cooking, Dinners, food, Recipes

Macaroni Grill Copycat Pasta Pomodoro Yummmm

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Here is how I made this awesome, beautiful copycat version of Macaroni Grill’s Pasta Pomodoro. This dish only has 5 ingredients! It would be amazing and very impressive for a date night. Pair this with a simple salad like a Cesar and some crusty french bread and you just can’t top it. A nice Chianti or red wine would pair nicely with this rich, red sauce.  It’s my go to pasta dish when I want something quick and semi healthy! 😉

So here we go:

Pasta Pomodoro
Ingredients:
4-6 fresh tomatoes, chopped (I used 4 small campari tomatoes and 1 heirloom)
2 Tablespoons of fresh garlic, chopped (or less if you’re not a fan)
1 small bunch of fresh basil, chiffonade
1/4 cup of your favorite marinara or tomato sauce
1/2 – 1 pound Angel Hair Pasta
Other pantry ingredients: good olive oil, kosher salt or any sea salt

Start a pot of boiling water for the pasta and while that’s going, start on your sauce.

Start with your pan on medium heat and add about 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil. Also add the garlic at this time and WATCH it. Stir often and watch it soften for just about a minute or less. You do NOT want to brown it. Browned garlic is bitter and not good.

The garlic will infuse the oil and it will make this dish YUM! After about 30 seconds to 1 minute swirling the garlic around, add the tomatoes. You can stir occasionally. We are just trying to infuse the tomatoes with the garlic oil and break them down a little so they are soft and flavorful.

After about 5 -8 minutes you can add the marinara/tomato sauce. This helps the sauce to have a richer flavor.  If the tomatoes look like they are drying quickly, turn your heat down and add the sauce sooner. I personally LOVE the Victoria Trading Company Marinara Sauce Old World Style. This is an AMAZING sauce! If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it! Here’s a picture:

Victoria Marinara Sauce Old World Style

After adding the sauce, you can add 1/2 of the basil so those flavors can meld together. Add the pasta to your boiling water and after about 7 minutes it should be al dente. Use tongs to add the pasta to your sauce and toss. Also at this point you can taste your sauce to see if it needs any salt.  Top and mix with the rest of the fresh basil. (Optional: add some fresh grated Parmesan or pass it at the table) – I don’t think it needs it, but hey, if you like it that way, go for it!

Serve with your side of salad and a warm french bread! This is also a terrific side dish for Chicken Marsala or Chicken Piccata.

This takes me back to when my sister and I would go to the Macaroni Grill for lunches and get the 1/2 and 1/2. I think my recipe is pretty darn close to the real thing!

I hope you enjoy it and please give me a shoutout or comment if you try it!

Happy Cooking & Mangia!

Charlene

 

 

 

 

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Breakfast/Brunch, cooking, food, Recipes

Fig, Arugula & Carmelized Onion Flatbread Recipe

Hi my Lovlies!

I got these beauties at the Farmer’s Market, as you can see from my below post. If you are lucky enough to find figs, I would suggest a Fig, Caramelized Onion, Arugula & Feta Flatbread!  With homemade flatbread of course! Here are the recipes that I used…and if you don’t like arugula, use spinach! If you don’t like feta, use brie! You can customize it however you like!

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I stumbled upon this lovely flatbread recipe that worked great in the oven!  – If you don’t have Pinterest, here is a link to her recipe on her blog.

Once I rested the dough, I floured a surface and rolled it out. I cut it into wedges as shown here and put it on my lightly oiled Pampered Chef Large Bar Pan. You can rise it again since it is a yeast dough, but I wanted it pretty flat and I knew it would puff a little in the oven. I flipped it halfway through baking. I believe I used 350 degrees for about 10 minutes a side. Times and ovens vary, so I would just experiment with it.

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While my dough was cooking in the oven, I was sauteing my sliced onions in a little butter until they were very soft, then I added a pinch of salt and continued until they were nice and caramelized! At the same time I also roasted the figs. To prepare those, I sliced them at about 1/4″, lightly oiled a baking sheet, then topped with a little more olive oil, honey and a sprinkle of brown sugar.

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After that I assembled the ingredients back on the flatbread and popped them back into the oven for about 10-15 minutes. Just until the cheese was melted and the ingredients melded together.

Here’s how I topped them: I brushed them with a good Lebanese olive oil, sprinkled with feta cheese, layered on the onions, then the sliced figs, fresh arugula and then more feta. I left a couple pieces of flatbread plain for the kiddos. (they LOVED it)

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Here are slices of my amazing, delicious finished flatbread! I loved the savory of the onions and arugula with the sweetness of the figs. The cheese was mild and brought it all together! I shared this as kind of an appetizer with my mom friends while our kids played at our apartment complex park. They raved about this! A couple of them are borderline vegans, so it was divine for them. You could even drizzle a little truffle oil on top to be extra decadent! ❤

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Hope you give this a try and love it as much as we did!!

Happy cooking!