What makes something "Chewly Awesome"? Any type of food can achieve this status whether it be something sweet, savory, spicy or succulent. When it comes to amazing food, it's not just truly awesome; it's "Chewly Awesome!" This blog is about a mom who wants to feed her family the best and doesn't want to be a slave in the kitchen in order to make that happen. My promise to you is that you will never find a single recipe for Tuna Casserole on this blog! Now that is "Chewly Awesome!"

If you have a dish that is "Chewly Awesome", and you would like for it to be featured on the blog. Email the recipe to talietiger@gmail.com!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Homemade Meaty Lasagna

I love, love, love lasagna!  Not just any lasagna. To me, the perfect lasagna is thick, meaty, cheesy, tomatoeey, savory, scruptilicious goodness. Since it was mission impossible for me to find it at restaurants, I decided to just make up my own recipe.  When I make lasagna, I usually have a bit of left over sauce and meat which is GREAT for homemade pizza!  Save the extra in the refrigerator or freezer and plan to have a homemade pizza night soon after. Here it is, and I hope you enjoy it!

1 box lasagna noodles (I boil 10 noodles just to make sure I have enough!)

 1/2 lb of Pancetta (Italian Bacon. You can find it in the deli section of most grocery stores.  If you don't have it, you can use regular bacon)
1 lb Ground Italian Style Sausage
1 1b Ground Round Beef
Salt and Pepper to taste

1 small onion, chopped
2 carrots chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
4 cloves of garlic chopped
2 14 oz cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 small can of tomato sauce
1 small can of tomato paste
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup to 1 cup of Chicken Broth
1 tablespoon Garlic Powder

1 16 oz Ricotta Cheese
3 eggs
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tablespoons fresh basil chopped (About 8 leaves)  (If you are using dried, use half)
2 cups Mozzarella Cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Start by getting your large pan of water boiling for your lasagna noodles (You will start these after you get the sauce simmering)
Fry your pancetta or bacon until golden brown then remove the bacon but leave the grease in the pan.  Add your ground sausage and beef and cook until done. Season with Salt and Pepper to taste
While this is cooking, chop your onion, carrots and garlic.  I use a food processor for this.
After your meat is done, remove from the pan and drain all but about three tablespoons of grease. 
Use this grease to saute your Onion, Carrots, Celery and Garlic.
After about 3 min. (Onions should be translucent) add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste.
Add Salt, Pepper, Chicken Broth and Garlic Powder.  
Chop up your pancetta or bacon very fine and add it to the sauce. 
Let this simmer while you get the Ricotta filling prepared and start boiling your noodles now(10 min to al dente).
In a mixing bowl, mix together your Ricotta, 3 eggs, basil, pepper and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese.

When your noodles are done, you will start putting your lasagna together.  This is the order I do it in.  
put sauce on the bottom of your Lasagna pan or your 9x13 inch pan. Then layer in this order

Ricotta Cheese Mixture

Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top and bake at 375 degrees for 45 min. or until cheese is a golden brown. 


Friday, March 9, 2012

Fire Roasted Tomato Linguini... with Bacon

Our schedule has been crazy around here lately; surgery (my husband), doctor's appointments, new born babies (NOT mine, friends!), tornadoes...and the list goes on!  In the midst of all the madness, I am so glad that I can take the time to make a quick homemade meal for my family!  For almost an hour, the madness slips away as we sit down together and talk about our day and our accomplishments. ahhhhh... Okay, peaceful time over; it's time to clean the kitchen!  :)  Have I mentioned that I LOVE one pot meals?  EASY cleanup!  Here is an easy one pot meal that you can try for your family.  I hope you enjoy! ;)

Fire Roasted Tomato Linguini....with Bacon!
Makes 6 servings

16 strips of bacon, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces (Bacon is much easier to cut cold)
1 package of your favorite Linguini
1 14.5 oz can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
1 quart (32 oz) Chicken Stock or Broth

1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup of Heavy Cream OR 1 8oz package of Cream Cheese (cut into small cubes)

1/4 cup chopped Parsley
1 cup Italian cheese blend or Parmesan Cheese

In a 12 inch skillet, fry your bacon pieces.  Remove when done and drain all but 1 tablespoon of the grease.
Add your garlic and red pepper flakes and saute until fragrant (about 2 minutes)
Add your onion and saute until translucent (about 4 minutes)
Add your chicken broth and fire roasted tomatoes, cooked bacon and bring to a boil
Add pasta, cover and boil for about 7 minutes.

Uncover, stir, and add your heavy cream or cream cheese
Cook on medium for about 5 minutes or until sauce thickens
Place in serving bowls and garnish with parsley and Cheese.