Recipes

Gnocchi Soup with Sausage and Beans

Gnocchi Soup with Sausage and Beans

 Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar Monte Bene Tomato Basil pasta sauce
  • 1 lb. pre-made gnocchi (or follow this recipe for homemade gnocchi)
  • 1 lb. sweet or spicy Italian sausage
  • 1 can cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
  • 10 oz. spinach leaves
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup Pecorino Romano, grated
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced 
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bay leaf

Preparation:

In a large sauce pan or pot, heat olive oil on medium high heat. Add sausage and granulate. Once sausage begins to brown, add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring continuously, for about 3 minutes, until sausage is cooked through and onion becomes translucent. Add chicken stock, Monte Bene Tomato Basil pasta sauce and beans to the pan and increase heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and add cream. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add celery and bay leaf. Carefully stir in spinach and gnocchi and cook for about 3 minutes, until spinach is tender and gnocchi begin to float to the top. Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and serve with grated Pecorino Romano cheese.

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Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
  • 1 jar Monte Bene Spicy Marinara pasta sauce
  • 4 chicken breasts or thighs
  • 2 cups whole grain rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. thyme
  • 6 oz. Crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 6 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 large white onion, halved and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped parsley
Preparation: 

Preheat oven to 350. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat olive oil in a medium saute pan (with lid) and add chicken. Brown on both sides, then remove and set aside. Add sliced onion and garlic and stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Add mushroom, oregano, and thyme. Stir for another few minutes until well mixed. Stir in white wine and bring to a low simmer (sauce should be bubbly). Add Monte Bene Spicy Marinara pasta sauce and crushed tomatoes. Place chicken on top of sauce mixture so that they are not fully submerged. Cover and place the whole pan in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes, remove cover, and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare rice according to instructions. When the cacciatore is fully cooked, plate the rice and cover generously with chicken and sauce mixture. Top with fresh parsley and serve.

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Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar Monte Bene Spicy Marinara pasta sauce
  • 4 bell peppers (whatever color you prefer)
  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1 small sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, grated or chopped
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper

Preparation:

Remove the tops of the bell peppers and then scoop out the seeds and inner-membranes. Bring a pot of water to boil and place the peppers into the boiling water for about 1-1 1/2 minutes. Remove peppers (carefully!), rinse with cold water, and turn upside down on a plate/paper towel to drain.

In a skillet, cook the ground meat and onion. Add the jar of Monte Bene Spicy Marinara pasta sauce and zucchini to the skillet. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in mozzarella cheese and then fill each pepper with sauce mixture.

Place peppers in a baking/casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through. Remove them from the oven and plate.

Suggested side: white or brown rice

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Gluten-Free Meatloaf

Gluten-Free Meatloaf

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar Monte Bene Garlic Marinara pasta sauce
  • 1-1 1/2 lb ground beef or turkey (no more than 85% lean)
  • 1 cup gluten-free oats
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tbs natural cane sugar or brown sugar

Preparation:

In a large bowl, beat the egg, then add ground meat, onion, salt, pepper, cumin, parsley, milk, oats, and 1 cup of Monte Bene Garlic Marinara pasta sauce (and grated vegetables, if desired). Use your hands to mix the ingredients together. Continue to knead and mix for several minutes so that the spices are evenly distributed. If the meatloaf appears somewhat runny, add another 1/4-1/2 cup of oats. Tamp down the mixture in a bread pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Then warm the rest of the pasta sauce on the stove for about 2 minutes. Stir in the sugar, and pour the sauce over your meatloaf. Return loaf to the oven for 15 minutes.

(NOTE: You can check if your meatloaf is done using a meat thermometer - it should read at least 155 degrees.)

Remove loaf from oven, allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, slice, and serve!

Try adding a cup of grated carrots, zucchini, etc. for a more nutritious meal!

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Baby Eggplant Parmigiana

Baby Eggplant Parmigiana

Serves 4 to 6 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 jar Monte Bene Garlic Marinara pasta sauce 
  • Vegetable Oil
  • 4 baby eggplants
  • 3  eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, freshly-grated 
  • 6 slices fresh mozzarella
  • 2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
  • Fresh basil leaves

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350. Rinse baby eggplant, remove the skin and slice into 1/2 to 3/4  inch slices. In a large frying pan, heat oil. Dip eggplant slices into egg and then into bread crumbs, coating completely. Place the breaded eggplant in hot oil and cook each side until golden brown.

Coat the bottom of a baking dish with 1 to 2 cups of Monte Bene Garlic Marinara pasta sauce. Layer the sauce with half of the cooked eggplant slices. Top with mozzarella and a second layer of eggplant slices and pasta sauce. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes or until mozzarella cheese is fully melted. Remove from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Garnish with basil and serve. 

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Chicken Stuffed Tortellini alla Vodka

Chicken Stuffed Tortellini alla Vodka

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

For the sauce

  • 1 24 oz. jar Monte Bene Vodka pasta sauce
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Parmesan cheese, sliced or shredded
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the pasta

  • 2 cups all purpose flour 
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 large eggs
      For the filling
    • 1 to 2 chicken breasts, cooked thoroughly
    • 2 cups ricotta cheese
    • 1 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
    • 1 tsp. fresh basil, chopped
    • 1/2 tsp. garlic
    • Salt and pepper to taste

      Preparation:

      Cut chicken breasts into small cubes. In a large bowl, combine all of the filling ingredients. Filling will be lumpy. To prepare the pasta, combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Create a well or hole in the center of the dough and crack the eggs into it. Whisk together the eggs with a fork. Gradually begin pulling flour into the eggs, allowing a moist dough to begin to form. Place the dough and any excess flour onto a floured surface. Fold dough onto itself, flatten, and repeat, allowing the dough to become gradually firmer. Begin kneading the dough, adding extra flour as needed to prevent sticking. Continue kneading until the dough forms a smooth, elastic ball and no air bubbles appear when it is sliced into. Roll dough into a ball and place in a clean bowl and cover for 30 minutes, allowing dough to rest. Divide the dough into four equal balls and place on a well-floured baking sheet. Cover dough with a clean towel to prevent it from drying out. One at a time, take each ball of dough and press it with your hands to flatten it. Feed it through the thickest setting on a pasta machine. Fold the dough again, turn it, and feed it through the pasta machine several more times. Gradually decrease the thickness on the pasta machine, feeding the dough through each setting at least once. Once you have created a long, thin sheet, cut the dough into evenly shaped squares. Place 1 tsp. of filling in the center of the square. Fold the square over so that the corners meet, forming a triangle. Fold opposite corners of the triangle together and press firmly. Toss with flour and repeat with remaining dough. 

      Cook tortellinis al dente in a large pot of bowling water. Pour Monte Bene Vodka pasta sauce into a large saute pan and bring to a simmer. Add oregano, red pepper flakes, and rosemary. Drain pasta and plate. Top with sauce mixture, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, and extra red pepper flakes as desired. Garnish with greens and fresh mozzarella. 

      This is a fun recipe to make on a weekend with the whole family! 

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      Garlic Marinara Baked Ziti

      Garlic Marinara Baked Ziti

      Serves 8 to 10

      Ingredients

      • 1 lb. lean ground beef
      • 1 16 oz. package of ziti pasta
      • 1 cup onion, chopped
      • 1 jar Monte Bene Garlic Marinara pasta sauce
      • 1-2 cups mozzarella cheese
      • 1 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
      • 1 tsp. basil leaves, chopped

      Preparation

      Preheat oven to 350. Cook pasta al dente, drain, and set aside. In a skillet, brown beef slightly on medium heat and then add chopped onion. Continue cooking beef for 6 to 8 minutes, until beef is brown and onion becomes translucent. Stir in Monte Bene Garlic Marinara sauce and basil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir 1 cup of sauce mixture into cooked ziti to prevent the pasta from sticking. Spoon half of the ziti mixture into a baking dish. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and ½ cup Pecorino Romano cheese. Top with 2 cups sauce, then with the remaining ziti mixture and the remaining sauce. Securely cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover, and top with remaining mozzarella and pecorino Romano cheese. Return to oven and bake uncovered for 10 minutes or until cheese is fully melted.

      This deep dish meal is ideal for big families or small parties.

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      Easy Tomato Basil and Beef Lasagna

      Easy Tomato Basil and Beef Lasagna

      Serves 6 to 8

       Ingredients

      • 1 lb. lean ground beef
      • 4 cups Monte Bene Tomato Basil pasta sauce
      • 6 uncooked lasagna sheets
      • 1 (15 oz.) container of ricotta cheese
      • 3 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
      • 1 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
      • ¼ cup hot water 

      Preparation:

      Preheat oven to 375 and lightly grease a baking dish. In a 10-12” skillet, brown the ground beef on medium heat until cooked thoroughly, stirring to granulate. Drain excess oil and add Monte Bene Tomato Basil pasta sauce. Spread one third of meat sauce into baking dish. Layer with 3 noodles and half of the ricotta cheese and 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese (ricotta cheese layer should be thin). Repeat layer. Spread remaining 1/3 of meat sauce over cheese layer. Carefully add hot water along the edges of the dish. Top with remaining mozzarella and with Pecorino Romano cheese as desired. Securely cover baking dish with 2 layers of aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes, uncover, and bake for 10 more minutes until cheese is slightly golden along the edges. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

      Lasagna leftovers make great school or work lunches too!

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