what are we having for dinner?

Delicious solutions to the daily question

August 8, 2017

no comments

Red Sauce

Every cook should have a good, classic red sauce in their repertoire.  I was craving Italian, so I’m prepping my favorite super easy marinara sauce and serving it over spaghetti squash along with marinated zucchini.  The sauce can of course be frozen and then used in other dishes such as: Eggplant Parmesan, Lasagna, pizza etc.


Spaghetti Squash with Marinara

Marinated Zucchini

Red Sauce

(Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis)


1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 small onions, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes

1 8 oz can tomato sauce

2 dried bay leaves

1 tsp sugar (optional, if bitter tasting)IMG_8856

In a large casserole pot, heat the oil on medium high heat. I added all the vegetables to my food processor to chop for me.  Then add the onions, garlic, celery and carrots to the pot, and sauté until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the salt and pepper. Sauté more until all the vegetables are soft, another 5-10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce and bay leaves, and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour.IMG_8862

Remove and discard the bay leaves. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper, to taste, if needed.

***The sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before using.  Can also freeze.

Spaghetti Squash

(Adapted from Food Network)

This recipe is an easy way to prepare spaghetti squash.  I’m only cooking for 2 this time so I’ll only use 1 whole spaghetti squash.

Makes roughly 4 servings

2 whole spaghetti squash

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

gray salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 cups red sauce (from recipe above^^^)

Shredded parmesan, for servingIMG_8868

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Split the squashes in half and scrape out seeds.IMG_8884

Line an oven tray with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Season the spaghetti squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper.IMG_8891

Place flesh side down and roast for 30 to 40 minutes until fully cooked.IMG_8893

Remove from the oven and let rest until cool enough to handle.IMG_8901

Meanwhile heat the marinara sauce in a large saute pan.

When squash is cool enough to handle, using a large kitchen spoon or fork scrape the strands of squash from the inside of the skin. Toss the spaghetti squash in the pan with the hot marinara for just long enough to get hot.  IMG_8903

Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan and enjoy!

Marinated Zucchini

(Adapted from Food 52)

This recipe is yet another delicious and easy way to prepare zucchini.  It’s fast and is served at room temperature or cold, so you can prepare the dish in advance – always a good thing!

5 TBSP extra virgin olive oil, divided

2-4 zucchini, trimmed and cut into fourths, lengthwise


clove garlic, minced

TBSP red wine vinegar


1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leavesIMG_8866

Working in batches as needed, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange the zucchini cut side down in one layer in the hot skillet and cook until browned, about 3 minutes.

Turn the zucchini over, and then cook until tender, about 2 minutes, reducing the heat if the zucchini get too dark.IMG_8895

Transfer the zucchini to a shallow dish and sprinkle with salt. Whisk together the garlic, vinegar, and remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.IMG_8889

Pour the vinaigrette over the zucchini and add the basil. Gently toss everything together and adjust the seasonings.IMG_8897


Let the zucchini marinate at room temperature for about 1 hour before serving. Alternately, let marinate longer in the refrigerator. Tightly covered, marinated zucchini will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.





Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: