Apr 302013

Trinity Red Sauce means blending three fresh ingredients to whole peeled tomatoes!  


Fresh carrot really balances acidity in red sauce nicely and fresh garlic and onion enhance flavor!  My favorite whole peeled tomatoes are from Cento, San Marzano Certified. You cannot go wrong with this vibrant, fresh sauce. 

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic
  • 2-3 whole peeled tomatoes cans




Chop Carrot, Onion, garlic and sauté in 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil for 6-7 minute on low heat.  Add 2 cans (28 ounces each) of Cento whole peeled tomatoes.  Simmer 45 minutes stirring occasionally.  Use a hand held blender to create a smooth sauce.

Tips:  Add a whole celery stalk to simmering sauce to balance acidy further while cooking.  Add 2-3 bay leaves to simmering sauce for dimensional flavor.  Discard both before using hand blender.   

Optional: Add 2-4 fresh basil leaves after simmering just before using the hand blender to puree whole-peeled tomatoes for a fresh tomato basil sauce.


Meatball Ingredients

  • 1lb lean ground beef (85% Lean)
  • 1/2 zucchini grated
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 large egg
  • 2-3 slices of toasted Italian bread
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • Dashes of course Salt & cracked pepper
  • Vegetable oil


Toast slices of Italian bread in oven for 7-9 minute until lightly brown & crispy.  Allow toasted bread to cool and cut into ¼ inch cubes and soak in milk in a separate bowl until soft, but not mushy. Drain any excess before adding to mixture.

In medium mixing bowl, scramble egg and use a hand held cheese grated to add minced zucchini.  Next add ground beef and blend in minced garlic, parmesan cheese and drained bread cubes, salt & pepper.  Shape into 1.5 inch meat balls and heat on med-low until ½ inch pool of vegetable oil become hot in cast iron pan. Gently drop meatballs into pan and brown all over for 7-8 minutes.


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Mar 242013

A pressure cooker is my best friend when it comes to preparing a ragout or stew quickly.  Mouth watering ragout of beef over mashed potatos done in less than 30 minutes. The meat falls apart in your mouth!


My pressure cooker plugs in and features a meat browning mode. High presser is 30lbs of pressure and low is 15lbs.  I cooked the stew beef on high and vegetables on low.  This is a delicious meal that will taste like it took you hours to prepare and clean up is a breeze.  If you appreciate crock pots, try a pressure cooker since you can cook melt-in-your mouth meals in minutes instead of hours!

 Ragout of Beef


  • 1lb Cubed stew beef
  • 1 Med onion (quartered)
  • 1 Cup frozen peas (rinsed\drained\thawed)
  • 3 Large Carrots
  • 3 Celery Stalks
  • 3 Cups beef broth
  • 8oz Tomato Sauce
  • 1 cup white wine (drinking kind!)
  • 2 T flour with 3 parts liquid or butter
  • 3 T Butter
  • Salt to taste


  • Brown meat in pressure cooker or cast iron skillet & set aside with juices
  • Roux of butter and flour was used as a thickener
  • Use meat juices, butter & flour, add a couple T of broth for smooth paste.
  • Add additional broth to roux, beef, wine, tomato sauce & quartered onion to cooker
  • Pressure cook on high for 15 minutes
  • Depressurize & add chopped, 1”cubed potatoes, carrots sticks and chopped celery.
  • Adding vegetables (except peas) to meat\broth & cook again on low pressure 4 more minutes
  • DONE!  Toss in peas after vegetables cook & serve over mashed potatoes.









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