Category Archives: Sauces

Mushroom Pesto with Sausage over Fusilli

This one is a warm and hearty pasta sauce, great for a cold night. It’s also very low fat and full of healthy vegetables. This recipe can easily be made vegan or vegetarian by eliminating the turkey sausage or replacing it with a meat-substitute sausage.


  • 8 oz whole wheat fusilli
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 lb of spicy turkey sausage, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 8 oz crimini mushrooms
  • handful of fresh basil
  • 1 cup red onion
  • 1 cup white wine
  • salt
  • pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup diced fresh tomato


In the work bowl of your food processor, add the onion, garlic, mushrooms, basil, olive oil, white wine and a dash of salt. Grind into a thick paste. You may need to work in batches.

In a hot skillet, brown the sausage on all sides. Add the mixture from the food processor and simmer until the sausage is cooked through.

Serve over whole wheat fusilli

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 15 min
Servings : 6


NetDiva’s Awesome Hot Sauce

I needed a sauce to put over the fresh tamales we made the other night. I whipped this together with veggies that I had lying around. It was delicious and perfectly spicy.


  • 1 cup chopped red onion (about 1/2 large onion)
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 pasilla pepper (with seeds)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeño (with seeds)
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar, (Bragg’s or other natural vinegar is recommended.)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes


Finely chop all vegetables and place in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add all other ingredients. Bring to a boil and then simmer over medium-low, covered, for 15-20 minutes or until all vegetables are very soft and stewed.

Using a stick blender, purée the mixture until it’s a thick, even sauce. If you don’t have a stick blender, a regular blender or food processor will work, too.

Add more salt, sugar or red pepper flakes to taste.

Can be served warm or cold.

Spicy Sausage and Roasted Red Pepper Bolognese

This pasta sauce is somewhere between a bolognese and an arrabiata. It doesn’t matter what you call it, though, this is an absolutely delicious and spicy dinner. The sauce gets stuck i the twists of the fusilli pasta. You can adjust the spiciness by reducing the amount of crushed red pepper flakes –but I wouldn’t recommend it. 😉


  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 4 tomatoes
  • red wine vinegar
  • 1 red onion
  • olive oil
  • 4 italian sausages —I like these.
  • 1 lb fusilli pasta
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated or shreaded
  • salt
  • 6 chopped mushrooms
  • 1 14-oz can of tomato sauce


Preheat your broiler and then stick both bell peppers into the broiler. Thoroughly blacken all sides.

Put a gallon of water on to boil in one pot.

Put a quart of water on to boil in another pot.

Core tomatoes and slice crosses only through the skin on two sides. Prepare a bowl of ice water large enough to fit the tomatoes. When the smaller pot of water boils, drop the tomatoes in for thirty seconds. Remove them with tongs and drop them into the ice water and set aside.

In a large skillet, brown the red onion, some salt and the sausage (remove sausage casings).

Peel the tomatoes. The skin should come right off, easily. If these directions aren’t clear, check out this site on peeling tomatoes.

Next cut each tomato into eight wedges. Place in a large flat pan (like a pie pan). Drizzle with red wine vinegar and sprinkle with salt. Roast in a 500°F for ten minutes.

When all sides of the bell peppers are black, remove from heat. Using tongs and a fork, remove the skin. It should come right up. Chop off the stem and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. This should be very easy. If the skin isn’t coming off, you didn’t roast the peppers long enough.

When the large pot of water is boiling, add your fusilli. Cook until al dente.

Add sausage mixture, basil, garlic, cheese, about 1/4 cup of olive oil and tomatoes to your food processor. Pulse a few times to make a thick mixture which is slightly coarser than a paste.

In the same skillet, sauté the chopped mushrooms for a few minutes. Add the mixture from the food processor, the red pepper flakes and the tomato sauce. Simmer for fifteen minutes.

In pasta bowls, add the pasta and spoon generous amounts of sauce over the top. Add a few more shreds of cheese to the top and sliced mushroom for garnish. I suggest serving with garlic bread.

Serves: 6-8
Cook + Prep time: 45 min – 1 hour

Miso-Bourbon Chicken

Sorry I don’t have photos but this dish was so good, I’m sharing the recipe right away. This was a spicy fusion spin on miso chicken.


For the Chicken

  • 1 lb chicken thighs (remove skin)
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • ground ginger powder
  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • pepper

For the Sauce

  • 4 tbsp red miso paste
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp dark molasses
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 bunch finely chopped scallions
  • 2 tbsp grated chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp Sriracha sauce (or to taste)
  • 1 cup bourbon


Heat oven to 350°F. Remove skin from chicken and cover each side with a generous sprinkling of salt, pepper, garlic powder and ground ginger. Heat the oil in a skillet, preferably cast iron. Brown the chicken on both sides. Place entire skillet into oven for about 45 minutes or until done in the middle (about 170°).

While chicken is baking, add all of the sauce ingredients except the bourbon to a bowl and whisk together until miso is completely dissolved.

When chicken is done, take the skillet out of the oven and move the chicken pieces to a plate. I placed them in the broiler with the heat off just to keep them warm. Deglaze the pan by placing it over high heat and then adding the whiskey. Lower it to medium and stir until all that lovely chicken juice begins to dissolve into the whiskey. Now stir in the rest of the sauce and simmer over medium for about ten minutes or until the scallions soften.

Plate the chicken and pour sauce over each piece. Garnish with a sprinkling of freshly grated ginger.

Cook time: about an hour

Prep time: about half an hour

Servings: four

And it burns burns burns…

M&D Ring of Fire Hot Sauce

I’m so excited! My package from Mike & Diane’s Ring of Fire Hot Sauce just arrived in the mail. Steve and I were visiting San Diego this winter and happened to pick up a bottle of their Garden Fresh Chile Sauce at a touristy hot sauce shop in Seaport Village. Wow! It really knocked my socks off. It wasn’t all vinegary like most bottled sauces. It tasted fresh, like I made it in my own kitchen. So I simply had to order more.
M&D Ring Of Fire Hot Sauce

I got a bottle of their Tomatillo Roasted Garlic Sauce which is quite tasty! I can’t wait to try it over some breakfast potatoes. I also bought a bottle of the Original Habañero Hot Sauce. You can really taste the serrano peppers in there. This one is a little more vinegary but still delicious! I can tell I’ll be cooking up spicy food this week!

The sauces are a little pricey at $8.75 bottle, but they’re 12.5 oz bottles and the quality of the ingredients really stands out when you taste these products. The box came with a hand written thank you card—nice touch—and some freebies: M&D Ring of Fire Jerky, a magnet, and a “travel bottle”. Cute.

I am going to make one tiny little nit. My hot sauce was shipped in a ton of old fashioned pink foam peanuts. Not only are those messy to unpack, more importantly, they’re environmentally awful. I’d like to see them use more responsible packing materials.

All in all, I’m still pretty impressed with these delicious sauces. The quality and care put into making them really stands out. Now go out and grab a bottle of two!

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