Cooking and baking have always been a major part of my life. When I am stressed I go into the kitchen and make food. It makes me feel better and provides a part of myself for my family to enjoy. Growing up my mother cooked huge meals. She was the oldest of 12 and loved having large Christmas celebrations. From as far back as I can remember I would follow her around the kitchen and watch her cook. As the years went by I realized that I already knew how to cook from all those evenings watching her prepare dinners for our family. I have passed these traditions on to my own boys, who love helping me in the kitchen to prepare family meals.
Do you have an inspiration for your family cooking traditions? Right now you can share your stories on the Tuttorosso Facebook page. The winner will receive a $250 prize pack that includes a serving plate, sauce ladle, pasta pot set and heirloom wooden spoon, plus $300 to a dinner celebration of the winner’s choosing. The contest runs from April 16 through May 7.
I was lucky enough to be send a gift pack of Tuttorosso tomatoes to try in my home kitchen. I was sent three 28 oz tomato products including diced, pureed, and the new crushed no salt added. They also sent me examples of the new packaging that they have changed to. The new labels offer tips and tricks to incorporate the various tomato products into your home recipes. For example the peeled plum tomatoes are best in chili, gazpacho, primavara and sauces, while the tomato sauce is best in lasagna, pizza and sauces. The use tips are a nice way to know how to use the various types of tomatoes now available canned. It can seem a little overwhelming in the tomato aisle trying to figure out the difference between paste, sauce, diced, pureed and crushed. The new labels do the work for you, saving at least a little bit of stress at the grocery store (now if only they could do something about my two kids wondering off and getting out of the cart I'd be set.....).
All three of the products I used in various recipes. The recipe I am going to share here uses the 28 oz can of diced tomatoes. This recipe came about when I was unmotivated to cook dinner and needed something that I could start in the crock pot at noon without a lot of fuss. I had a pound of mild Italian sausage and the canned tomatoes and this is what I made:
- 1 28oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 pound Italian sausage (I used mild, but hot would also work)
- 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 diced yellow sweet onion
- 5 minced garlic cloves
- sugar if needed (I don't sugar my sauce, but I know that many people prefer it so if you like yours a little sweet add a small amount of granulated sugar)
Cook the diced onion and the sausage (casings removed) until browned. Add the garlic and saute just until the garlic is fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Add to the slow cooker along with the remaining ingredients, stir. Cover the crock pot and cook on high 4-5 hours. Salt as needed (this really varies depending on the sausage, sometimes I need a lot more salt and other times no additional at all).
That's it! The tomatoes worked great and the sauce went well over gluten free pasta and the leftovers were delicious over polenta (which is a nice gluten free alternative to pasta).
For more information about the tomatoes and the Facebook contest go to the following links: