• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup good white wine (the sweeter the better)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red crushed pepper, or less if you are not a fan of heat
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced,1 tablespoon Gourmet Garden Basil (in a tube found in your produce section) or 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped (reserve half)
  • 2 yellow squash, chopped (reserve half)
  • 2 zucchini, chopped (reserve half)
  • Handful of kale, with ribs cut out and chopped
  • Garlic and onion powder, dusted all over the top of your sauce (that's how my grandmother always did it)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 to 2 lbs. whole wheat or wholegrain thin spaghetti, or the pasta of your choice, cooked and drained
  • Fresh Parmesan cheese, grated, optional

Sunday morning and the birds are clearly just as excited about the new day as I am! Surrounding our screened in porch, our big pin oak which provides plenty of shade and beautiful green foliage in our back yard. What a glorious spring day! I sip my cup of morning Earl Grey. What to make for Sunday dinner today? I must get ready for church service and we are expecting Bill Cooper to be here for lunch this afternoon. Bill is the owner of My Triangle Magazine and will be taking pictures of me for the cover of his magazine and finishing up the final touches for the new Cooking with Elise website!

Today I will be preparing my Pasta with Chicken and Vegetable Marinara Sauce because it’s easy, fresh and can slowly cook away in my crock pot while I am at church!

Heat a large Dutch oven and add your olive oil. (I like using my Cuisinart Green Gourmet non-stick pan because I get to use less oil and nothing sticks – even protein) Place chicken in your pan and cook until just browned. If you do not have a non-stick pan, resist touching your chicken until it browns. This will prevent it from getting stuck to the bottom of your pan and tearing.

Add your onions, garlic and bay leaves. Cook for one minute. Add the white wine and cook until almost evaporated. Add the remaining ingredients (except half of your fresh vegetables) and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for about thirty more minutes on low.

At this point you can transfer your sauce into your crock pot and finish cooking slowly if you choose.

Five minutes before you are ready to eat, add the rest of your vegetables to your pan or crock pot. Serve over your favorite pasta and grate a little fresh Parmesan if you’d like! Enjoy!