Tag Archives: roasted

Basil Garlic Marinara Sauce (Crock Pot)

I am very passionate about my sauce ! My Italian Grandma and Mom taught me well 🙂 I have been making my own since I was 16 and over the years developed a recipe that is LOVED and CRAVED by many. That recipe included cooking sausage and meatballs in the sauce – and that gives it a very rich flavor. But it also adds calories. So in my quest to keep things lower cal, I’ve been trying a few batches of sauce without meat and this one is really, really good. It comes quite close to my regular recipe !

I’ve added beef bouillon to make up for some of the lost flavor from the meat, I’ve added roasted garlic which gives a great depth of flavor (much different than dropping in raw or sautéed garlic) and I make sure to use tomato paste. Tomato paste is to tomatoes what lemonade concentrate is to lemonade – – it is highly concentrated and adds a different flavor than any other tomato product out there. And finally I add 2 secret ingredients – shhhhhhh ! Fennel and anise seeds add the flavor you would get if you cooked sausage in the sauce. It is the finishing touch that so many sauces are missing. You only get the slightest hint of taste of the seeds in the finished product. But let me tell you, without them, the sauce is just not the same.

If you’ve never tried sauce before – try !! This one starts from canned products, not raw tomatoes – so it is NOT labor intensive. And even a bad batch of homemade is better than a jar of Ragu 😉 It’s what makes a pasta meal special, so do it up !

Basil Garlic Marinara Sauce
Basil Garlic Marinara Sauce

12 servings
58 calories per serving

8 cloves roasted garlic, minced
2 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
¾ c water
1 T oil
2 t basil flakes
6 basil leaves, torn into small pieces
1 t oregano flakes
½ t red pepper flakes
½ t garlic powder
½ t onion powder
½ t whole anise seeds
1 t whole fennel seeds
2 packets or 2 cubes beef bouillon
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ c parmesan cheese

Mix all ingredients in a crock pot, cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or high 4-5 hours.

You can also put this in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes or simmer stove top for 2-3 hours.

The length of time does make a different – the sauce tastes much richer when simmered for hours than a quick sauce (which have their place in some recipes, but don’t equal a traditional slowly simmered sauce).

Freeze your extra portions and next time it’s pasta night, just defrost in the frig over night and quickly reheat in a sauce pan.

Let me know how you like it ! 🙂

Roasted Pesto Tomatoes

Warmed tomatoes are so flavorful – the heat just sweetens them and intensifies the already great taste. Add a little pesto and you get a divine side dish that can be served next to anything.

Roasted Pesto Tomatoes
Roasted Pesto Tomatoes

4 servings
142 calories per serving

12 plum tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
1 T oil
1/4 t salt
1/8 t red pepper flakes
1/4 c pesto

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a baking sheet with Pam. Mix the tomatoes with oil, salt, pesto and the pepper flakes and place on baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes and serve immediately.

Roasted Grape Tomatoes

Roasting tomatoes gives them a whole new taste – they become earthy and really savory. They make a meal feel special and there’s no easier recipe !

Roasted Grape Tomatoes
Roasted Grape Tomatoes

4 servings
45 calories per serving

2 pints grape tomatoes
Pam (olive oil flavor)
Coarse salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 t parsley flakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking pan with Pam. Slice the tomatoes in half and lay on the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast uncovered for 1 hour. If you like them kicked up a bit, add some onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, etc. before roasting. But I prefer the pure taste of tomatoes in this recipe.

I can’t resist – here is another picture of the tomatoes – I just LOVE the color !

Roasted Tomatoes - again :)
Roasted Tomatoes - again 🙂

Roasted Vegetable Salad

Adding balsamic to grilled or broiled vegetables brings out a whole new dimension of flavor. Vinegar is often used as a flavor enhancer and boy does it do the trick here. This is a great side, lunch, appetizer – – however you slice it, you gotta make it ! 🙂

Roasted Vegetable Salad
Roasted Vegetable Salad

8 servings
140 calories per serving

1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
8 oz. Portobello mushroom caps
6 eggplant slices
1 c low fat Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

Cut peppers lengthwise into quarters and place all veggies on a broiler rack or on a wire rack atop a baking sheet and brush them with 1/2 c of the dressing. Broil 6-8 minutes turning and brushing a few times with the another ¼ c of the dressing. Slice mushrooms and mix all ingredients together and dress with the last ¼ c of dressing.

Related Posts with Thumbnails