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Mother Teresa Brings the Soul of Italy to the Heart of Texas

Mother Teresa's Marinara SauceWhen it comes to marinara, I am very picky and usually prefer homemade. When I don’t have several hours to let the Italian tomato goodness simmer on the stove, I always grab a jar of Mother Teresa’s Marinara Sauce.

It’s 100-percent natural with no preservatives. It’s also low in sodium, sugar and fat, and it has no cholesterol. This is always important to me when buying any prepackaged foods, and I always check for a list of ingredients that sound similar to being homemade.

Mother Teresa’s Marinara has an ingredient list that is simple: tomatoes, marsala wine, onions, garlic, basil, oregano, mushrooms, olive oil and spices.

By the way, Mother Teresa is a real person, and she lives here in Texas. Teresa Polimeno grew up in the southern province of Calabria, Italy. She learned her cooking skills from her Italian mother. When she was 20 years old, she met an American man from Texas. They married in her hometown of San Vito, and in 1959 he moved her to America. She made her way to Houston, and they lived in the small town of Clute where they raised a family and Teresa began cooking traditional Italian meals.

Her Italian family meals included a hearty plate of pasta with tomato sauce and a delicious green salad with fresh basil, tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and spices. Appetizers were also served and included Southern Italian specialties like bruschetta, bracioli, olive spread, veal saltimbocca and lots of marinated vegetables.

There were also lots of chicken dishes, lasagna and gourmet Italian tomato sauces. Don’t forget, a nice loaf of Italian bread specially made for dipping sauces.

After raising her family, she opened Mother Teresa’s Italian Restaurant and began selling her line of Italian food products. Last year, she published a cookbook filled with many of her family recipes.

So, next time you want authentic Italian flavor without the wait, look for Mother Teresa’s sauces and other Italian products. Your friends and family might just mistake it for homemade.

Saltimbocca

Ingredients:
3 to 3 1/2 oz veal, per person
1/4 lb Italian prosciutto, sliced paper thin
8 to 12 oz FRESH mozzarella (freeze for a few minutes to make it easier to cut into thin strips)
1/4 cup fresh basil, shredded into julienne strips
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup marsala wine
1 garlic clove, minced or barely crushed
1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup Mother Teresa’s Marinara Sauce
butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
flour

Directions:
Gently pound the veal flat between 2 sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper to make thin. Season with salt and pepper. Lightly dust with flour. Place a thin strip of prosciutto on top of veal. Place a thin strip of mozzarella on top of prosciutto. Add basil on top of the mozzarella. Roll veal into miniature logs and secure with toothpicks. Repeat process for all the veal strips.

Gently heat the olive oil in a large skillet, then add veal to lightly brown. (Remember that the veal is thin, so take care not to overcook.) Lightly sauté saltimbocca. Add garlic and lightly sauté until light brown.

Add marsala wine to be absorbed into the veal. Add parsley and mushrooms; sauté. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add marinara sauce and simmer for a couple of minutes. If too thick, add chicken stock. Cover and let rest.

Add a pat of butter to sauce before serving. Check for seasoning and marsala taste. Spoon sauce on top of saltimbocca when serving.

This recipe can be made with chicken instead of veal, if desired.

Recipe by Teresa Polimeno

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