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Recipes

Red Pepper Soup

Red Pepper Soup

Serves 4 to 6 

Ingredients:

1 cup roasted red peppers, diced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
½ cup diced carrot
½ cup diced celery
Salt to taste
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 24 ounce jar Monte Bene Tomato Basil
2 sprigs fresh basil
Pinch of cinnamon
1 ½ quarts chicken stock
¼ cup rice, preferably a medium-grain rice like arborio
Freshly ground pepper
1 Artisan sourdough loaf
Freshly grated Parmesan
Fresh basil leaves

Preparation:

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes, and add the carrot and celery and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender and fragrant, about 5 more minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Add jar of Monte Bene Tomato Basil sauce, fresh basil, cinnamon, and salt to taste. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have cooked down slightly and smell fragrant, about 10 minutes.

Add the diced roasted peppers, the stock, rice, and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring from time to time. Season with freshly ground pepper, taste and adjust salt.

Using an immersion blender, purée the soup, or use a blender and purée in batches, being careful to pull a dish towel down over the top and not to cover tightly with the blender lid, then return to the pot and heat through. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Slice the top off loaf and hollow out the bread bowl. Top with Parmesan cheese, and fresh basil. Enjoy!

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Mac 'n Cheese Balls

Mac 'n Cheese Balls

Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1 tbsp unsalted butter        
1 tbsp flour   
1 cup & 1 tbsp milk
½ lb cheddar cheese
½ lb Gouda cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 large egg
1½ cups bread crumbs
Oil, for frying
1 jar Monte Bene Garlic Marinara pasta sauce

    Preparation:

    Cook the elbow macaroni al dente. Rinse and drain with cold water, and set aside in a shallow pan.

    In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Use a whisk to add 1 cup milk, removing any lumps. Continue cooking until sauce thickens, 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add cheeses, stirring until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Fold cheese mixture into cooled macaroni and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.

    Use an ice-cream scoop to shape cold mac and cheese into meatball-sized balls. Place on a wax-paper lined tray, cover with plastic, and freeze 4 hours.
    Combine egg and tablespoon of milk in a bowl. Dip frozen mac and cheese balls in egg wash, then flour, then breadcrumbs. Place back on tray and in the freezer until ready to fry.

    Heat oil in a deep-fat fryer or small saucepan to 350 degrees F. Fry mac and cheese balls until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Serve with Monte Bene Garlic Marinara pasta sauce.

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    Meatball Sliders

    Meatball Sliders

    Serves 4 to 6

    Ingredients:

    1 1/4 lbs. ground beef
    1 jar Monte Bene Spicy Marinara pasta sauce
    1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
    2 eggs
    2 cloves garlic
    1 tsp. salt
    Pepper to taste
    12 dinner rolls
    12 slices provolone cheese
      Preparation: 

      Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, mix ground beef, bread crumbs, eggs, garlic, cheese, salt, and pepper. Make meat into 1" balls and place in a baking dish. Add 1/8" film of water to baking dish to keep meatballs moist. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

      Lower oven to 350 degrees. Place dinner rolls on a sheet pan. Split open the dinner rolls and place a slice of provolone, a spoonful of Monte Bene Spicy Marinara pasta sauce, and a meatball inside each.  Place sheet pan of sliders into the oven for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and serve warm.

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      Ratatouille

      Ratatouille

      Serves 4 to 6 

      Ingredients:

      • 2 cups (half a jar) Monte Bene Garlic Marinara pasta sauce
      • ½ cup olive oil
      • 2 small Italian egg plants
      • 2 summer squash
      • 2 beef-stake tomatoes
      • 2 red or green bell peppers
      • 1 clove garlic, minced
      • ½ tsp. salt
      • ½ tsp. pepper
      • ¼ tsp. oregano
      • Large pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

      Preparation:

      Preheat oven to 350. Slice eggplant, squash, beef-stake tomatoes, and bell peppers into 1/8” rounds. Toss together in a large bowl and add garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes to let the flavors mingle. Heat another 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium sauté pan. Cook about 1/3 of the vegetables, tossing gently until slightly browned. Transfer sautéed vegetables to a separate dish and repeat with remaining olive oil and vegetables.

      Pour Monte Bene Garlic Marinara pasta sauce onto the bottom of a large casserole dish. Arrange sautéed vegetables over sauce as desired. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until sauce is bubbly and vegetables are tender.

      Serve with bread and extra sauce as desired.

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      Zucchini Boats

      Zucchini Boats

      Serves 6-8

      Ingredients:

      • 4 medium zucchinis, cut in half lengthwise
      • 1 tbsp. olive oil
      • 1 lb. loose Italian sausage
      • 1 clove garlic, minced
      • 1 small onion, chopped
      • 2 cups Monte Bene Garlic Marinara pasta sauce
      • 1/2 cup Parmesan, finely grated
      • 1/2 cup mozzarella, shaved
      • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
      • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
      • Salt and pepper to taste

      Preparation:

      Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. With a spoon, scoop out the flesh from the interior of the zucchini, so they resemble boats. Place the zucchini boats in a baking dish. Cut the scooped out zucchini flesh into bite sized pieces.

      In a medium pan over medium-high heat, cook the Italian sausage for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, onion, chopped zucchini, Monte Bene Garlic Marinara pasta sauce and salt and pepper. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

      In a medium bowl, mix together the Parmesan, mozzarella, breadcrumbs and parsley.
      Spoon in and mound the sausage mixture into the zucchini boats. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over top. Place in oven and bake 20 minutes. Let cook for 5 minutes and serve.

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      Cheesy Bread Bites

      Cheesy Bread Bites

      Makes 20 cheesy balls

      Ingredients:

      • 1 jar Monte Bene Garlic Marinara pasta sauce
      • 1 pizza dough recipe
        • 1 package instant yeast
        • 3 ¼ to 3 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
        • 1 1/3 cups very warm water (120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit)
        • 1/3 cup shortening (gently dissolved in microwave and cooled)
        • 2 tbsp. honey (dissolved in warm water)
        • 1 tsp. salt
      • 2 tbsp. butter
      • 20 cubes of mozzarella
      • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
      • 2 garlic cloves, minced
      • 2 tsp. fresh parsley, chopped
      • 1 tsp. coarse pepper, freshly ground
      • Salt to taste

      Preparation:

      Preheat the oven to 375 and lightly grease 1 to 2 large baking sheets (there should be enough space for each cheesy ball to have an inch of room on the sheet).  

      Combine 2 cups of flour with the instant yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. Slowly add water and honey mixture, then add shortening, mixing for 1 to 2 minutes or until well blended. Add remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time until a soft dough begins to form. The dough should be slightly sticky. Shape the dough into a ball and place it on a floured surface. Knead the dough for about 4 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. Roll the dough into a large ball, then divide it into 20 equal sized pieces (about ½” inch pieces). Flatten the dough onto the baking sheet.

      Place a mozzarella cube on each piece of dough and mold the dough around the cheese to form a ball. Press the seam together tightly and then turn the ball seam-side down on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cheese and dough.

      Cover the dough with a loose sheet of plastic wrap and let rise for about 30 minutes, until puffy.Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan with parsley, garlic cloves, pepper, and salt. Brush this mixture over the dough balls, then sprinkle them evenly with Parmesan. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and some of the cheese is beginning to ooze out.

      While they bake, heat Monte Bene Garlic Marinara pasta sauce.Serve cheesy balls hot with sauce for dipping.

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      French bread Pizza

       

      Serves 4

      Ingredients:

      Suggested Additions:

      • Onion
      • Green bell pepper
      • Italian sausage
      • Olives

      Preparation:

      Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut French bread loaf in half or into slices and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and place in oven. Cook for about 5 minutes if you halved the loaf, about 2 1/2 if you sliced it. Take out the baking sheet and add Monte Bene Garlic Marinara pasta sauce as desired. Top with mozzarella, Parmesan, and whatever other ingredients you want. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly golden. Slice as necessary and serve!

      This recipe is very flexible! Spruce the ingredients up or dial them back to your liking.

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      Italian Style Chili

      Italian Style Chili

      Serves 6 to 8

      Ingredients:

      • 1 jar Monte Bene Spicy Marinara pasta sauce 
      • 2 lbs. ground beef
      • 2 cups mushrooms, washed and chopped
      • 1 can kidney beans with liquid
      • 1/4 cup white wine
      • 4 oz. can diced tomatoes
      • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
      • 1 large onion, chopped
      • 2 tbsp. chili powder
      • 1 tsp. ground cumin
      • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded 
      • 1/4 Parmesan cheese, shredded
      • 1/4 cup chives, diced. 

       Preparation:

      In a large stock pot, crumble beef over medium heat. Add onion and cook until beef is browned, stirring frequently. Drain if necessary. Add Monte Bene Spicy Marinara pasta sauce, wine, tomatoes, mushrooms, pepper, chili and cumin and bring to a boil. Lower heat, add beans and cover and allow to simmer for 30 minutes, until flavors are well blended. Taste and add extra seasonings as desired. Top with freshly grated cheddar and Parmesan cheeses and fresh chives. 

      This fall recipe makes the perfect Game Day meal! 

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      Mini Frittatas

      Mini Frittatas

      Serves 4 to 6 

      Ingredients:

      • 1 jar Monte Bene Tomato Basil pasta sauce
      • 6 large eggs
      • ½ cup whole milk 
      • ¼ tsp. black pepper
      • 5 oz. honey ham, chopped
      • ¼ cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
      • Fresh basil, chopped
      • Salt to taste

      Preparation:

      Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease two mini muffin tins. In a large bowl, mix eggs, milk, pepper and salt until well blended. Add ham, basil, and cheese and stir until well combined. Pour egg mixture into muffin tins, filling to just below the rim. Bake frittatas for about 8 to 10 minutes, until the tops begin to puff. Heat Monte Bene Tomato Basil pasta sauce. Carefully remove frittatas, plate, and serve with a side of pasta sauce for dipping.

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      Fried Zucchini Sticks and Tomato Basil Dipping Sauce

      Serves 8

      Ingredients: 

      • 1 jar Monte Bene Tomato Basil pasta sauce
      • 1 qt. light vegetable oil
      • 3 medium sized zucchinis
      • 2 eggs
      • 1 1/2 cups unseasoned bread crumbs
      • 1 cup all-purpose flour
      • 1 tsp. pecorino Romano cheese
      • 1/4 tsp. salt

      Preparation:

      Pour oil into a large, heavy saucepan and heat to 365 degrees. Slice off the ends of the zucchinis and then slice in half vertically. Cut into 1/8" slices that are 3 " long and 1" wide. Crack eggs into a medium sized bowl and beat until yokes and whites are mixed thoroughly. In another medium sized bowl, mix bread crumbs, pecorino Romano cheese, and salt. Pour flour into a third medium sized bowl. Taking one at a time, coat zucchini slices in flour, then eggs, and then bread crumb mixture. Place in oil and fry for about 30 seconds, or until zucchini stick is golden brown. Remove and let cool on a paper towel for 5 minutes before serving. Heat Monte Bene Tomato Basil pasta sauce and serve with zucchini sticks for dipping.

      The kids won't even know they're eating a vegetable with this fun snack!

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