Secret Sauce Recipes

Plan your next Italian inspired dinner with Haylie's recipes for Fresh Ricotta, Roasted Grapes with Fresh Ricotta Crostini, Slow Roasted Tomato Sauce with Beef Bone, and Three Cheese Stuffed Pasta Shells. 


Makes about 1 ½ cups

4 cups whole milk

2 cup of half n half

2 teaspoon of kosher salt

Juice of one lemon

In a sauce pan, heat milk, half and half and salt to a simmer. Add lemon juice and let it sit. Line a sieve with 2 pieces of cheesecloth.

Pour the milk mixture into sieve and allow it to drain into the bowl for 20 to 25 minutes. Discard liquid in bowl occasionally, so sieve is not sitting in the liquid. The longer you let the mixture drain, the thicker the ricotta will be. Use immediately or place in a covered container in refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.


2 cups of red grapes, washed and dried

3-4 sprigs of thyme

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

1-2 tablespoons of honey

¼ teaspoon of kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon of black pepper

1 cup of fresh ricotta

½ cup of mascarpone cheese, room temperature

2 Tablespoon of powdered sugar

½ teaspoon of vanilla

1 loaf of crusty Italian bread

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a rimmed sheet pan, drizzle grapes with oil and honey. Add thyme, salt and pepper. Roast for 7 to 15 minutes (depending on size of grapes)

In another bowl, add ricotta, mascarpone, sugar and vanilla and mix until well combined.

Preheat grill pan. Slice bread into 1/2in slices. Pour oil on a plate. Dip both sides of bread onto oil. Place on grill pan. Grill on both sides for a few minutes.

To serve spread cheese mixture on crostini and top with roasted grapes.


1 lb beef bone with marrow

2 1/2 pounds of tomatoes, tomatoes on the vine, halved

6 tablespoons olive oil, split

2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

4 to 5 parsley stems

3 garlic cloves, minced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roast bone on a rimmed baking sheet for 35 minutes.

On a rimmed sheet pan, add tomatoes cut side down in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and parsley. Roast until tender, about 25 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven. Transfer tomatoes and parsley into a blender and puree until smooth.

In a large stock pot on high heat, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and garlic. Saute for 1 minute. DO NOT LET GARLIC BURN.Add tomato puree and bone to pot. Let cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


1 Box of large shell pasta

1 ½ cup of fresh ricotta

1/3 cup of parsley, chopped

Zest of 1 lemon

2 eggs

1 teaspoon of kosher salt

½ cup of parmesan, freshly grated

2 cups of mozzarella, freshly grated

3 ½ cups of tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook shells per package instruction. Make sure to cook a bit al dente.

Mix all ingredients, reserve 1 cup of mozzarella. Gently fold all ingredients together. Fill cooked shells with 1 tablespoon of ricotta mixture. In a 9 x 13 baking pan, place a layer of tomato sauce on the bottom. Place filled shells on sauce. Do not over crowd. One you have the shells all line up. Place 1 teaspoon of tomato sauce on top of each shell. Finish with more mozzarella.

Cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes, remove foil the last 5 minutes. Finish with fresh chopped parsley and serve.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.

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