The Secret Is In The Sauce....

October 26, 2008

This weekend, I taught Sarah all of our family secrets....starting with our famous marinara!!


Marvelous Marinara

Olive Oil
Large Onion
4 Cloves of Garlic(Fresh)
2 TBSP of Tomato Paste
2 28oz cans of Crushed Tomatoes
Fresh Basil
Salt and Pepper
Red Crushed Pepper(optional)
Pinch of Sugar

Heat Olive Oil in a pan, add chopped onion and cook until translusent,
Add minced garlic, but be not burn will become bitter.
Add a pinch of salt, some ground pepper, a dash of red pepper flakes(optional)
About 1-2 minutes after the garlic hits the pan, add 2 TBSP of tomato paste and mix.
Now add the crushed tomoatoes
Add a little more salt and pepper, plus a pinch of sugar
Rip apart a bunch of fresh basil leaves and stir everything.
Bring everything up to a bubble, them simmer on low heat about 30-45 minutes.

Serve with over your favorite pasta and sprinkle with cheese and a little extra basil!


Always use fresh garlic and fresh basil. The jarred garlic and dried basil do not give it the same flavor!

I use this as the base sauce to all of our pasta dishes. You can add vegetables, ground meat, sausage, or make your own meatballs.....I guess that is a good idea for the next recipe that I share with you all...homemade meatballs!

And lastly, I have to eat it with Pecorino Romano Cheese sprinkled on can find it fresh in your is a little more expensive, but so worth it....fresh is always better!

We were having so much fun in the kitchen....we decided to make dessert too! If we were having an Italian meal, we need an Italian dessert....


Ricotta Cookies

1/4 lb butter
1/4 cup Ricotta Cheese
1 tsp of Pure Vanilla Extract
1 cup of Sugar
1 Egg
2 Cups of Sifted Flour
1/2 tsp of Salt
1/2 tsp of Baking Powder

Mix Butter and Ricotta, Add Vanilla
Gradually add Sugar
Mix in Egg
Sift Flour, Salt, and Baking Powder and gradually add to the mixture.
Makes 36 Cookies
Bake in a 350 Degree Oven for 10 minutes

You can add holiday sprinkles, or your favorite icing! We chose to make a lemon glaze and used food coloring to make it orange for Halloween!

Lemon Glaze:
1/3 cup of butter
2 cups of confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp of Pure Vanilla Extract
a little lemon zest
1 TBSP of Lemon Juice
2 TBSP of Hot Water

Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the sugar and the rest of the ingredients, if it is too thick add a little more water. Keep stirring and drizzle over the cookies when they come out of the oven.

After a day with Sarah in the kitchen.....this was my idea of dinner!!

Okay, only kidding, I needed a big plate of that pasta with lots of cheese, but I did enjoy a big glass of wine with it!

So there you have it....two recipes for the price of one!! Hope you enjoy!

A special thanks to Jodee for my new apron!! We certainly put it to good use this was a perfect gift for someone who loves to cook...thank you for thinking of me!


Anonymous said...

Love the pictures, love the recipes and LOVE the apron!

Jodee said...

You look fabulous in your new apron! I am so glad you like it!

That pasta looks delicious. As always, I will pass along your recipes to the chef at our house!

Gail said...

Ohh...did this post make my stomach growl! Looks delicious and will try the recipes. Looking forward to the meatball recipe too.
LOVE the apron!

Football and Fried Rice said...

Funny apron! Love the dinner!! I am starving!!

Kate said...

Looks like my kind of day....pasta, girl at my side assisting...doesn't get any better my friend!! I am totally trying thos cookies soon...we love to bake and those just look yummo!

Now on to the Swedish grandma got a recipe from an Italia woman who lived next to her in Niagra Falls when my grandfather served in a defense plant during WWII....and it is our guarded family secret! Just this past 4th of July we squared off against my Italian BIL and his mom...and my Grandma's meatballs won in a blind taste test!!! I really should post about that...there was even a trophy!!! But you know...would be glad to take a look at YOUR recipe....

Well done friend!!!


3 Peanuts said...

Oh,, that looks yummy. I always make my own sauce too! In fact, Mt first homemade meal in our new home (gluten free lasagna is about to come out of the oven). I cannot wait. Yummy!

Now, if only we had some of those cookies for dessert!

How fun to teach Sarah all your recipes. I look forward to cooking with Kate soon!


Shell in your Pocket said...

You are so fun with that it!!!

I really read these recipes carefully...I love a good sauce. I have never heard of making cookes with ricotta cheese but I trust you!!!

Your kitchen looks beautiful!
-Sandy Toes

Sherri said...

Thank you sooo much! I've got them copied and next week I will attempt them!
Sarah will be a pro by the time she's old enough to do it all on her own.

Jboo said...

Love your recipes and what a fab apron!!

Have a good week!


fleur de lis cottage said...

Wow...I'm going to have to try your recipes..they look yummy. Cute apron!

Anonymous said...

Awesome apron, adorable little girl and beautiful photos!! That food looks pretty delicious as well.

Great post! We love it.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the recipe! Even though I am Gaelic and not Garlic....Italian is my FAVORITE foods. Ricotta cookies are my FAV! My best friend makes them every year for our cookie exchange.

Great photos and awesome apron! I am going to try your sauce this week!


Our Complete Family said...

I so can't wait for Jason to come home in a few weeks so I can try this out on him! Yummo girlfriend! I bet you and Sarah had a blast in the kitchen today. The pics are ADORABLE, as always! You have a chefs kitchen~ lovely! Your apron~ so chic!
The wine~ the piece de resistance! I'm so with you on that sister!
L&H, Les
So...if we get orders to Aviano AB, Italy in the future, will you guys come visit us? That would be fun!

Michelle R Photography said...

Ok, more than five ingredients, but it looks doable for me. Seriously, I am going to try the marinara recipe. It looks yummy!!

I love the pics of you and Sarah!!

Annette said...

Ohh, the marinara looks so yummy!

Shari said...

OMG I have been eatting junk food all day and that pasta just made my stomach growl, literally! YUMMY!

Michelle said...

Ohhhh......those look yummy! Thanks for sharing the family secrets! I have to say though, that possibly some of the secret lies in the cuteness of your daughter, because oh my gosh, the cuteness!

Dawn S. said...

ummm, YUMMMM!!!! :) Wish we lived closer!!!

Dawn S. said...

You've been tagged :)
visit my blog for details

CC said...

That's our marinara recipe too (but with a whole can of tomato paste!). I'm pretty bad about using fresh basil :( But always always always use fresh Romano or Parmesan. The green can will NEVER be seen in our home!

day by day said...

Oh, my! That looks really good! I am going to have to invite myself over for dinner sauce comes from a jar these time for much else. lol!

The pictures of you and Sarah are beautiful!!!!

Paula said...

Seriously, you should do food photo ads. those pics of the spaghetti and cookies are too much, I just want to eat them!
What a fun time with your daughter!

Jennifer said...

Sounds delicious! Can't wait to try the recipe. Thanks for sharing :) I cannot wait for the meatball one!

I love the pictures and the apron too! Have a good week.....


Christy said...

How fun!!! I love to cook but never do full days of cooking. What a fun thing to share with your little girl. I cant wait to get to do the same with mia-- how fun!!!

The pasta looked awesome!! We are putting planter boxes in our courtyard with fresh herbs so that we can use them frequently in our cooking- it is expensive to buy them fresh. Anyway, love the pics and love the new apron-- isnt jodee great!!!

Christy :)

Kim said...

Looks sooo yummy...
Thanks for sharing the recipe's..
You look wonderful..
Love the hair..
Hugs girly.
Have a Great Week..

Amy said...

YUM!:) I hope you save me a plate.;)

And please, please, please share your meatball recipe. I heart meatballs. They make me happy.;)

Very cute apron! You can cook amazing food and look fashionable while you do it.;)

God Bless,

Kam said...

Holy cow, that looks divine! I've been walking my tail off and could use those carbs! can't wait to try this recipe with my little chef as well! Thanks so much for sharing!

Polar Bear said...

YUM!!! I am going to have to try both of those recipes. Thanks so much for sharing.

Love the apron!

jenbusymom said...

Love the hair still, love the apron and would love to try the recipes, looks great! Does Sara own an apron yet?

M,R,J1,J2 said...

I'm getting hungry and it's not even 10 AM. I agree, fresh cheese over pasta is the b.e.s.t! Love it!
The new apron is great - my kind of apron!

Tisha said...


I don't know which recipe that I want to try first?!?! I'm not much of a cook but you've inspired me. Maybe a cute apron like yours would help! :) Thanks for sharing.

P.S It looks like brunettes have WAY more fun; not that I'm biased or anything. ;)

Belinda said...


I know I always comment on your babies but how cute are you in your pink apron!! Lools like you had a great time with Sarah in the kitchen and thoes recipes sound so good.. Iam on a diet so I cant eat them but I will jot them down for later when I am skinny HAHA. what fun memories you are making with Sarah!

Operationtigerlily said...

MMmmmmm good.

Lisa said...

YUMMY!!!! I love the apron! Too cute! Thanks for sharing!! : )

Lisa said...

P.S. I wish I was there to have a glass of vino with you ! : )

paige said...

oh my! i love it!i love the smell of fresh garlic & fresh basil!
thanks for sharing.
also, you can 'leave me a book' anytime! i truly appeciate your words of encouragement for madisons pursuit of ballet.
you are a sweetheart!
ps--love your huge wineglass too

Chasing Dreams Photography said...

Well if you are not adorable!!!! Love the apron! Hey I make my sauce the same way (recipe from my Grandmother). Only difference is that Grandma used tomatoes and I cheat by using canned ; 0 Love the cookie recipe.
I will be posting my chile recipe later today. I love chili on a cold day (like today). Hey, I saw some flakes today...have you seen any flakes yet?

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

Lisa, that sauce sounds amazing! Thank you for sharing it with us! Also, I LOVE the apron! I'd be right there with you if I could, with a glass of wine in my hand! :)

Briana's Mom said...

Love the apron - so adorable! Wow - thanks for those delicious recipes!!!

Jeni said...

mmm...I have not made my own marinara sauce before, this sounds good and would be fun. I do come from an Italian family though.

Denise C said...

Oh yum!!!! And the apron is so darling!!!
I'll be right over to have a dish of pasta!!!

jennifer said...

THat sound delish! I'll definitely have to try that. Thanks for the recipes

Ashley Winters said...

OMG! That pasta looks sooo good. I'm coming to your house for dinner.

Leslie said...

Lisa, you look lovely in your apron and new hair stle. I'm loving it!!!

Thanks for the recipes, it makes me so hunry. I could never make anything that looked that good. I'm jealous.

Cindi said...

As Ahna would say, though she wouldn't dare put a bite into her mouth...."Yummmmmm!"

I hope to try the sauce soon (for me, that may mean 6 months from now:-)

Thanks for sharing the recipes with your growing number of fans!

Deb said...

what a cute apron and I must say I have to try you marinara......sounds easy and wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

Bridget said...

Thanks for the recipes - can't wait to try! Love the apron- he-he

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

I am coming to your house for dinner... though Mike and I are very, very laid back... to forewarn you... we don't drink alcohol... we will nurse a coke and a diet coke for me thanks... hehehehehe... can't wait to see the costume...

Keisha said...

Oh.. man.. YUMMY! That looks soo good!
Thanks for the recipes!
Love the apron too!! ;)

The Golf Widow said...

I made the sauce and it was awesome! I going to try the cookies this weekend. LOVE the apron!

Monogramchick said...

Everything, espcially YOU, look fabulous. I am going to have to try the cookies this weekend!

Love the apron, so cute!

Dawn said...

How fun. The food looks so yummy. I am going to try your marinara receipe. My mom cooks hers ALL day, and that is too much for me :) I love your apron!!

bella said...

I just made the ricotta cookies. They are delicious. I used the lemon frosting and sprinkles. I'll try the marinara sauce soon.