Sunday, February 13, 2022


This is one of America's favorite Italian dishes. In Italy, they make it with veal.

Lee's Kitchen Tips:
You may wonder what the difference is between marinara sauce and tomato sauce.
Marinara sauce is a tomato sauce without any meat. Tomato sauce can be flavored with pancetta and then removed.
You can buy canned crushed tomatoes to use in place of whole tomatoes.

Marinara Sauce
3 T olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 (28-oz) cans whole peeled Italian tomatoes, preferably San Marzano style
½ t red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
½ cup dry white wine
1 t granulated sugar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh basil

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
Add the onion and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the onions are cooking, pour the tomatoes in a bowl and hand-crush them, removing any hard center cores, and set aside.
Alternatively, use an immersion blender to chop the tomatoes.

Add the red pepper flakes and garlic to the saucepan and sauté another minute or two.
Pour the crushed tomatoes into the saucepan and cook, uncovered for 30 minutes, while you prepare the chicken.

2 boneless chicken breasts
½ cup all-purpose flour
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg
1 T water
1 cup seasoned dry breadcrumbs
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
¼ cup avocado oil
8 oz freshly grated or torn mozzarella cheese
2 T thinly sliced fresh basil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise, and set aside on a platter. 
Now you will have 4 thiner chicken breasts.

In a shallow bowl, add the flour and season to taste with salt and pepper.
In another shallow bowl, add the egg and water and whisk with a fork to combine.
In a third shallow bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, panko, and ½ cup of the Parmigiano cheese.

Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.

Dredge each chicken breast into the seasoned flour, then dip into the beaten eggs and finally into the breadcrumb mixture. Set aside on the same platter.
Cook chicken 4-5 minutes on each side, until golden brown.

Place chicken on prepared baking sheet, top each breast with a couple of tablespoons of tomato sauce.  
Top with 2 slices of mozzarella cheese and 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano cheese.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, until cheese is bubbling and the chicken is completely cooked through.

Serve with spaghetti and a green salad.

Serves 2 to 4

Tuesday, February 1, 2022


If you love chicken noodle soup and you love cheese tortellini, you will love this soup. Since the weather is sO cold, this soup will warm you up on a winter evening. I served it with garlic bread and a green salad.

2 boneless chicken breasts
1 T extra-light olive oil or avocado oil
4 carrots, peeled and diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ t red pepper flakes, optional
4 cups good quality chicken stock
1 t freeze-dried or dried basil
1 t freeze-dried or dried oregano
1 package fresh cheese tortellini
¼ cup finely chopped Italian parsley
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Place chicken breasts in a saucepan and cover with water.
Simmer, partially covered until chicken is cooked through.
Drain and place chicken on a plastic cutting board to cool.
When cool, chop into bite-size pieces and set aside.

In a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-low heat, add the oil and sauté the carrots, celery, and onion for 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and sauté another minute or two.
Add the chicken stock, basil, and oregano.
Simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the tortellini and simmer until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the chopped chicken and simmer another minute or two.

Add the parsley and ladle into warm soup bowls.
Sprinkle on some grated cheese and serve.

Serves 6 to 8