Rachel's Recipes

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This is a simple, but delicious weeknight dinner.

1 Tablespoon oil
1 medium onion chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
1 cup half and half
28 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
8 oz can tomato sauce (mine was seasoned with basil and oregano)
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 box penne or farfalle pasta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for garnish

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic and sauté until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add sausages and sauté until no longer pink, breaking up with back of fork, about 5 minutes. Add cream; simmer 5 minutes. Add tomatoes with juices, sage and crushed red pepper. Simmer until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

Return pasta to same pot; add sauce. Toss over medium heat until sauce coats pasta, adding reserved cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls if mixture is dry. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl; sprinkle with cheese and serve.


This sauce was so simple to put together. I paired it with Maroni’s meatballs and some spaghetti. Delicious!

6 ounces good olive oil, not extra-virgin
12 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 large or 2 medium Spanish onions, finely diced
2 (28-ounce) cans imported crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white or black pepper
1 large handful julienned fresh basil leaves

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add oil. Once heated add the finely sliced garlic and onions to the pan. Cook over medium heat until soft and slightly brown. Next add the canned crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper and stir. Allow the sauce to come to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the julienned basil.

Source: Food Network

I was watching Food Network’s Throwdown and the next thing I knew, I was making these meatballs for dinner. I love the saltiness from the Romano cheese and I always have a package of ground chuck on hand so these were quick for me to throw together.

1 pound ground chuck
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
4 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
3/4 cup grated Romano
3 ounces grated Spanish onion
4 Tablespoons finely diced fresh garlic
4 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves (I used 1 heaping Tablesoon of dried parsley)
4 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves (I used 1 heaping Tablesoon of dried basil)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray. (I actually prefer to first line my baking sheet with foil and then spray with cooking spray, although these did release pretty easily from the baking sheet.)

Mix all ingredients thoroughly in large bowl. If mixture seems a little loose add more bread crumbs.

Roll meatballs loosely about the size of a golf ball and place on baking sheet. Place into preheated oven for approximately 35 to 40 minutes.

I froze half the batch to be used for a quick dinner later.

Source: Food Network

These were so delicious and refreshing on a hot summer day. You can easily mix up a pitcher to serve a crowd. The original recipe called for Grand Marnier but the helpful clerk at the ABC store told me restaurants always use Triple Sec unless you’re paying $40 for a margarita so I went the more affordable route.

2 ounces triple sec
1 1/2 ounces tequila
2 ounces lime juice (I used 1.5 limes)
2 1/2 ounces strawberry simple syrup (see recipe below)
salt and sugar for the rim (optional)

Rim a glass with a salt and sugar mix. Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake until well mixed for about 30 seconds. Pour into the glass and enjoy.

Strawberry Simple Syrup
Combine equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and let sugar dissolve, then turn off heat and let cool completely. Combine 1 cup simply syrup with 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries and puree until well blended in a blender or food processor.

Note: 3/4 water to 3/4 cup sugar will yield about 1 cup of simple syrup. Blended with 3/4 cups strawberries it will yield 2 1/2 cups of strawberry simple syrup (enough for 8 glasses)

Slightly adapted from: How Sweet It Is

The only downside of this dish is that it requires two pots and one skillet. That said, the dish comes together than clean up!

1 pound bacon, chopped (I didn’t have a full pack so I used only about 1/2-3/4)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound rigatoni or penne pasta
1/2 cups heavy cream (I used skim milk since that was all I had on hand)
1/4 cups cream cheese (I used neufchatel)
1/4 cups Parmesan cheese, grated
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Set a pot of water on the stove to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water and drain.

Cook the bacon in a skillet and sprinkle with red pepper flakes.

In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream and cream cheese over low and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in the Parmesan and pepper. Whisk in the eggs.

Toss the pasta with the sauce to coat. Stir in the bacon, and add some reserved pasta water if needed to loosen the sauce.

Source: Tasty Kitchen

Who knew bananas could be frozen and whipped into a creamy ice cream? I already put overripe bananas in the freezer to save for banana bread so this recipe was calling me.  I really regret that I waited until today to make it even though I bookmarked this recipe ages ago. It was so good I ate it straight from the blender. Technically one banana serves one person, but I would definitely multiply it by two or even four.

1 large, overripe bananas
1 teaspoon – 1/2 tablespoon peanut butter, nutella, hot cocoa mix, honey, etc. (optional)

Peel bananas and cut into small chunks. Freeze for 1-2 hours. In a high powered blender or food processor, puree the bananas until creamy. If using a second ingredient, blend to combine. Enjoy!

This can also be frozen if you prefer a hard style ice cream.

Source: The Kitchen

This is easy to put together in advance and makes a great alternative to the premade packets.


Single Serving (enough for 1 pound of ground meat)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon corn starch

3/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons paprika
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons pepper
1/4 cup corn starch

Mix all ingredients together. (I put mine in a jar and just shake it). For each pound of browned meat, add 3 tablespoons taco seasoning and 2/3 cup of water.

Source: Nothing but Crumbs


This blog is a way for me to keep track of all the recipes I have tried and want to make again, and a few I've come up with myself.