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Monday, January 31, 2011

A Touchdown of a Snack

Well, we are into the second day of the Tomato Bowl.  I am predicting victory not only for the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday but for the Pittsburgh bloggers as well.  After all, we are the city that brought you the Primanti sandwich.  We are the city where the french fry is practically its own food group.  We are Pittsburgh for heavens sake.

Everyone around here is talking about the Steelers upcoming victory against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.  People are planning and there has been a run on black and gold tortilla chips at the Giant Eagle.  It's going to be a big day and an event of this magnitude requires some serious "snackage".  This is where my Cheesy Soft Breadsticks and Marinara Dipping Sauce come in.  This is a snack that will leave all other snacks in the dust.  It's a game worthy snack.

And the best part is that this recipe is so easy to make and can be prepared, for the most part, well in advance of the game.  And, if you have some marinara left over, you can do it up with a little penne on Monday night for dinner.  After all, we'll all still be celebrating.

You Little Tarte's Cheesy Soft Breadsticks and Marinara Dipping Sauce


For the Marinara:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 carrot, small diced
1 stalk celery, small diced
1 small onion, small diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28-ounce) can Red Pack crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine (Chianti)
1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf

Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven.  Add the onion, carrot, and celery and saute over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for one more minute.  Add the wine and cook over high heat, scraping up the brown bits in the pan, until almost all of the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and bay leaf.  Cover and simmer over a low heat for about 15 minutes.
Serve hot with the breadsticks or over pasta.

For the breadsticks:

Note:  I used the Pillsbury soft breadstick dough found in the refrigerator section of the grocery.  I also used Sargento Italian cheese mix.

1 package soft breadstick dough (makes 12)
1/2 cup Italian cheese mix
2 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375.  Before separating the breadsticks, brush each side with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.  Sprinkle each side with half of the cheese and press it onto the dough with your hand so that it sticks.  Sprinkle each side with salt and pepper.

Separate the breadsticks at the perforations.  Lay each breadstick out on a parchment lined baking sheet and twist, preessing down the ends.  Bake for 13 minutes, until golden brown.  Serve warm with the dipping sauce.

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