints of grape tomatoes ( the little ones), you can use any beautiful fresh tomatoes especially in the summer months.  You’ll just have to eyeball the amounts of tomatoes. I like the pieces cut small but you can just roughly chop up larger tomatoes. If you’re using cherry or plum tomatoes you can cut in half or quarters. It’s not an exact science.

1/2 cup olive oil

app. 4 cloves garlic , minced ( you can adjust this to your liking, a little more or less)

app. 18 basil leaves plus extra for serving. Nothing beats the taste of fresh basil in this so don’t omit. You’ll want extra for serving. I roll up the basil and use a kitchen shear to slice it.

*this is optional –1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper–we love it but adjust to your liking or just serve on the table

Kosher Salt–app. 1 teaspoon and then you’ll taste for more

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper–again you’ll have to taste and adjust to your own liking

1 pound pasta of your liking , I like a thin spaghetti best with this sauce. Angel Hair, Cappelini, any of these.

1 cup Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese, plus extra for serving.

Directions:

Combine the tomatoes, 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, basil leaves, red pepper, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and just let it sit out on the countertop . The longer it sits the better, at least 2 hours to macerate and 4 hours would be ideal.

Just before you are ready to serve, cook pasta. Cook al dente according to the box directions. Angel Hair cooks up in under 5 minutes.

Drain the pasta and add to the bowl with the tomatoes. Add in 1 cup of parmesan cheese and some more fresh basil if you’d like and toss well. Serve in big bowls with extra cheese on the side . Cheese will melt, so keep giving it some good tosses to integrate tomatoes and sauce.

Yum!

Classic Soffritto with Spicy Italian Sausage in Tomato Sauce

Winter cont'd 002Winter cont'd 005Winter cont'd 004Winter cont'd 015Winter cont'd 017Soffritto is a mixture of seasonings and finely chopped vegetables, such as onions, garlic, celery and carrots that is sautéed in olive oil and used as a base for many Italian dishes. I added a little red pepper flakes and oregano. This soffritto takes an average sauce to a perfect sauce. I first learned how to use it many years ago on a trip to Italy. Plus what an awesome way to get Joel to eat some vegetables!

We came home from a beautiful ski day up on The Highlands out here in Aspen, Colorado. Very much in the mood for pasta. I had a pound of italian spicy sausage on hand and all of the other ingredients for this delicious sauce. A short tubular pasta is always best for this sauce, Rigatoni and Penne work really well. I happen to have a box of Tortiglioni noodles which work really well.

Ingredients:

Soffritto:

4 garlic cloves , whole

1 medium onion , cut into quarters

1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1 ” pieces

1 celery stalk, cut into 1 ” pieces

1 tsp. dry oregano

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes ( now you all know by now how much I love the heat, if you’re not a fan omit it)

Directions for Soffritto:

Pulse onion, carrot, garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes in a food processor until finely chopped. ( see photo) Set aside.

Sauce:

ingredients:

1 28 oz. can or box of pureed tomatoes, if you don’t have pureed you can just throw whole ones into food processor along with its juice and puree it yourself.

1 lb. hot or sweet Italian Sausage, casings removed

1/4 cup olive oil

Kosher Salt, freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp. Tomato Paste , tubes of Tomato Paste work so well in cases like this

1 lb. Pasta Noodles of your choice

Finely grated Parmesan or Grana Padano for garnish

Directions:

In the food processor pulse onion, carrot , celery, garlic , oregano and red pepper flakes until finely chopped; transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat, add sausage and cook, breaking up sausage with the back of a wooden spoon, until browned and no longer pink. Using a slotted spoon , transfer to a plate.

Increase heat to medium-high , add reserved vegetable mixture to same pan that you cooked sausage in. Taste and season for salt, cook stirring often until vegetables are golden, about 10 minutes.

Stir tomato paste and 1 cup of water in a small bowl, I used measuring cup and small whisk, add to pot with vegetables. Cook , scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer until liquid has almost evaporated, about 10 minutes.

Add reserved sausage, and tomato puree and 1 more cup of water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer, you may need to add more water if sauce gets too thick. Cook on simmer for about 2 hours. Taste for salt.

* you can make sauce 3 days ahead , let cool. Cover and chill , or freeze for up to 2 months. Reheat on stove top on low flame.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, follow package directions for al dente. Drain and reserve 2 cups of pasta cooking water.

I make more sauce than I need for the 2 of us, so added sauce to pasta in a separate bowl, adding pasta water as I needed it. I froze the remainder.

 

What I made for Dinner – Turkey Bolognese

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Beautiful Zucchini Linguine in Turkey Bolognese Sauce

The weather has finally gotten cold enough to make me want to cook some heartwarming meals and this has to be one of our all time favorites. I will be making enough to eat some tonite and freeze the sauce for another meal when I don’t have the time to make the sauce. Perfect Sunday night food. I must say Pasta is probably my most favorite food to eat. Bolognese sauce is one of my most favorites. Today I decided not to go to my usual Bolognese which is delicious but very heavy and rich. I went with a lighter approach today using Turkey and Chicken Sausage because I couldn’t find italian turkey sausage and didn’t feel like hunting it down, and the chicken sausage worked just fine. I did use dark meat turkey because it is much more flavorful, it is ideal but if you really don’t want to use the dark meat use 1/2 white and 1/2 dark or all white meat . The only negative to this sauce is that it really needs 3- 4 hours for the sauce to cook down. The longer the sauce cooks the more flavorful it will be.  This sauce would probably serve 4 nicely with 1 lb. of pasta. You can easily double it and freeze the leftover sauce. So nice to have it in the freezer and just have to make the pasta and you have a wonderful homemade meal. I have now started serving the sauce over shredded zucchini (zucchini linguine) and spaghetti squash.  It is so delicious and you may feel a little bit better eating it over zucchini or spaghetti squash than noodles.  Pasta or Vegetable it’s pretty awesome. Look on my blog for Zucchini Bolognese Recipe for how to recipe, posted 12/20/2012.

Ingredients:

6 Tablespoons Olive Oil, plus more if necessary

1 lb. Italian style Turkey or Chicken Sausage, removed from casings. You can also mix in hot or sweet Italian pork sausage if you don’t mind using the pork.

1 pound ground Turkey ( I used dark meat )

Kosher Salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

2 medium yellow onions, peeled and finely diced ( app. 2 cups)

3 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced

2 28 oz. cans whole peeled tomatoes with their juice

1/3 cup tomato paste

1 box. Rigatoni ( or any other macaroni you like ) or spaghetti or if you like use *shredded zucchini or *spaghetti squash ( see notes)

Grated Parmesan Cheese for serving

Directions:

Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large heavy pan over medium high heat. ( I use my Le Creuset ) Add the sausage meat and break it up as it cooks, turning now and then, until browned all over, about 10 minutes. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon to a bowl and set aside, add the ground turkey to the pan along with a good pinch of salt and a few fresh grind of pepper. Cook the meat stirring here and there, for 10 minutes as well, till meat is nicely browned. I remove and put in bowl with the sausage which was set aside. Add another 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and add the onions and garlic. Cook until onion breaks down and gets soft, another good 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juice along with 1/2 cup of water. ( You may need more water as you go) Add the sausage and ground turkey, stir the sauce well. Bring the sauce to a boil, season to taste with salt and pepper and turn the heat to low. Cover almost completely with a lid (allowing a little steam to escape) and gently simmer for 4 hours. You may want to add splashes of water if sauce is drying out. After 2 hours I added the 1/3 cup of Tomato Paste, and replace lid and continue simmering for 2 more hours. I added water as it cooked, you’ll have to judge for yourself how much water you add. I added 1/4 cup at a time.

When the sauce is ready for serving, bring a large pot of water and prepare pasta according to package directions.

serve with sauce over the rigatoni ( or any pasta you like) with a nice grating of Parmesan.

Yum!

*so many stores now sell zucchini already shredded and it’s dry and ready to go. The only problem with doing it yourself is that you must get the extra moisture out.

*Spaghetti Squash – just have the store cut it in half because it’s a tough one to cut at home. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and scoop out the seeds. Spray a rimmed baking sheet and turn squash open side down on baking sheet and cook till soft, probably 45 minutes or so. Remove from oven and with a fork remove the inside of the squash into a bowl, it comes out like very thin spaghetti.

For full recipe on Zucchini/Squash go to my Zucchini Bolognese Recipe.

Tomato Time Pasta

photo 2 (3)photo 4 (2)photo 5 (3)Nothing but beautiful tomatoes out there begging to be eaten in a million different ways. Perfect for a “Meatless Monday” dish or any night of the week . There are tons of local tomatoes out there now. At any local farmers market you can pick up pints of these beautiful babies. This is a lovely light pasta.

I had bought 2 pints of those beautiful little cherry tomatoes and right now there are those gorgeous yellow sunburst tomatoes also available.  I wasn’t sure what I would do with them. They varied in size so I knew if I made a sauce some were getting cut and some would stay whole. Nothing ever sounds better than a plate of pasta to me,  nothing.   These beautiful tomatoes are only out for such a limited time you have to get them while the getting is good.  Some of the tomatoes were super small and I left them whole while I halved the larger ones. There are so many variations of this sauce and feel free to improvise. We love it this way. So simple and so delicious.

Follow me on Instagram @cookingwithcandi

Ingredients:

1 lb. spaghetti , I like long spaghetti for this but whatever kind you like is good– I used a whole box but you can use however much you’d like

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced. If you’d prefer you can slice thinly

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper* we like it spicy so if you don’t want it that spicy cut to 1/4, I actually used 1 whole teaspoon and it packed a lot of kick.

2 pints of cherry tomatoes or you can use about 3 cups of chopped fresh tomatoes of any type. I cut the larger tomatoes in 1/2 and I left the little ones whole.

app. 20 leaves of fresh basil, I just cut them up into small slivers

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste –I used app. 1 teaspoon on tomatoes and added towards the end

freshly grated parmesan at your discretion

Directions:

Cook pasta according to directions on box for al dente. Reserve a cup of pasta water in the event you may need a little more liquid in your sauce. Add 2 tablespoons of salt to cooking water for pasta. The Italians like to say that their pasta water should be like sea water good and salty.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and garlic, cook until garlic is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Be careful don’t want to burn this garlic. Add the crushed red pepper now and the tomatoes, and cook over medium heat. I also added some kosher salt (about 1/2 teaspoon to start, you can always add more) and a little freshly ground black pepper. Stir for a while to make sure garlic doesn’t burn and tomatoes start to burst and deflate about 5  minutes. I let the tomatoes simmer in the pan for about 15 minutes. Taste for Salt and Pepper. The longer the tomatoes sit in the oil and cook down on a low simmer the better the sauce will be so if you have a little time let it sit.

Once the spaghetti is cooked and you’ve drained it ( remember to reserve a cup of pasta water).  Add it to the pan with tomatoes and over medium-high heat toss the pasta with the tomatoes well. Add the basil and if you’d like add cheese. I let everyone add their own cheese at the table.

Remove the pan from the heat and plate it up.

Yum! and even more delicious the next day.

Fresh Basil Pesto

photo 2 (6)

Chicken and Pesto on the Grill

photo 2 (8)

Pasta Pesto

The original recipe for this delicious pesto appeared back in May 2011 on Cooking with Candi.  Yummy Pesto was the title. This is the same recipe from my BFF Suki. I have tried many pesto sauces and this remains my absolute go to favorite. It is super easy and while the basil is abundant you should make it and freeze it. When you freeze the pesto in a container, pour a thin layer of olive oil over the top . I have it frozen for up to 3 months. I use it on chicken, pasta, and it’s wonderful as a spread. This recipe is good for 2 lbs. of pasta usually. So I use 1/2 and freeze the rest if it’s just the 2 of us.

Pesto Chicken on the Grill with Grilled Peppers and Roasted Sweet Potatoes

DSCN3588

Fresh Basil

If you are going to use on chicken , just brush on the chicken sprinkle a tiny bit of  kosher salt on it and  let it marinate for a few hours at least and it can be marinated  overnight in the refrigerator. Take it out of fridge and let it sit at room temp. before putting on the grill. That’s it!

*You’ll need a food processor

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh basil (washed)

1/2 cup romano cheese (grated)

1/2 cup parmesan cheese ( grated)

1/2 cup pignolli nuts or walnuts

1 cup extra virgin olive oil–use a good one

1 – 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter (it’s good if the butter is softened before adding) you can soften in microwave

4 cloves garlic – peeled and whole

freshly ground black pepper–to taste

*kosher salt to taste if you feel you need it after finished making pesto

Directions:

I put all ingredients except for olive oil in the food processor. Give it a few grinds using the blade attachment. Then I slowly add in the olive oil through the top of processor while it’s on. Beautiful green pesto! so easy. Taste for salt and pepper

Cook pasta and drain and add pesto. Done!