Easy Ragu Sauce

Easy Italian Ragu Sauce

I love a good meat sauce. What’s not to love, it’s hearty stick to your ribs kinda food. Sometimes though I don’t have the time that my beloved BOLOGNESE sauce takes to make. No fear our easy Italian Ragu Sauce comes to the rescue. It takes about 1/4 of the time that our Bolognese sauce takes to make and tastes out of this world. It starts with Johnsonville’s sweet Italian ground sausage, which has a lot of flavor packed right in there. What does that mean besides it tastes amazing? That means there’s less spices we have to the pot. Win. Win.

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Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Sauce

Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Sauce
Holy cow, next week is THANKSGIVING! Yes, gobble gobble until we can’t wobble. I will be enjoying my Mom’s cooking this year. Happy. Happy. Dance. I don’t care how ehem old I get, there’s nothing like your Mamma’s cooking is there? What I’m most looking forward to is talking her into making Turkey and Dumplings with the leftover 10 pounds of turkey that I KNOW we’ll have. My Mom has ALWAYS over cooked. I’m guessing it stems from the years of always having extra guests at our table. My Dad was forever bringing home Air Force boys with no family in town. It made for a rowdy meal (with the mandatory embarrassing stories) but we wouldn’t have had it any other way. Go Blue ; )

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Clementine Marmalade

Clementine Marmalade

So we’re just going to get it over with a sing a chorus of “Oh my darling, oh my darling Clementine …” because naturally that’s what pops into my mind when I hear the word clementine. Sorry we can all suffer together. Misery loves company or something like that. What I should be thinking about is clementine marmalade. Ours is a small batch recipe. This means that once you’re finished whipping it up you’ll have a few jars to keep in the fridge and slather on just about anything and everything you like. Not 2 dozen jars to store or give out to each and every one of your neighbors (not that that’s a bad idea, especially with the holidays coming up. Okay scratch that maybe we should double or triple the recipe) Did I mention that in this recipe there’s absolutely no canning to deal with? It’s pretty much a win win situation.

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Brown Sugar Mustard Glaze

Brown Sugar Mustard Glaze www.bellalimento.com

A good glaze is a like a good black dress for food. When tasked with whether or not to glaze I say glaze away.  Next weekend is Easter and hams will be gracing tables near and far. Ham is what most people think of first when they hear glaze but it’s great with chicken too. This is our classic go to glaze, brown sugar mustard. You can’t go wrong with this flavor combination. We however throw a little something something in for extra measure. Sweet heat if you will.

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Gro Something Greater: Perfecting Pesto at Home

Pesto www.bellalimento.comDisclaimer: I am working with Miracle-Gro for this project and was provided with a sample and compensation. All opinions are my own.

Growing food has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. It started with my Grandparents. They had a small but mighty backyard garden. I adored getting to help “pick” the food when we came to visit in the summer time. I would head outside, usually with a metal colander in hand, and pick as much as my little self could hold. I imagined it was hundreds of pounds but it was probably more like one or two. We won’t split hairs though. I can assure you I picked hundreds of pounds from my parents gardens over the years. They’ve had gardens in all shapes and sizes and grown more fruits and vegetables than I can shake a stick at. They’re great at growing.

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Scalloped Potatoes {Patate alla Besciamella}

What is it about white foods that I just HAVE to have them.  Pasta, rice, bread, POTATOES. You name it, they’re my kryptonite. Perhaps it’s their delicious carby starchy goodness that sucks me in. At one point I foolishly tried to cut out white foods from my diet and guess what, it was UGLY. For the sake of everyone else, of course, I immediately went back to consuming them again.

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Back to Basics: How to Make Bechamel Sauce {Besciamella}

We’ve been making a lot of macaroni and cheese lately. All kinds of versions. The one constant for my macaroni and cheese is the base.  Besciamella {or bechamel sauce}. It’s rich, creamy and dreamy and is my secret for making dishes sing.

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Lemon Marinade {Marinata al Limone}


This post brought to you by Carapelli. All opinions are 100% mine.

Something I ALWAYS have in my pantry is a good quality olive oil. I don’t think there is a day that goes by that I don’t cook/use my olive oil. Do you know that there is actually a right way to taste olive oils? Well there is and I learned all about it recently.

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Roasted Tomato Pesto

Pestos can be pulled together so quickly and add so much flavor to a dish. I’ve been experimenting  with different variations of pesto and came up with this oven roasted tomato pesto that besides oven roasted tomatoes also incorporates sun dried tomatoes. More tomato flavor than you can shake a stick at ; )

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Salsa di Pomodoro {Tomato Sauce}


There is something so beautiful about a simple plate of pasta. One of the simplest is when it’s dressed with a basic tomato sauce. This 5 ingredient sauce easily comes together in less than 30 minutes and can be used for a variety of dishes. The key to a simple dish is always using the freshest quality ingredients possible.

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Maccheroni alla Vodka {Macaroni w/Vodka}


So you like things a little Piccante? Well then this dish is perfect for you! It’s just the right amount of spiciness without being so overwhelming that it sets your mouth completely on fire. It definitely has a kick to it.

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Ragu’ alla Bolognese {Bolognese Sauce}


Some things in life are worth waiting for, and a good sauce is one of them (at least for me anyway). And no surprise then, this is one of those sauces! Ragu alla Bolognese. Pronounced bowl-own-ez-ay, it’s an amazing, rich, beautiful, robust sauce.

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This, to me, is such a simple dish. I’m all about easy peasy. As I’ve mentioned before simple isn’t a bad thing. It truly is a WOW dish. Everyone will think you slaved away when you simply added the ingredients & left them to mingle with each other. The longer they mingle & get to know each other, the better they’ll be. LOL!

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Ultimate Spaghetti Sauce


There’s a whole lotta love in this sauce! This is my go-to tomato sauce – – my signature sauce if you will. It really is ah-mazing & oh so multi purpose!

The longer you have to simmer this recipe the better it will be. It’s all about building flavors. Take your time with this one. It makes a ton of sauce but you can freeze the unused portion.

This is a heavy sauce and goes best with pastas such as spaghetti, linguini, or penne (it would overwhelm angel hair or the like). If you don’t want to add the sausages, just leave them out. I like the flavor that they give to the sauce. Be sure you mince your carrots super fine. You don’t want to bite into a big chunk of carrot. You can do this in a food processor if you don’t think you can get it fine enough with a knife. I think I would use my food processor a lot more if it didn’t have so many parts & wasn’t in the back of a cabinet. LOL! Plus, it’s just another thing I have to wash.

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Tagliatelle con Porcini Ragu – Mushroom Ragu


Well, you probably know me well enough by know to know that a sauce recipe would be coming right after a homemade pasta recipe didn’t you? 😉

As I’m sure you’ve heard, I recently got an Imperial Pasta Maker & I couldn’t be happier. It’s an amazing machine & I’m going to be whipping up lots of  fresh pastas over the next  few months. If you’d like, here’s the basic recipe for Homemade Pasta.

This sauce goes perfect with any type of pastas you might be using (homemade or boxed – really I won’t tell, I use them too. If you look in my pantry right now you’d see a load of Barilla boxes) If there’s one thing that I always have on hand it’s pasta! Really! But I’m sure that doesn’t surprise you!  We might be out of everything else but we’ll have pasta LOL.

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Mezzetta Napa Valley Bistro Sauce Review



This month I was fortunate enough to receive a complimentary sample of pasta sauces from GL Mezzetta . Mezzetta is a Napa Valley specialty food producer, best known for domestic and imported peppers & olives, and now for their foray into the sauce world.

I must admit, when I started my blog earlier this year, I couldn’t have imagined that people would seek me out, send me samples & ask for my opinions! How great is that? I mean who doesn’t like something gratis? And, I’m always especially tickled when they’re FULL size samples.

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