Sunday, August 22, 2010

Polenta with Chunky Tomato Sauce



1 cup dry corn grits

3 cups water

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp butter

Bring water to a boil, add the corn grits, simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring, until the grits pull from the side of the pan. Stir in butter, let sit for at least 10 minutes. Invert onto a plate, cut into portions. Fry each portion in butter and/or olive oil on medium for about 4 minutes per side, or until just brown. Set aside.

Chunky Tomato Sauce:


2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 sweet yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 bell pepper, chopped

4 mushrooms, diced

2 carrots, sliced

6 large tomatoes, chopped (I like to use mostly red, with a few yellow or orange tossed in for variety)

2 tbsp tomato paste

8 fresh basil leaves, cut up

2 tsp oregano leaves

Parmesan cheese

Heat the olive oil, saute the onion, garlic, bell pepper, mushroom,, & carrots for about 10 minutes, or until softened. Add the tomatoes, paste, basil, and oregano, bring to a boil, then simmer on low for at least 20 minutes, until the tomatoes break down. Add some salt and pepper to taste. Serve over a portion of the polenta, garnish with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

*you can use any kind of onion, bell pepper or tomato that you prefer. You can also "eyeball" the measurements to your taste: more or less of each ingredient, etc. If you simmer the sauce for too long and it gets too thick, add a little water*

*this goes really well with hot Italian Sausage*

*mushroom lasagne recipe coming soon*

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Grandma Tillie’s Polish Spaghetti Recipe

I taught my daughters how to make this today, and they asked me to write it down. Its all in my head and I just remember watching my Grandma Tillie and my Dad make it for as long as I can remember. I believe the only reason its called “Polish” is cuz of the meat.


2 T Olive Oil

4 carrots, sliced thickly

1/2 an onion, diced

1 small bell pepper, diced

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 14 oz can of tomato sauce

3 14 oz cans of diced tomatoes

1 6 oz can of tomato paste

1 tsp each: oregano & basil

3 bay leaves

salt & pepper to taste

1 or 2 fresh tomatoes, diced

Leftover meat from the freezer. I used some ribs and tri-tip, but you could use chicken, pork chops, ham, whatever you have handy. This is the Polish part! :)

Rigatoni noodles, cooked according to package.


Saute the onions, bell pepper, and carrots in the olive oil for about 7 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and cook another 2 or 3 minutes. Add the spices and cook another minute. Add the canned tomatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for about an hour. Now add the fresh diced tomatoes and the meat and simmer covered for another hour. If it seems thick, add water, beer, or wine to thin it out. I always check the spices at this point and usually end up adding a little bit more oregano & basil.

Serve over hot cooked pasta with grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!