I've been craving homemade Italian food for at least a week, so today I made homemade pasta per Pioneer Woman (see hers at: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2009/05/homemade-pasta/). I topped it with a very easy marinara meat sauce.
Marinara Meat Sauce:
1 (28 oz.) can of whole tomatoes
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
4 cloves garlic, minced (more to taste)
2 t. dried oregano
2 t. dried basil
1 t. salt
1 t. ground black pepper
6 T. olive oil
1/3 cup finely diced onion
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. Italian sausage
Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil in a large saucepan. Add in everything else but the meat. Mash up the tomatoes with a potato masher. Boil, then reduce heat to simmer. In a separate pan brown the meat, then drain off the grease. Add the meat to the sauce. Put it in a crock pot on low and let it simmer for a few hours.
For dessert I made almost homemade cinnamon rolls. They turned out awesome. There is no reason to make your own dough if you have this recipe. I got the idea from the Southern Plate Cookbook by Christy Jordan and I adjusted it a little by decreasing the cinnamon.
Almost Homemade Cinnamon Rolls:
1 loaf of frozen white bread
1/4 c. melted butter
1 c. brown sugar
2 T. cinnamon
Let the dough set on a plate until it is thawed out. Roll it out on a floured surface to 9 x 16 size. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl. Pour the melted butter on the dough, then put the sugar mix on. Roll up from the long side. Slice with a serrated knife into one inch slices. Put in a greased, 9 x 13 pan. Let rise until doubled in size. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.
For the frosting, there are several options. I did a cream cheese/powdered sugar this time, but my favorite ever is Pioneer Woman's maple frosting (http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2007/06/cinammon_rolls_/)
For supper, I made a gourmet version of a cheeseburger hot pocket. I took sheets of puff pastry and filled them with ground beef, onions, bacon and American cheese. Then I baked them in the oven. They were so good! I think they would also be good with ground beef, onions, mushrooms and Swiss cheese.
For dessert I made these M&M bars: http://www.southernplate.com/2009/01/mm-oatmeal-bars-made-with-baking-mix.html. They were super easy to make and very good. I imagine you could swap the M&M's for whatever- I think a mix of peanut butter and chocolate chips would be good.