A Passion for Maui and making every day a work of art

Italian cooking

Awesome Marinara is so easy!

Aloha everyone. I love to make my own Marinara. Marinara is without meat.
My father used to make all his spaghetti sauces with huge meatballs or Italian sausages which had great flavor, but sometimes it is nice to go vegetarian and make a rich tomato sauce with lots of garlic, basil, Italian herbs and spices.
At times when I have grown lots of Roma tomatoes I blanch and save them for sauces in ziploc bags in the freezer. I always keep my pantry stocked with stewed tomatoes, tomato sauces and tomato paste.
I start by sauteing garlic and slivered onions in two TBSP. of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Then I add big cleaned sliced mushrooms…
I simmer these for a while then add my tomato sauces and whole or chopped tomaotes.
Next I add my basil, rosemary, oregano, bay leaf or mixed dried Italian seasonings.
I simmer my sauce for at least an hour on low, stirring often so it doesn’t burn.
I start my pasta water and just before serving time I cook the pasta Al dente (for spaghetti this is 10 minutes).
Served with grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese and a fresh green salad it is wonderful.

Chicken Parmesan By The Artful Hawaiigirl

Want something easy and beautiful to add to your repertoire? Try this Chicken Parmesan recipe. It’s fast and easy and delightful any night of the week.
I know this picture isn’t pretty, but I wanted to show you how I actually tenderize the boneless chicken breasts. I didn’t have a meat tenderizer, so my friend had told me a trick about using the potato masher as a smasher!
You simply slice the boneless chicken breasts into manageable pieces and hammer away at them, flipping them to hammer some more. They flatten out nicely and become thin beautiful flat chicken pieces ready to be seasoned and browned in olive oil, butter and garlic.
I season the poultry with salt and pepper, some sweet basil and sprinkle lots of crushed minced garlic into the olive oil butter mixture. The filets are browned in the butter and olive oil on both sides for about five minutes on each side.
 I move them to a deep baking dish and prepare to layer the cheeses and marinara sauce for baking at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes until all the cheeses and sauce are bubbling, the meat is cooked through but still moist.
First I grate fresh Parmesan generously over the browned chicken breasts.
Then I ladle my marinara sauce (see my marinara post yesterday) over the Parmesan and finally I grate lots of Mozzarella on top.
I bake this at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes like I said, until it’s all bubbling and everythings melted.  I test a piece of the chicken to make sure that it is cooked through perfectly. Don’t overcook. You don’t want dry chicken.
It’s piping hot and you want to take a bite, but wait you have to let it sit a minute or you’ll burn your mouth! So assemle the green salad add a few garbanzos, and Voila. Dinner is ready. It is absolutely delicious.
I had given a little sample portion to my sister-in-law wrapped in foil. She said at first she thought it was going to be too garlicky, but then she and her son were fighting for the last bite. YUM!
So try it! You see how easy cooking can be. It’s as easy as one-two-three.
(Just like Painting on tees) For more cooking of mine you can check out my cookbook at http://www.amaryllisofhawaii.com/ and I’ll see you tomorrow with my Meyer’s lemon meringue pie. (Not Quite Nigella’s recipe) The dough is in my fridge chilling overnight.
Aloha friends,
So tell me what do you think of my Chicken Parmesan?