Mar 23, 2009

Jack's Italian Pasta Salad:

Here is another great recipe the kids will love.

1 package of Spiral Colored Rotini (curly macaroni) (8oz box).
8-10 ounce package, Meat or Cheese Filled Tortellini (for this dish, I prefer the meat filled).
Note: I usually buy these fresh in the refrigerated section. But you can buy them frozen in a large bag. Frozen, use about 20 pieces.
1/2 cup of chopped Red Onion.
5 Baby Carrots (they come in a bag).
2 Stalks of Celery.
Half Fresh Cucumber (wash thoroughly, leave skin on).
1/4 cup of Olive Oil.
2 Tablespoons Sugar.
1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar (any brand).
1 teaspoon of Table Salt.
1 teaspoon of Garlic Powder.
2 Tablespoons of Dry Oregano.
1 Tablespoon of Dry Basil.
1 Tablespoon of Fresh Ground Black Pepper.
1/2 Cup of Parmesan Romano Cheese (buy this already made, like Craft brand, I use the store brand).
1/4 Cup of Black Olives (no pits) (I buy in a can, but you can buy fresh, just remove the pits if they have any).
1/2 Cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese (buy already done in plastic bag)
1 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes.
1/4 Cup of Fresh Italian Parsley.
Vegetable Oil.

Cooking Utensils:
Can Opener
Cutting Board
Kitchen Paring Knife
Large 4 or 5 Quart Bowl
3 or 4 Quart Pot with lid, I use Rever-ware
Mixing Cup
1 Teaspoon
1 Tablespoon
Pasta Strainer
Long Handled Cooking Spoon, preferable with holes
Saran or Plastic Wrap (any brand)
Diner Plate


Cooking Instructions:
In a cooking pot fill about 2/3 with water.
Cover with led, bring to a boil.
Remove lid, add in about 3 tablespoons of cooking (vegetable) oil.
Add in 1 tablespoon of table salt.
Pour in Spiral Colored Rotini (curly macaroni) Pasta.
Cook per instructions on package.
Sit the strainer on diner plate next to pot.
Using the long handled spoon with holes, remove Pasta, place in Strainer (do not throw away water), run cold water over pasta. 
Shake well and drain water off. 

Place in the large Bowl, place in refrigerator for about 15-minutes, do not cover.
Now place Meat or Cheese Filled Tortellini in same pasta water pot, bring back to a boil, reduce to low heat, follow cooking instructions on package.
Pour Tortellini into strainer, run cold water, shake thoroughly.
Allow to set at room temperature.

Preparation Directions:

Step # 1: Vegetables
Finely Chop 1/2 Red Onion.
Cut 2 stalks of Celery length ways in half, next cut on diagonal cuts into about 1/2 inch lengths.
Using about 5 Baby Carrots, cut in half-length ways, now finely cut into pieces.
Chop Black Olives.
Finely Chop Italian Parsley.
Cut Whole Cucumber into Half, then into small pieces (start with half the cucumber, then slice long way in half, and half length way again, then cut into small pieces. Leave skin on, leave seeds).

Step # 2: Preparation
Remove Bowl from Refrigerator with Pasta...
Add the -

Black Olives
Table Salt
Garlic Powder

Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Baby Carrots

Red Onion
Dry Oregano
Dry Basil
Dry Red Pepper Flakes
Olive Oil
Fresh Italian Parsley
Balsamic Vinegar

Stir thoroughly

Now add the Tortellini

Stir thoroughly again

Now add-
The Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Parmesan Romano Cheese

Stir thoroughly
Cover with Plastic Wrap

Place in refrigerator for minimum 1 hour before eating.
Note: Taste best refrigerated over night. 

Remove about 15-minutes before eating. 
Taste again … 
If on sour side, lightly add sugar, and taste. 
If too sweet very lightly add Balsamic Vinegar, taste. 
If too dry, lightly add Olive Oil, mix thoroughly, taste. 
If flat, lightly add table salt, taste. 
If you like cheese, add more Parmesan, slowly, mix, taste until the way you personally like it.

Now You're Cooking with JACK
Just Another One of Jack's Famous Recipes
Got a Question, Comment, Suggestion or would like to submit a tasty recipe meal, email me at:

I would like to know what you think of Jack’s Italian Pasta Salad Recipe, please go to the comments section and leave me a comment. Thank you.

Also if you would be so kind, please follow this blog and share it with others.

Mar 14, 2009

Jack’s Spaghetti Meat (Bolognese) Sauce:

Basic Original Ingredients:
1 1/2 Pounds of Fresh Ground Hamburger Meat (butcher section).
Taste Note: Buy fresh same day, do not use meat from your freezer, do NOT buy lean or extra lean ground meat, you need some fat for cooking.
1 Pound of Fresh Ground Pork.
Olive Oil.
Fresh Ground Black Pepper.
Table Salt.
Garlic Powder.
Fresh Parsley (buy this fresh, produce section).
2 Tablespoons of Fresh Finely Chopped Garlic.
Dry Oregano Seasoning.
Dry Basil Seasoning.
4 Fresh Bay Leaves.
Crushed Dry Red Pepper Flakes.
1 Medium Size White Onion.
L & P Steak Sauce (original).
6 fresh Button Mushrooms (preference 4 brown, and 2 white).
2 28-ounce Cans of Crushed Romano Tomatoes.
2 28-ounce Cans of Tomato Sauce.
2 28-ounce Cans of Tomato Puree.
1 6-ounce Can of Tomato Paste.
Merlot Red Wine (you may use Cabernet Sauvignon or Chianti).
Pasta (spaghetti, rigatoni, linguini, angel hair, etc. your choice).
Parmesan Romano Cheese (I buy mind already grated)

Cooking Items and Utensils:
8 or 10 quart Pot with lid (I prefer Revere-ware).
5-quart Pot with lid (I prefer a cast iron pot with glass lid for cooking pasta).
Long Handle Large Metal or Wood Cooking Spoon
Can Opener
Sharp Paring or Kitchen Knife
Pasta Strainer
Chopping Board
Measuring Cup
1 Pair of Mitts (gloves)
Diner Plates (I use Pasta Bowls)
Paper Towels
Tupperware with lids.

Preparation Directions:
Step # 1: Garlic Tip...
If you use a lot of Garlic for cooking, like I do, then try this.
Take an empty jar, like a mustard or small relish glass jar, wash thoroughly and let set open without lid for at least 24-hours.
Finely Chop the Garlic, enough for about a ½ jar, place in Jar, add in about 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil, mix. Keep refrigerated in vegetable drawer until needed.

Step # 2: Veggies and Stuff
Finely chop entire White Onion.
Finely chop fresh Garlic.
Finely chop the 6 fresh Mushrooms.
Chop about 1/2 cup of Fresh Parsley
Open and set aside the all the cans (wash lids thoroughly).
Tip: Tomato Paste is hard to get out of the can, so I open both ends, lay on side, use one lid to push the tomato paste out, don't drop in sauce.

Cooking Directions:
Step # 1-
In your large Pot on med heat, preheat pot
Add about 5 tablespoons of Olive Oil
When hot...
Add in chopped onion. Stir and continue to stir.
Add in 1 teaspoon of Table Salt.
Cook until clear but not brown, push to outer edges of pot.
Add in Ground Beef and Ground Pork.
Stir and break apart into fine pieces.
Add in 1 Tablespoon of Fresh Ground Black Pepper.
Cook meat until brown in center of pot.
Add 1 Tablespoon of L&P Sauce.
Add in two large Tablespoons of Chopped Garlic.
Add in the chopped Mushrooms.
Mix everything together.
Add 1 teaspoon of Garlic Powder.
Cook for about another 3 minutes, continue to stir.
Now add in the following …
2 Cups of Merlot Red Wine.
Add All the cans – crushed tomatoes, tomato puree, tomato sauce, and tomato paste.
Add in 1 cup of water, use this to wash out the other cans.
Add in the 1/2 cup of Fresh Parsley.
Stir POT, making sure bottom is turned over to top.
Note: It is easy to burn this because there are so much ingredients, so stirring frequently is very important.
Cover with lid, bring to a boil.
Add in 1 teaspoon of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes.
2 Tablespoons of Oregano.
1 Tablespoon of Crushed Basil.
4 Whole Bay Leaves.
1 teaspoon of Table Salt.
1 Tablespoon of Fresh Ground Black Pepper,
3 Tablespoons of Sugar.
Stir thoroughly.
Turn heat to low, cover with lid.
Every 10 minutes, stir.
After one hour, turn sauce to simmer. Partially cover with lid.
Continue to stir frequently (about every 10 minutes).
Cook another 45 minutes to one hour.
Remove lid, leave off, stir, taste.
Add seasoning as need .. salt, pepper, or sugar.
Turn off, cover with lid, let sit for minimum of 30 minutes
before eating.

Step # 2-
Prepare the Pasta
In a 5-quart pot, fill about 2/3 with tap water.
Cover with lid, on high heat bring water to a boil.
While water is heating, remove pasta from box or package.
I find it better when you break spaghetti style long noodles
in half, easier to cook.
Place on a clean plate.
Once water boils, remove lid, add in about 1 tablespoon of table salt.
Add in about 4 tablespoons of cooking oil (any type will do).
Add in Pasta.
Stir. Cook without lid.
Follow cooking instructions for times on box.
When done turn off fire.
Place strainer in kitchen sink, turn on cold water, using heavy
cooking mitts (gloves) carefully lift pot and pour into strainer.
Do Not Wash Pasta with Water.
Shake excess water off.
Set strainer on plate or pour pasta into large bowl.
Add about 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil, stir, this prevents pasta from sticking together.
Set aside.

Serving Directions:
Using diner plates, dip up required serving of Pasta.
Remove lid from sauce, stir, taste again, adjust.
Remove Bay Leaves, throw away.
Dip up sauce in desired portion.
Add Parmesan Romano Cheese.

--- This makes a lot of Spaghetti Meat Sauce, I suggest freezing what you don’t eat in 2-quart Tupperware containers. Freezing actually enhances the flavor, but it is not necessary, you can use the meat sauce anytime with your favorite pasta.

--- You will need this recipe to make Jack's Lasagna.

If sauce is frozen...
To eat once Frozen...
Remove night before. Place in refrigerator.
When ready, place sauce in pot, heat until boil, stir.
Select type of pasta / spaghetti you like.
Add Parmesan Cheese

For you Hungry Man Types:
Ice Tea for Lunch
Cold Beer in frosty mug for Diner -or- Red Wine for diner.
Garden Side Salad on the side

Now You're Cooking with JACK
Just Another One of Jack's Famous Recipes
Got a Question, Comment, Suggestion or would like to submit a tasty recipe meal, email me at:

I would like to know what you think of Jack’s Spaghetti Meat (Bolognese) Sauce Recipe, please go to the comments section and leave me a comment. Thank you.

Also if you would be so kind, please follow this blog and share it with others.