Recipe by Sunny Anderson
2 apples (recommended: Fuji or McIntosh) I used golden delicious
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup strawberry jam, jelly or preserves
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter, cold and diced
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup oats, uncooked
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut each apple in half along its equator. Using a melon baller (I just used a spoon), cut out each side of the core, creating a rounded hole. Rub exposed apple flesh with lemon juice. Place 1 tablespoon of jam into each hole. For the topping: in a small bowl mix together flour, butter, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon and salt. Press this mixture on the top of each apple, covering jam. Place in a baking dish filled with about a 1/4-inch of water. Bake until top is golden brown and apple is tender, about 35 to 40 minutes.
Cecily and I really enjoyed this as a late afternoon treat.
Even though I liked the recipe, I have been meaning to try it again and make a few changes. Here is the recipe I used tonight. I thought it was really good, and closer to what I would consider a "perfect" french onion soup. It had more flavor than the first time.
I used shredded provolone cheese and it didn't brown up the way I would have liked. Next time I will definitely use sliced.
French Onion Soup
2 tablespoon olive oil
4 large onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
4 cups low sodium beef broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup dry sherry
2 bay leaves
1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
salt and pepper
4 slices French bread
1 cup shredded provolone
Place a large saucepan over low heat and add olive oil. Cook onions, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or more, until very soft, translucent and brown on the edges. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir to combine. Pour in beef broth, wine, sherry, thyme and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 20 to 30 minutes. Preheat oven broiler. Toast the bread slices. Ladle the soup into 4 ovenproof bowls and place the bowls on a baking sheet. Place a toasted slice of bread over each bowl and top with cheese. Place bowls under broiler until cheese is melted.
We also had London broil, one of my favorites, which came out perfect. I seasoned the meat with Lawry's and broiled for 10 minutes on each side until it was medium rare. We also had steamed broccoli.
Soup - *** 1/2
London Broil - **** 1/2
Pesto Prosciutto Chicken Rolls
A Running Mama original recipe
8 Thin cut chicken breasts
4 roasted red peppers, cut in half
1/2 cup pesto
8 slices prosciutto
1 cup Italian blend cheese
2 cups marinara sauce
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350
Lay chicken breast between two sheets of wax paper and pound them thin (I do this even if they are thin cut). Arrange on a cutting board. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread each breast with pesto, then layer with a slice of prosciutto, 1/2 a roasted red pepper, and a sprinkle of cheese.
Ladle sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Roll each breast and place seam side down on the sauce. Cover with more sauce and sprinkle with Italian blend cheese and Parmesan.
Bake for 45 minutes. Open the oven door and broil for the last 2-3 mins so cheese is brown and bubbly.
Chicken ready to be rolled:I served them with spaghetti and marinara sauce, garlic bread and a Caesar salad. Here's a look at the dinner table:
Get Tastefully Simple Italian Bread Seasoning and other great products here
Zach's Rating - ****
This recipe was inspired by my father in law, Gary. Some of my favorite dinner ideas come from him, he is a great cook and is very creative.
This was tasty and a fun twist on regular meatloaf! I used ground turkey breast and it was very moist, and pretty low in fat (if you skip the queso! lol!)
A Running Mama original recipe
1 lb ground turkey breast
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 tbs olive oil
1 packet low sodium taco seasoning
1 10oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies (I used RoTel), drained
1 cup whole grain tortilla chips, crushed
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
2 tbs taco sauce
1/4 cup salsa con queso
Preheat oven to 400
Heat olive oil over medium heat and saute onions until tender.
Place tortilla chips in a ziplock bag and crush until pieces are very small. I used a rolling pin.
Mix all ingredients except for the taco and queso sauce until well combined. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and add meatloaf mixture.
Brush top of meatloaf with taco sauce
Bake for 35 minutes. In the meantime, place salsa con queso in a microwave bowl and heat until hot. Once meatloaf is sliced, drizzle hot queso over meatloaf.
serve with sour cream, chips, salsa and any other condiments you like with tacos!
Zach's Rating - ****
On the side, I served spaghetti with a sausage marinara that I made fairly quickly. I was really happy with the end result.
1 lb Italian sausage
1/2 diced onion
1 tsp EVOO
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
dash of dry red wine
salt and pepper
Heat EVOO over med heat. Add sausage and brown. Add garlic, onions and red pepper flakes, cook until onions are soft. Season with salt and pepper.
Add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes and red wine. When sauce begins to bubble, reduce heat to low and simmer. Season with a generous amount of dried basil along with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over pasta
Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
Adapted from Emeril Lagasse
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 14-inch, light colored, round pizza pan with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars. Add the eggs, beating well after the addition of each.
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix with a whisk. Add to the butter mixture, mixing to incorporate, and add the vanilla extract. Fold in the dark and white chips and the nuts. Spread across the bottom of the prepared pan and bake until the edges are golden and the cookie is set but the center is still slightly soft, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Decorate with icing and cut into wedges to serve.
I can't take credit for the decoration. I started it and quickly realized that isn't my strong suit. Zach fixed it and made it adorable!!
Cake with her candles. 4 years old and one for good luck
Italian Mac n Cheese
Recipe by Rachael Ray
1 pound ziti rigate, penne rigate or cavatappi (ribbed, hollow corkscrews)
1 pound Italian bulk sweet sausage (I used turkey sausage)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 or 4 cloves garlic, chopped
12 crimini mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
1 (10-ounce) sack, 2 1/2 cups, shredded Italian 4 cheese blend, available on dairy aisle
1 can diced tomatoes, drained well
1 teaspoon hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco), optional
1/2 cup Parmesan, a couple of handfuls
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt water and cook pasta to a chewy al dente, about 8 minutes.
In a nonstick skillet, brown and crumble the sausage. Drain cooked crumbles on paper towel lined plate. Return pan to heat and add extra-virgin olive oil, butter, garlic and mushrooms. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Saute 3 to 5 minutes, until mushrooms are lightly golden.
Preheat broiler to high.
To mushrooms, add flour and stir, cooking 2 minutes. Whisk in stock, then stir in cream. Bring cream to a bubble, then stir in 2 cups of 4 cheese blend. When cheese has melted into sauce, add tomatoes. When sauce comes to a bubble, remove from heat and adjust seasonings, adding hot sauce if desired.
Combine cheese sauce with sausage and pasta, transfer to baking dish, casserole or oven safe serving platter. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of 4 cheese blend and the grated Parmesan over the top and brown under hot broiler.
ZACH'S RATING - ****
I had my anatomy ultrasound this morning and everything looks perfect. Baby boy weights 12 oz and is right on target. It feels surreal knowing for sure I am cooking a little boy in there. I couldn't be happier that we are going to have a son!
I am exactly 20 weeks today. I cannot believe I am half baked! :)
A few more pictures:
When I saw Rachael Ray's recipe, I knew I found the one. It was quick, easy and used yummy deli sliced roast beef. I made a few changes, using my small crockpot to allow the meat and au jus to hang out for about an hour before serving. Plus, I need cheese on my French Dip!!
French Dip Sandwiches
Adapted from Rachael Ray
2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, chopped
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 jigger dry sherry, optional
2 cups beef broth
1 lb deli sliced roast beef
coarse salt and pepper
4 french sandwich rolls, split
4 slices provolone cheese
Pile meat loosely across your cutting board or a large work surface. Season meat with salt and black pepper. Place meat into crockpot and set to low.
In a large, shallow skillet over moderate heat, melt butter. Add shallots to butter and saute 2 minutes. Add flour to butter and shallot and cook a minute longer. Whisk in sherry and cook liquid out. Whisk in broth in a slow stream. Bring sauce to a bubble and pour into crockpot over the meat. Allow to simmer over low heat until ready to serve sandwiches (about an hour).
Set out 4 ramekins or small soup cups for dipping sauce and 4 split french rolls. To assemble, using a pair of kitchen tongs, pile meat into rolls. Please sandwiches on a baking sheet. Set ramekins or cups with extra dipping sauce. Place a slice of provolone cheese on top of sandwiches and broil until melted and browned.
ZACH'S RATING - A Solid ****
Update - This recipe has turned into a family favorite. I make it at least once a month and have also used it for entertaining. Great for when you have a small group of friends hanging out. Highly recommend it!
They were a teeny bit difficult because the dough is sticky, but despite my concerns, they turned out perfect. They tasted exactly like the ones I usually order.
Scallion Pancakes with Ginger Dipping Sauce
From Brown Eyed Baker
For the Pancakes
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon sesame oil
½ cup thinly sliced scallions
Salt & pepper to taste
4 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
For the Ginger Dipping Sauce
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup sliced scallions
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sugar
1. Place sifted flour in a medium-size bowl. Slowly add water in a steady stream while mixing with a wooden spoon. Keep adding water until a ball is formed. Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
2. While dough is resting, make the ginger dipping sauce. Simply combine all ingredients and whisk to blend. Set aside.
3. On a floured surface, knead the dough a handful of times to bring it together. Roll the dough out into a thin rectangle about 18×13 inches.
4. Brush the sesame oil all over the surface of the dough, scatter scallions evenly over the oil, and then season with salt and pepper.
5. Carefully roll the dough up like a jelly roll, with the long side facing you. Cut the cylinder of dough into 4 equal pieces.
6. Take one pieces and twist 3 times. Coil the dough into a spiral and then flatten and roll again into an 8-inch pancake. The dough should be very thin. Repeat with the remaining three pieces of dough.
7. On a non-stick griddle over medium-high heat, brush 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil. Place one of the pancakes on the pan and cook until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining three pancakes.
8. Cut into wedges and serve with dipping sauce.
ZACH'S RATING - ****
Sweet and Sour Chicken
From Brown Eyed Baker
For the Chicken:
3-4 boneless,skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, slightly beaten
¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
For the Sauce:
¾ cup sugar
4 tablespoons ketchup
½ cup vinegar (preferably rice or white)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
3. Working in two batches, toss the chicken pieces in cornstarch and then coat with the egg. Heat the oil over medium-high heat and again in two batches, brown the chicken, turning it so that all sides are browned.
4. Place the chicken in a single layer in a 9×13 baking dish.
5. Whisk together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and pour evenly over the chicken. Turn the chicken to ensure each piece is coated.
6. Bake for 1 hour, turning the chicken every 15 minutes.
ZACH'S RATING - **** 1/2
Now I can't get Jack Johnson's song "Banana Pancakes" out of my head!
Banana Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa
1 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
2 extra-large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, mashed, plus extra for serving
Pure maple syrup
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla, and banana. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, mixing only until combined.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat until it bubbles. Ladle the pancake batter into the pan to make 3 or 4 pancakes. Sprinkle chocolate chips on each pancake. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until bubbles appear on top and the underside is nicely browned. Flip the pancakes and then cook for another minute until browned. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, add more butter to the pan, and continue cooking pancakes until all the batter is used. Serve with sliced bananas, butter and maple syrup.
ZACH'S RATING - ****
Basic Pizza Dough
Recipe from Annie's Eats
½ cup warm water (about 110°)
1 envelope (2 ¼ tsp.) instant yeast
1 ¼ cups water, at room temperature
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups (22 oz.) bread flour, plus more for dusting
1 ½ tsp. salt
olive oil or non-stick cooking spray for greasing the bowl
Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes. Add the room temperature water and oil and stir to combine.
Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Briefly combine the dry ingredients at low speed. Slowly add the liquid ingredients and continue to mix at low speed until a cohesive mass forms. Stop the mixer and replace the paddle with the dough hook. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 ½ to 2 hours. Press the dough to deflate it.
The first set of pockets I made with mozzarella cheese and turkey pepperoni. They were good but could have been stuffed a bit more. I served them with my homemade marinara sauce on the side, minus the onions since I wanted a smoother sauce.
Next were Chicken and Broccoli pockets. Really loved the filling in these. Delicious.
Chicken Broccoli Pizza Pockets
Inspired by Jen and Food, Perfect Together
2 6oz Boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cups broccoli florets
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh oregano
1 cups shredded cheddar
In the crockpot place chicken breasts and cover with chicken stock. Add bay leaves and oregano. Cook for 6-8 hours on low. Remove with slotted spoon and shred. Add a ladle of liquid to moisten.
Heat 2 tbs EVOO in pan. Saute garlic on med low heat until lightly browned. Add broccoli and saute for 3-4 mins. Add chicken and stir to combine. Pour mixture into a mixing bowl and stir in cheddar.
Roll out dough into a large rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Cut in half and then thirds to make 6 smaller rectangles. Add filling and fold over, pinching shut. Coat with an egg wash and bake on 400 for 20-25 mins.
I am looking forward to making these again, and getting even more creative with the filling!
ZACH'S RATING - **** 1/2
Here is the original recipe
Beef "The Bomb" Bourguignon
Recipe by Guy Fieri
1 1/2 cups red wine
2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper, plus more for seasoning
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 pounds rib-eye steak, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/2 pound bacon, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil, if needed
3/4 cup carrots, diced
3/4 cup parsnips, peeled and diced (I used mushrooms instead)
1 cup pearl onions, frozen
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 cups beef stock
2 teaspoons freshly chopped thyme leaves
1/2 cup freshly chopped Italian parsley leaves
2 teaspoons freshly chopped oregano leaves (I used dried)
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan (I skipped this)
1 cup store-bought fried onions
In a nonmetallic bowl, combine 3/4 cup red wine, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons pepper and 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce. Add the rib-eye steak and let marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
In a large saute pan, on high heat, add the bacon and cook until crisp. When crisp, remove to a paper towel lined plate, reserving the fat in the pan.
Remove the beef from the marinade, pat dry and add to the pan with the bacon fat. Cook over medium-high heat, browning the meat on all sides. Remove the meat from the pan, to a plate. Add extra oil, if necessary, to amount to 2 to 3 tablespoons of total fat in the pan. Add the carrots, parsnips, and the frozen onions. Cook until the onions are light brown, approximately 10 minutes.
Add the flour to the vegetable mixture to make a roux. When the roux begins to brown, add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Deglaze with the remaining red wine and stir in the beef broth. Reduce over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the browned beef, cooked bacon, thyme, parsley and oregano. Adjust seasonings, to taste, with remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and fresh cracked pepper. Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with Parmesan and fried onions and serve immediately.
I skipped the parm because I didn't think it would really add anything to the already great flavor. And I served over egg noodles. Yummy!
This post marks the beginning of Zach's Recipe Rating System. You can see the key on the righthand side of the page.
ZACH'S RATING - *****
I served it with leftover kielbasa pasta that we had last night (minus the kielbasa part, since we ate it all yesterday!!)
Barnyard Cordon Bleu
adapted from cooking light by way of Juliann's Easy Eats
1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
5 teaspoons butter, melted
1 large garlic clove, minced (I used a 1/2 tsp of garlic powder)
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 teaspoon paprika
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless thin cut chicken breasts
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 thin slices low salt-ham (about 2 ounces)
4 wedges of light laughing cow cheese
Preheat oven to 350°.
Place broth in a small microwave-safe bowl; microwave at high 15 seconds or until warm. Stir in butter and garlic. Combine breadcrumbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and paprika in a medium shallow bowl; set aside.
Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt, oregano, and pepper. Spread the laughing cow cheese on the chicken breast. Top each breast half with 1 slice of ham. Roll up each breast half jelly-roll fashion. Dip each roll in chicken broth mixture; dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Place rolls, seam side down, in an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 28 minutes or until juices run clear and tops are golden.
The instructions are exactly the same as the link above, but the topping was a bit different. I put a handful of fresh basil, 5 sundried tomatoes, and 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts in the food processor and pulsed until finely chopped. Then I added a cup of parmesan cheese and 2 tbs of dried basil and pulsed to combine. This made enough topping for 9 tilapia filets. The flavor was amazing!!
My main side dish was Pioneer Woman's Sundried Tomato Risotto. Wow! Definitely make this if you love risotto. It was awesome
Sundried Tomato Risotto
from The Pioneer Woman
4 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
½ whole Large Yellow Onion, Diced
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
2 cups Arborio Rice, Uncooked
8 whole Sundried Tomatoes Packed In Oil, Drained And Minced
1 cup Dry White Wine (optional)
7 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth (I used low sodium vegetable broth)
Salt As Needed
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 cup Parmesan, Freshly Grated
¼ cups Heavy Whipping Cream
Fresh Basil, Chiffonade (I used dried basil)
Heat broth (note: it’s important the broth be low sodium) in a saucepan or in a microwave safe pitcher. Set aside.
Heat butter and olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add dry rice. Stir to coat and cook for 3 minutes, stirring gently.
Pour in wine. Stir and cook over medium-low heat until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add in minced sundried tomatoes and stir.
Then begin adding broth, one cup at a time, stirring gently while the rice absorbs the liquid each time. Repeat this until the rice is done—it usually takes between 6 and 8 cups of broth. The rice should have a slight bite to it, but not be crunchy at all.
Remove from heat, then stir in Parmesan and heavy cream. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
I originally thought I was going to skip the heavy cream at the end, but decided what the heck, since it was a special dinner. I'm glad I went for it. And I'm really happy to have some leftovers today. Is 9am too early for risotto?
I also served roasted asparagus (425 for 15 mins with olive oil and salt) and a simple Caesar salad.
Big Thanks to Lynsey and John for coming to dinner!
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tsp ground ginger
few pinches of crushed red peppers
2 tbs hoisin sauce
yields approx 1 cup of sauce
I used this recipe as a jumping off point. I was going to make muffins, but the batter was very dense and seemed to lend itself better to bread. I think the addition of the plain yogurt was key, the end result was very moist, yet hearty bread. My only regret is that I didn't have whole wheat flour on hand.
3/4 cup skim milk
3 tablespoons canola or olive oil
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
2 medium golden delicious apples, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1 cup flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spinach Lasagna Rolls
Adapted from Gina's Weight Watchers Recipes
8 lasagna noodles, cooked
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and completely drained
15 oz part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more
salt and fresh pepper
32 oz homemade marinara sauce
8oz part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Ladle about 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish.
Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles are dry. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over noodle. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.
Ladle sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and top each one with mozzarella cheese and a sprinkle of Parmesan. Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts. Remove foil for the last 5 mins. Open the oven door and broil until the cheese is browned and bubbly. Makes 8 rolls.
Ready for the oven:
Despite growing up in a large Italian family with a mother who is a great cook, it wasn't until about a year ago that I made my own homemade marinara sauce.
I was always intimidated so I stuck with the jarred sauce. One day I decided to give it a go, so I looked at a bunch of recipes and also watched my mom make her sauce before coming up with my own version. Since making my own, I will never go back to the jarred stuff! Its so easy to make a big pot, have enough for dinner, and left overs to freeze for future use. Not to mention the house smells amazing for the rest of the day!
So if you are the way I was, trust me and just give it a try. This recipe usually makes enough for one meal (pound of pasta, homemade pizza, baked ziti, lasagna, etc) and enough to freeze for at least one more.
What you need:
pinch red pepper flakes
Heat large pot on med low
Coat the bottom with Olive Oil
Add garlic, cook until fragrant and lightly browned, be careful not to burn
Continue stirring until tomato paste becomes smooth, about 3-4 mins
UPDATE - I usually grate some carrot into the sauce with the onions now, and also use my immersion blender to smooth out the sauce.