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Ciao Bella Burger with Marinara

Hi, My name is Dahlia, I am a Interior Designer  . I love Itailian food! I have always had a passion for cooking and anybody that has ever eaten any food prepared my me has alway been very satisfied and amazed by my creativity. I discovered this recipe trying to come up with a way to make meat loaf more exciting. My friends and family loved it and you will too!!!!!!


1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 garlic cloves- minced
1 32 ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoons ground black pepper
11/2 pounds fresh ground chuck
1/2 pound Italian sausage, casing removed
2 garlic cloves minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tablespoons Sutter Home Merlot
1 8 ounce container whole milk ricotta
6 slices fresh mozzarella
6 slices picante provolone
3 cups arugula
1/2 cup vegtable oil for brushing the grill rack and buns
6 bun sized focaccia bread sections, sliced horizontally


Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat To make marinara sauce, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add garlic and let it sizzle in the oil for 2-3 minutes, be careful not ot burn it.Add tomatoes,basil,thyme,red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Mix together well right away and lower the heat to low, simmer for one hour. To make patties, combine beef,sausage,garlic,basil,thyme,salt,pepper, olive oil, and merlot. Handling the meat as little as possiable, mix well. Divide mixture into 12 equal portions and form the portions to patties to fit the focaccia portions. On six of the patties add 1 tablespoon ricotta cheese, spread over pattie. Add 2 tablespoons marinara sauce,1 slice of mozzarella. Place the remaining patties on top and seal the edges to form a pattie. Brush the grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until the internal tempature reaches 160. During the last few minutes of cooking place a piece of the picante provolone, brush the cut sides of the focaccia bread and place cut side down on th outer edges of the rack for 1 minute to toast lightly. To assemble the burgers place 1 tablespoon marinara sauce on the bottom, a pattie, another tablespoon or more of marinara and arugula. Add tops and enjoy! Makes 6 burgers.


The marinara sauce can be used for almost any dish, pasta, fish, chicken. It is a staple in our house. It does make a little mess, but very tasty!