Lasagna in the Slow Cooker

Delicious Recipe made super easy in the Slow Cooker. Set it and Forget it!

Cooking with Candi

I have to say when I first heard about lasagna in the slow cooker I was sort of skeptical.  My friend Cathy told me about it; she said she had made it for her family and I should give it a go.   The original recipe is from Jessica Seinfeld, who sneaks vegetables and healthy stuff into her food. I did make a few changes from original recipe , I used more sauce and a little more salt , I used fresh spinach which can easily be substituted for ground turkey, sausage, or any type of meat you like.  Next time I make this recipe I will be using meat because it really was quite easy and pretty quick even by slow cooker standards. It cooked in 3 1/2 hours, looked amazing and tasted delicious. I am still a little surprised by how good it was. The spinach wilts down and almost looks like basil…

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Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Being I am so much more of a morning person than a night person I love to cook in the morning, not elaborate breakfasts mind you but Dinner. I prep , chop and set up my slow cooker and it’s all in by 8 a.m. I cooked this on low for 8 hours and then on high for 2. You can do it on high for 6-8 as well. Almost fool-proof and you’ll love the benefits. When you enter your home at the end of the day your house will smell amazing, your dinner will be almost ready and you’ll have one pot to clean after dinner! Wow! Now of course you’ll have a bit of a mess in the morning but that’s OK because you’ll have more energy in the morning . Shop ahead and have all your ingredients ready and you’re set . I love slow cooker meals.

This is what I did:

Ingredients:

2 lbs. boneless beef chuck, cut into 1 inch cubes — the butcher usually has this meat already cut up. You can add an extra lb. of meat if you have more people.

5 medium size carrots, sliced into chunks

1 lb. baby potatoes — they come in a bag and are perfect just the way they are. Of course you can cut up larger potatoes if you wish.

1 small white onion–diced

3 cloves garlic–minced

3 cups Beef Broth

2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tbsp. Italian Seasonings–dry and available in most spice sections

Salt and Pepper to taste

1/4 cup Flour

2 cups Frozen Peas– I used frozen peas you can also add frozen corn if you like or use both.

Directions:

Take out the meat and dry it off with a paper towel. Sprinkle liberally with Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper on all sides. Heat a skillet with a little olive oil and sear on each side for a few minutes just to get a crust on the meat. You will not be cooking the meat just searing.

I spray my slow-cooker with cooking spray (Pam) and then add the meat, the carrots, potatoes, onion and garlic.

Add the beef broth , tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, italian seasoning, and I added about a 1/2 tsp. of Kosher Salt and a few grinds of the pepper mill (6) . You can taste at some point and always add more.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours or High for 6-8 hours. An hour before serving, I take out about a cup of gravy from the beef stew and whisk with 1/4 cup flour. Then stir into the stew along with the frozen peas. Stir and taste for S and P at this point.

I let it cook on high for 2 more hours. You should let it cook for at least 1 more hour after the addition of the flour. The flour will thicken the gravy, so you’ll want to cook for at least 1 more hour on high setting.

Enjoy! a loaf of crusty bread would be in order on the side.

Saucy Stuffed Shells – Baked and Meatless

Shells 004Shells 007Shells 009Shells 010OK you must be thinking is she kidding Stuffed Shells? gotta be the most fattening food to eat , and it probably is outside of lasagna, baked ziti and the like. Super delicious and sometimes you just hafta roll with it. I wanted a crowd pleaser that was vegetarian and something that can easily be made ahead and frozen.  My mind wanders to yummy, gooey food with a lot of cheese because who doesn’t love a lot of cheese. Ah , yes Stuffed Shells.  I wouldn’t cook like this all the time, but once every blue moon no one is getting hurt, right? I served with a salad , no need for bread and butter here. Homemade Maple Syrup Salad Dressing ( see on blog) and it was really pretty awesome. Took a few hours to prepare, mostly because I made my own sauce ( Sunday night sauce) but feel free to use a jar of prepared sauce if you must. This is a perfect meal to make ahead of time, and just pop into oven.

Of course if you love it with meat you can make a meat sauce and follow same directions.

Happy Holidays to all — and visit me on Instagram @cookingwithcandi

Ingredients:

1 box Jumbo Shells ( you won’t use all but a lot of them break, etc.)

1 lb. Ricotta ( I used Part Skim)

1 lb. Mozzarella Shredded ( I used Part Skim) if you can obtain fresh mozzarella and shred it that would make it even better! whatever works for you

1 cup grated Parmesan ( any kind you like)

1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

*marinara sauce or any red sauce I made my own and use my own recipe. If buying sauce and there are some delicious good sauces out there, you’ll need at least 1 jar and maybe a 1 1/2 jars. I make a big batch of sauce and freeze the remainder. It’s nice to have a little extra sauce in case you need it when you re-heat the stuffed shells.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Prepare Pasta , cook for between 12 and 15 minutes, you’ll want them soft but not undercooked at the center. Drain pasta and cool for easy handling.

Combine ricotta, 1/2 of the mozzarella, 1/2 of the Parmesan, parsley and egg in a bowl. Taste for Salt and Pepper.

When shells have cooled down, fill them with rounded spoonfuls of cheese mixture and arrange them seam side down in casserole dish. I used a 9 x 13 Pyrex. Top Shells with remaining sauce and remaining mozzarella and grated cheese. Place shells in very hot oven . You can turn on broiler for last few minutes , it should be slightly browned and bubbly. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.

Delicious!

Lentil Soup with Sausage and Ditalini

I suppose it’s that time of the year again when we crave warm cozy meals. this is perfect for sunday dinner (or any night ) will feed about 8 people nicely. freezes perfectly. and served with a beautiful salad and some bread it’s an awesome meal. i make so many soups, and will be following up throughout the winter with all of my wonderful soup recipes, but this one is really special. the lentils add a wonderful flavor and texture, the sausage adds a savory spice. i mix hot and sweet sausage but feel free to go all sweet, i also like the sausage to have some fennel in it, i use italian pork sausage. you can obviously substitute with turkey or chicken sausage. so cozy on up to this one, it’s a true keeper. I believe this recipe came from a cookbook by julia della croce, who has the most awesome italian recipes. i’ve made a few changes for myself, but maybe you will too. this is filling enough as a meal which is how we eat it.

Ingredients:

1/2 lb. (1 1/2 cups) lentils

10 cups chicken broth

1 bay leaf

1 lb. sausage, I used 1/2 sweet and 1/2 spicy italian pork sausage , feel free to use turkey sausage /chicken sausage. I like fennel in my sausage, so the italian ones usually have it. i have made it with turkey and it’s delicious.

3 tablespoons olive oil , You may need a little more after you cook the sausage. (see directions)

6 cloves garlic, chopped

1 onion chopped (yellow)

1 large celery stalk chopped ( leaves included)

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 16 oz. can plum tomatoes, i use the chopped, peeled and seeded ones, along with the juice.

1/2 cup ditalini or any little pasta

Kosher Salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

some flat leaf parsley chopped up (optional)

grated fresh parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:

pick over the lentils, remove any stones, imperfect ones, etc. wash the lentils in cold water ( I use a colander to pick through) Transfer to a large pot ( my trusty Le Creuset) large dutch oven. Cover the lentils with broth and add the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer immediately. Simmer for about 15 minutes. while the soup is cooking , remove sausage from it’s casing ( butcher can do this for you as well) In a large ample frying pan, put the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and when the olive oil is heated up , put in sausage, and break it up with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 10 minutes. Remove sausage from the pan with a slotted spoon. Leave whatever oil is still in the pan, should be about 1 tablespoon.  I usually add a little more olive oil here about 1 more tablespoon should do it. then  add the garlic, onion, celery, and thyme and saute till vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes. When veggies are softened, return sausage to the pan. in a bowl or measuring cup i take a few ladles of broth out of pot and mix the 3 tablespoons of tomato paste into it. then add to sausage mixture .  add all ingredients into lentil/broth plus can of chopped tomatoes in their juice.  let all ingredients blend together and bring back to a low boil, then simmer for about an hour. before i serve it i return to a boil and add pasta, it only takes about 8 minutes for pasta to cook through. discard the bay leaf, ladle into soup bowls, add freshly grated parmesan cheese and you’re good to go with a super authentic italian soup. we eat it as a meal alongside salad and some very good bread

*should serve 8 as a meal, with a little left over to freeze

Chicken Stew in One Pot

This is one of  my go to meals when the weather turns a little cold and throughout the winter months.  When I need something to make that’s easy, healthy and comforting. Food for the soul I like to say. I serve this with crusty bread,  and a green salad. It’s very filling and makes a beautiful presentation for 2 or 6. Hope you enjoy, it’s really very easy , just chop up a few vegetables (carrots, onions, and celery, a basic *mirepoix) open a few cans and buy the chicken, don’t be intimidated by ingredients! This recipe inspired from Giada de Laurentis’s chicken stew. I have made a few changes to suit my taste.

*should serve 4-6 nicely with 4 nice size chicken breasts

*Basic Mirepoix is a combination of chopped carrots, celery and onions used to add flavor and aroma to stocks, sauces, soups and other foods. Usually comprised of 50% onions, 25% carrots, and 25% celery.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 stalks celery, small bite size pieces

1 carrot, peeled, cut into small bite size pieces

1 small white onion chopped

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 can chopped tomatoes ( I use San Marzano diced) large 28 oz. can with juice

16 oz. chicken broth (1/2 box) but you may need a bit more so hold on to rest of the box.

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon dry thyme

I use 4 chicken breasts with ribs ( I usually go to butcher order 2 chicken breasts with bone in, split in two) if you go to supermarket, either buy 2 large breasts, or 4 smaller ones. Skin on and Bones in! app. 1 1/2 – 2 lbs. total weight. You will be removing the skin, it will add to the flavor of the stew.

1 can red kidney beans drained ( if using organic, do not need to rinse) 15 oz.

1 can black beans drained ( if using organic , do not need to rinse either) 15 oz.

nice crusty whole grain bread

*hot sauce like Cholula is great served on the table so people can adjust seasonings on their own

Directions:

Heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy 5 1/2 quart. pot. ( Le Creuset again) heat over medium heat. When oil is hot add the onions, celery , and carrot (Mirepoix mixture). Saute the vegetables until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. You will taste again towards the end, so if you want to hold off on this step you can. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, chicken broth, tomato paste, bay leaf and thyme. Then add the chicken breasts , press to submerge in the sauce.

Bring the liquid to a slow simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer gently uncovered until the chicken is almost cooked through, turning the chicken breasts over and stirring mixture occasionally, app. 30 minutes. Using tongs if you have them, if you don’t , buy them, remove the chicken to a plate and allow to cool ( about 15 minutes) Discard the bay leaf, add the beans to the pot ( remember to drain) and bring to a simmer until the liquid is reduced to a stew-like consistency, probably another 15 minutes or so.

Discard the chicken skin and bones from the chicken breasts. Shred or cut the chicken into bite size pieces. Return the chicken meat to the stew. Bring the stew back to a slow simmer. Season again with salt and pepper to taste.

I usually cook , then turn off heat, and bring it back to simmer right before serving.

This should serve 6 well. I serve with a nice crusty whole grain bread. Everything is in the pot, veggies, and protein. Enjoy! it’s delicious. Don’t be put off, it’s really easy to prepare, can be made ahead of time.  If it’s made a few days ahead you may want to add the chicken broth to thin out.

Brussels Sprouts and Apple Salad

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Actually this salad had some lettuce and brussels and apples and walnuts and parmigiana cheese!!!! A-mazingly delicious and super fresh tasting.

I found it on a blog site Once Upon a Chef and made a few changes to it but it was absolutely delicious. Easy ingredients and you can prep ahead and stick it in the fridge all dressed and ready to go. My kind of salad and one I will be making all winter long. The original recipe called for all brussels sprouts but I did 1/2 lettuce mix and 1/2 brussels. You can do whatever you’d like .

Dressing was fresh and sweet because of the honey. This would be amazing as a dinner salad with any protein added.

*salad should serve 4-6 as an appetizer size salad.

Enjoy! and follow me on Instagram @cookingwithcandi

Ingredients:

I used  about 1 12 ounce package of shredded Brussels Sprouts

app. 9 – 12 oz. of any lettuce you’d like I used a combo of different lettuces

1 large apple such as Honey Crisp

3 Tablespoons minced shallots, app. 1 large shallot

4 Tablespoons extra virgin Olive Oil

4 Tablespoons vegetable oil

6 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

3 Tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped –to toast the walnuts –pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and set an oven rack in the middle position. Arrange the walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. ( no need to spray or oil the pan) Bake, checking frequently until lightly toasted and fragrant (if you smell them you better remove them, they burn rather easily) set the timer for 4 minutes but they will probably take 6 minutes. Allow to cool and chop them up.

3/4 cup thinly sliced  Parmigiano-Reggiano — I use a peeler to slice cheese while it’s cold it’s easier to slice.

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine the shredded Brussels Sprouts, lettuce, apple, vegetable oil, olive oil, shallots, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt and pepper; toss well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours to allow the sprouts to soften and the flavors to meld together.

When ready to serve, toss the walnuts and cheese with the salad. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary , then serve.

 

Maple – Dijon Chicken with Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash.

Here’s a new recipe that I absolutely loved making and loved eating! Tasty and Easy and anyone can do it. All it took was a few pantry ingredients that almost everyone has in their home.

I just love one sheet meals — another reason to go out and buy a large sheet pan if you haven’t done so already. 18 x 13 is the size you’ll need because if you crowd the ingredients they end up steaming and not really roasting. Roasting is what you’re after here.

I chose Chicken Thighs because they can stand up to the cooking time along with the veggies. I didn’t use Drumsticks but you certainly can use both. If you insist on white meat you’ll have to remove chicken earlier than veggies or you’ll have dried out chicken for sure.

Enjoy this lovely sheet pan meal and I added Brown Rice.

Please follow my blog on Instagram @cookingwithcandi— thanks

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce

4 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard, divided

3 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup, divided ( used 2 and 1)

6 large bone in chicken thighs, or use 4 thighs and 4 drumsticks or whatever pieces you’d like

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

app. 12 ounces butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4 inch cubes

app. 12 ounce Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and halved

6 sprigs of fresh thyme

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

 

and you’ll need some cooking spray — you can use Olive Oil spray or just regular spray

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray an 18 x 13 inch large rimmed sheet pan

In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, 3 Tbsp. of the Dijon Mustard and 2 Tbsp. of the pure Maple Syrup

Season the chicken all over with Salt and Pepper and then arrange the chicken on the sprayed baking sheet

In a large bowl combine the Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, thyme, and olive oil, season with a sprinkling  of salt and pepper here too.

Arrange the vegetables on the baking sheet around the chicken. Pour the Dijon-Maple -Soy sauce over the chicken, turn to coat completely, and pour any remaining sauce over the veggies.

Bake until the chicken is cooked through and the veggies are tender, app. 35-40 minutes. Look at the chicken after 30 mins. I cooked for 35 minutes and it was browned up rather nicely.

Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining 1 Tbsp. Dijon and 1 Tbsp. Maple Syrup and remove chicken from oven.

Brush the remaining mixture over the chicken. Bake a few more minutes till browned and perfect looking.

Serve alongside some brown rice or any rice you’d like.

Amazingly Delicious.

Maple Dijon Salmon

photo 2 (3)photo 1This is a very easy and light salmon recipe that is perfect for dinner. I used 2 tablespoons of light mayonnaise but feel free to omit it.   I would cook for a very short time next time and check the doneness of the salmon frequently. It really only needed 8 mins. to roast , and about 3 minutes with sauce on it under the broiler. You can always brush a little more sauce after it is cooked. You’ll just want salmon to be cooked through perfectly–not over and definitely not undercooked. I used a silicone brush to put sauce on salmon and was left with a lot of sauce so I served on the side. Don’t be afraid of the mayonnaise because you really only use such a small amount on the fish itself. The lemon and garlic give it another layer of flavor in addition to the mustard/maple flavor. This is so easy and try the White Beans and Spinach to serve with it.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/4 pound wild salmon, cut into 4 pieces , I leave the skin on but if you’d like you can remove it. I cooked with skin on but skin stuck to the parchment paper anyway.

2 tablespoons whole grain mustard or Dijon mustard, I used Dijon tonite

2 tablespoons Mayonnaise ( you can definitely use Light Mayo) I did

2 tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup (nothing beats the  flavor of a real maple syrup) It’s worth it

1 clove garlic, minced

juice of 1/2 lemon

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place salmon pieces on a sheet pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Rinse and pat dry the salmon fillets. Season fish with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper; be liberal with salt. Put in oven for 8-10 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine mustard, mayonnaise,  maple syrup, garlic and lemon juice. Whisk or stir very well to get rid of lumps of mayonnaise. After the first 8-10 minutes of cooking, brush salmon with mixture and return to the oven for approx.3 – 5 minutes under the broiler or until salmon is just cooked through (which will also depend on the thickness of your salmon pieces.)  I let salmon sit for about 5 minutes before serving. It will continue to cook for a few minutes after it is removed from oven.

Cooking times will vary depending on size of fillets and your oven. In my oven it was 8 minutes to roast and 3 minutes under the broiler. You can play around with these times depending on your needs. Total cooking time was only 11 minutes! I served with a side of delicious white beans and spinach , and for Joel some roasted butternut squash . Rice is always perfect with fish.

*recipe for White Beans and Spinach in a Pan on cookingwithcandi.com

Potato – Zucchini Latkes for Chanukah

It’s almost Chanukah if you can believe it!  These tasty little pancakes are perfect for the holiday and really any day.   Most perfect of all is that you can cook them, freeze them and have them for whenever you want. They make a great appetizer or side dish. My experience with latkes is that they never really taste as good as when you first fry them, but that’s such an impossible task with people waiting to eat and having fifty million other things to do. Latkes are the ultimate comfort food. This is just a little twist on the traditional potato latke .  Usually about 2 – 2 1/2 inches in diameter is the right size, but it’s up to you. Not sure where this recipe hails from. The original from my Grandmother, but the zucchini was added later. My grandmother didn’t own a food processor and it’s a game changer, just makes it so much simpler to do.  I loved my Grandmother’s latkes and not quite sure what she did to make them so delicious but I try my best.

Happy Chanukah!

If you’re not into the zucchini thing just add 2 more potatoes and omit the zucchini.

Delicious served with applesauce , that’s how we do it here.

Ingredients:

6 russet potatoes, peeled and quartered (for food processor)

2 zucchini, cut into large chunks (for food processor)

1 spanish onion, peeled, and cut into quarters (for food processor)

4 eggs, beaten

1 – 2 teaspoons kosher salt ( more to taste) tasting is key here , potatoes can be very bland

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2/3 cup matzoh meal or bread crumbs ( if you’re making for Passover it’s perfect with matzoh meal)

Vegetable oil for frying

*applesauce for dipping ( optional) this is what we use

* sour cream ( optional) if you like

Directions:

Using the grater blade for the food processor, grate the onions, potatoes, and zucchini. A little trick to these latkes is to drain out as much of the liquid as possible, so I literally squeeze out every drop of liquid with my hands. I let each vegetable sit in a colander to drain as I grate the next one.

In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, salt and pepper. Add it to the potato mixture and combine well. Next, add the matzoh meal or bread crumbs.  Taste for salt (start with 1 teaspoon and add more if needed, this is very important for flavor.

Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet or cast iron skillet, over a high flame. You want the oil very hot. I test the oil with a drop of water–when it sizzles, it is ready to fry. I put about 2 inches of oil in the pan, you may need to add more as you start frying. Form pancakes about 2 inches in diameter, place (very) carefully into the oil, and when the edges start to crisp up, turn them over and continue cooking until golden. If you like them flat and crispier, then flatten them out with a spatula while cooking and start with a little less.

*I like the oil to be clean as I fry a lot, so if it starts to run down I usually pour it out, wipe pan with paper towel and add fresh new oil. This is only in the event the oil starts to get very dark from the potatoes. It may not be necessary but sometimes it is. They will just fry up better.

Let the pancakes cool off, and serve plain or with sour cream or applesauce on the side. If you are freezing them, let cool completely first, then I usually use a Hefty Ziploc freezer bag. Mark them with the date, and take them out the night before you need them. They should stay for at least a month in freezer, and probably longer.

*to re-heat I like to use the oven at 350 degrees on a cookie sheet for about 15 mins. depending on how thick they are. Spray the cookie sheet with Pam Spray and you may want to flip them over 1/2 way through. Make sure they are heated throughout. Serve with some of that homemade applesauce on my blog. Enjoy!

What I made for Dinner – Turkey Bolognese

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 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.