tomato basil mozzarella gnocchi

tomato basil mozzarella gnocchi

let’s start with this beautiful basil and oregano bathing in olive oil. if this isn’t romantic, at least in the idyllic sense, then I do not know what is.

tomato basil mozzarella gnocchi

for our amazing delicious vibrant sauce, we are going to use these tomatoes! these are whole san marzano tomatoes swimming in tomato puree! swimming, bathing.. there is a lot of that activity going on here.. san marzano tomatoes are a variety of plum tomato. they have a strong taste that is sweeter, less acidic, and more flavorful than the roma tomato. they are actually the preferred tomato for Neopolitan pizza so, yes they will make a lovely difference in taste. their flesh is also much thicker, ideal for a pasta sauce. because you know texture is important.

learn more about these red beauties >>here<< in this fun interactive from the NY Times!!

tomato basil mozzarella gnocchi

the sauce gets its golden orange color from the red tomatoes and the melted mozzarella. technically it’s not vodka sauce, because that orange Italian pasta sauce involves tomatoes and cream. so, I’m not quite sure what to call this sauce, other than delicious.

tomato basil mozzarella gnocchi

gnocchi.

if you have never had it, I can only describe it to you as the queen of all pasta, they Bey of pasta. soft pillows of Italy swimming in a warm blanket of tomatoes.

tomato basil mozzarella gnocchi

I really think this dish will make your special someone feel special. it’s important to let the people we care about know they are special!!! they deserve to feel and know they are loved without a doubt! friends, family, parents, and the one special person! 

tomato basil mozzarella gnocchi

tomato basil mozzarella gnocchi
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup olive oil
  2. 3 tbsp fresh oregano
  3. 1/4 cup fresh basil
  4. 1/2 yellow onion diced
  5. 3 cloves garlic
  6. handful of torn spinach (optional)
  7. 1 28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes
  8. salt and pepper to taste
  9. 1 16 oz package gnocchi
  10. 8 oz cherry/pearl mozzarella balls halved
Instructions
  1. cook basil and oregano in the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat for 5 min until herbs are a little crispy
  2. add diced onion and minced garlic, cook for another 5-7 min until onion is about to brown, don't let it brown
  3. ad torn spinach and mix in
  4. crush tomatoes and add to pan with juice
  5. season with salt and pepper and simmer for 30 minutes
  6. cook gnocchi as directed on package in salted water, drain, rinse with cold water so they stop cooking and set aside
  7. add mozzarella to sauce and gently stir in evenly
  8. add gnocchi and enjoy!
Adapted from foodie crush
Adapted from foodie crush
breaking bread xo, brynn http://www.breakingbreadxo.com/

autumn bruschetta

autumn bruschetta     autumn bruschetta

autumn bruschetta

I honestly adore bruschetta. anything Italian involving bread is most likely a winner in my book.

autumn bruschetta

traditional bruschetta involves chopped tomatoes, onions, basil, and olive oil on top of toasted bread. it truly is a beautifully simple dish. traditionally the tomatoes aren’t cooked, but it is getting cold outside and my body is asking for yummy warm food. in the spirit of cold autumn festivities I thought it only appropriate to also add roasted squash. it’s like, basically an autumn necessity, like, right?? I’m right.

autumn bruschetta

the cool thing about bruschetta is that it leaves room for experimentation. you can add and take away ingredients with changing seasons and events. I came across a buzzfeed post the other day that read, 20-life-changing-bruschetta-recipes. ookay! how man creations of bruschetta can we make??? some might say this is disgraceful to the ~traditional~ bruschetta recipe but.. I say it’s fun to be inventive.

autumn bruschetta

autumn bruschetta

a current trend in the culinary world is to take a traditional dish and add something new to it. maybe you have seen restaurant slogans that say, “classic southern food with flair” or “Italian food with a twist”. I believe it has become popular because it offers familiarity with a little exploration. I love trying new things; but, I am probably more inclined to do so if I know a little more about what is going on.

ex: “fried SQUID?? what? OH it’s in a taco??!! well, aight 🙂 “

autumn bruschetta

I like this recipe especially for gatherings because these bites are a perfect size. at gatherings, nobody wants to commit to a large portion. have you ever noticed how there are always big cupcakes left over but all the mini cupcakes are gone?? it’s a thing people. those big cupcakes may be delicious but few people want to walk around gnawing on a cupcake for 10 minutes, especially when you can pop a mini one in 1 minute. for instance, Jimmy took the large cupcake:

“hey Jimmy how is your new puppy doing?”

“oh he’s dpnfoing gretad, srry I hv a cup–muh muth id full sorry”

nice Jimmy. u do u!!!!!

autumn bruschetta
Serves 4
the modern Italian wedding of butternut squash and cherry tomatoes
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Prep Time
7 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
42 min
Prep Time
7 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
42 min
Ingredients
  1. loaf of bakery bread (mine is a rosemary loaf from Fresh Market)
  2. 1 medium butternut squash
  3. 1 10oz pack cherry tomatoes
  4. 1/3 cup olive oil
  5. 1 tsp basil
  6. 1 tsp sage
  7. 1 tsp rosemary or thyme
  8. dash of garlic powder
  9. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. chop butternut squash into small 1 inch cubes
  3. pour olive oil in a 9x9 or 8x8 inch glass pan
  4. toss in cubed butternut squash, tomatoes, and spices
  5. make sure vegetables are coated evenly in oil and spices
  6. bake for 40 minutes
  7. slice, toast, and top bread
  8. enjoy!
Notes
  1. if your bread is dry (not moist 😉 ), you may need to put a little butter or oil on it before toasting to get a nice golden crisp
breaking bread xo, brynn http://www.breakingbreadxo.com/

pan simmered cherry tomato confit

late summer is the best season for tomatoes. prolonged periods of heat help them grow and mature to their best. maybe that’s what I need to be my best too. another good long hot summer. time to think and have fun, right?

pan simmered cherry tomato confit

these cherry tomatoes I found in the store were begging to be taken home. “I found” is funny. someone had to grow and harvest these cherry tomatoes. people had to put in valuable time and energy to produce this quality plant. all I had to do was stumble upon them. their peak ripeness struck me. instantly they made me feel like I needed them. “you are hired,” I said. how do I get a future employer to see me this way? as a perfectly ripe tomato just waiting to be found. waiting to be stumbled upon. do you understand the game of getting noticed by employers? my professors, leaders, friends, and parents have put in valuable time and energy to ripen me and I desire to be stumbled upon like these tomatoes. but, I would be arrogant to think I come close to this tomato perfection 😉

pan simmered cherry tomato confit

bread is crucial to this dish. bread is crucial to life to be honest. maybe bread is not crucial for you, and maybe you are an alien. anyway, get a hold of your favorite bread or gluten free bread and go to town with this tomato confit. the bread is your vehicle. the world is your oyster!! I don’t know about you, but I am getting on this tomato topped bread train.

pan simmered cherry tomato confit

after about an hour of slow cooking these cherry tomatoes are falling apart in the best way and exploding with flavor.

pan simmered cherry tomato confit

I served this to my parents for dinner. the picky eaters loved it. I was happily surprised. they believe in me, and sometimes I can actually achieve what they believe. just believe and you can achieve…or something. haha. posters that say things like this sometimes make me feel more discouraged because of their ambiguity. what makes you feel most motivated? I know it is easier to feel motivated after a delicious meal like this.

pan simmered cherry tomato confit

I do love that my parents believe in me. it further inspires me to make an impact in the community in a positive way, to be successful. right now I am in an in-between phase trying to find my new journey, my next life experiment. the possibilities are exciting. during this time it is important to be aware that the choices I am making are my own and not someone else’s. it is the balance of taking in advice but carving my own way. my generation and my parents generation view success in very opposing ways. my parents emphasize financial security. their generation is all about the classic 9-5 career. meanwhile, my generation speaks out about being self employed, traveling with abandon, turning down the 9-5 and pursuing passion. of course I also believe everyone should chase their passion but I don’t identify with running away from the 9-5. I also don’t identify with clinging to financial security and putting it before passion. my voice speaks in another direction. do I fall somewhere between these generation stereotype thought patterns? or do my beliefs fall somewhere else entirely? in my mind, the best way to make money is to use talent and passion to add value to other peoples lives in whatever form that may take.

pan simmered cherry tomato confit

visiting home post college is a little strange. the comfort here inspires me to get out and do something uncomfortable. what can I do to break my comfort zone and add value to other people’s lives? this is a question that everyone needs to ask themselves more. it comes from the desire to be worth something and add worth to life.

pan simmered cherry tomato confit

pan simmered cherry tomato confit

this recipe is perfect for family style dinners because it can be served from a big dish at a table full of conversation. many studies have been done that show the benefits of family dinners. some articles can be seen here > familydinnerproject and health. they speak about how family dinner promotes higher self esteem, lowers rates of depression, and more. family dinners can improve the nation and add value to people’s lives just like finding your passion can.

pan simmered cherry tomato confit

pan simmered cherry tomato confit
Serves 4
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 hr 10 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 hr 10 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb cherry tomatoes
  2. 1/4 cup olive oil
  3. pinch garlic
  4. few basil leaves or 1tsp dried basil
  5. salt and black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. half tomatoes
  2. place tomatoes and olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat
  3. add garlic, basil, salt, pepper
  4. stir
  5. reduce to medium low after 5 minutes and let it simmer, stir every 10 minutes
  6. remove from the heat, and let it sit 20 minutes before serving
  7. add salt and pepper before serving
breaking bread xo, brynn http://www.breakingbreadxo.com/
pan simmered cherry tomato confit

apple bacon pecan cornbread stuffing

K E R N  B R A D !

I imagine that’s how the Chick-fil-A cows would spell corn bread. every time I see an ad with the cows I can’t help but laugh. they get me every time. Chick-fil-A advertisements have always been one of my favorites. sometimes I imagine myself being a part of their creative team and I get really excited. am I alone in this or are their others who think the same thing? whare R mi cow luverz??

apple bacon cornbread stuffing

this is arguably the best corn bread recipe I have  E V E R  made. I have tasted and made a lot of dry corn bread before. not fun. with all of my resources as an American, I feel like I have no excuse for making dry corn bread. right? how and where does one find this ~mystical~ moist…*moist*…corn bread!? after searching the desert on my chase for Wookies I discovered this gem…haha. please do not buy Jiffy corn bread mix for this. yes, I know it’s quick, cheap, and easy, but it doesn’t taste anywhere near as good. Jiffy also contains animal shortening as one of the main ingredients. what is animal shortening? it’s a cheap replacement for butter that isn’t really great for your insides. gross right? anyway, you gotta try this corn bread recipe. for the corn meal I recommend House Autry brand. I enjoy how it’s stone ground and old-fashioned. I also replaced buttermilk with almond milk just for fun and it turned out surprisingly better!

apple bacon cornbread stuffing     apple bacon cornbread stuffing

after the corn bread is baked, it will be cut into 1 inch cubes and placed back into the oven at 325 for 40 minutes. this will turn them into toasty croutons for the stuffing, *and still remain soft inside*. how does this magic happen? how are the cubes not crumbling to dry bits? they don’t crumble because this corn bread recipe is magic. literally stop reading this and go buy the ingredients. (in addition to the pure magic, cutting large cubes is an essential reason why the corn bread doesn’t become dry and crumble)

as the kitchen begins to fill with the aroma of toasting corn bread, sizzling bacon, onions, and hot apples, your heart will feel warm inside as your nose melts off your face. if you live with other people, be ready for them to start hovering over you. “hey, um, what ya makin? can I have some?” be careful not to offend your mother or grandmother figure when making this recipe because it will probably be better than any corn bread related thing they have ever made. that’s right, I said it. sorry Nana.

apple bacon cornbread stuffing

T O A S T Y

apple bacon cornbread stuffing

*disclaimer* do not roll around in toasted yet soft corn bread cubes

apple bacon cornbread stuffing

this moment of mixing everything together reminds me of a Charter Bundle. at first, you only want the corn bread (just like you only want cable). Once you think you are content, a great offer is made that you can’t turn down. you soon find yourself liking everything mixed together even more. now you just can’t help yourself. you greedy. how did we ever survive without high-speed internet? how did you ever survive with only plain corn bread as a side? it’s hard to imagine now that you have toasted cornbread soaked in broth with bacon, apples, and pecans.

apple bacon cornbread stuffing

no more Stove Top for you. no, now you are spoiled rotten.

apple bacon cornbread stuffing

but you love it. you embrace it. why not?

magic corn bread
Serves 6
possibly the best corn bread recipe I have made yet
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  2. 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  3. 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  4. 1 tablespoon sugar
  5. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  7. 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  8. 1 1/2 cups unsweetened original almond milk
  9. 1 tablespoon white vinegar
Instructions
  1. preheat oven to 425 and lightly grease and flour dust a 7x11 or 8x8 inch baking dish
  2. in a bowl combine almond milk and white vinegar, let it set for a few minutes. as it sets it will "activate" to act like buttermilk. (the main reason I use this mixture instead of buttermilk is because it tastes better and it's healthier)
  3. in a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt)
  4. in a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, almond milk mix, and butter
  5. pour the wet mix into the dry mix and fold together until there are no dry spots (the batter will still be lumpy)
  6. (when making any quick bread such as corn bread you do not want to over mix)
  7. pour the batter into the prepared baking dish
  8. bake until top is golden
  9. test the middle with a toothpick, if it comes out with batter on it then it is not done yet
  10. let corn bread cool for 10 min before serving
Notes
  1. I like to buy House Autry brand corn meal because it's stone ground, and the packaging makes me feel old fashioned
  2. I recommend using a 7x11 inch baking dish
breaking bread xo, brynn http://www.breakingbreadxo.com/
apple bacon pecan corn bread stuffing
Serves 6
no more Stove Top stuffing
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr 10 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr 10 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 (7x11) pan cubed and toasted corn bread
  2. 6 slices bacon, coarsely chopped
  3. 4 tablespoons butter
  4. 1 onion, chopped
  5. 2 Gala apples, chopped
  6. 2 large eggs
  7. 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  8. 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  9. thyme to taste
  10. salt + pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. cut cornbread into 1 inch cubes
  2. place cubes in the oven at 325 for 30 minutes or until dark golden and toasty
  3. cook chopped bacon in a large skillet over medium heat for a few minutes
  4. add the chopped onion and butter to bacon in the skillet, sprinkle salt + pepper in
  5. continue cooking for 5 minutes so onions can brown in the butter
  6. add in thyme and apples and continue cooking until apples soften
  7. gently mix eggs and broth in a separate bowl
  8. once cornbread is done and cooled, transfer to a large bowl and add apple/bacon/onion mixture and broth mixture
  9. gently mix everything together (do not mash the bread, but make sure it absorbs all the goodness)
  10. preheat oven to 425
  11. transfer stuffing into a 7x11 inch baking dish, sprinkle with chopped pecans and cover with foil
  12. bake for 30 minutes then remove foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes to make the top golden brown
Notes
  1. it's important that you toast the corn bread first so that it dries out and will be able to soak up the broth
breaking bread xo, brynn http://www.breakingbreadxo.com/