Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Cheesy Garlic Ciabatta Bread


Cheesy Garlic Bread (1)

This Cheesy Garlic Ciabatta Bread is great for mopping up that extra tomato sauce you might have on your plate.

Cheesy Garlic Bread (2)

Cheesy Garlic Bread (3)

Cheesy Garlic Bread (1)

Equipment: 1 rimmed baking sheet pan
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

1 loaf of Tuscan Garlic Ciabatta bread (substitute regular Ciabatta)

Ingredients For *Compound Butter:
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cloves garlic, grated
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil leaves
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped oregano leaves
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups finely grated Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Cut it in half down the center of the loaf and open into two halves. In a large bowl mix together the ingredients for the *compound butter. Spread the *compound butter over both halves, cover completely. Add the finely grated Mozzarella cheese to one half. Put the two halves together and wrap with foil. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Unwrap the foil and slice. Serve hot.

*Compound butter: A mixture of butter and supplementary ingredients such as herbs, spices, fresh garlic, salt, and pepper.



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Look At The Future



They just keep getting better and better looking.

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Sunday Gravy



In our house, the tomato sauce was referred to as Sunday Gravy.  I remember my mom and nana putting the tomatoes through a food mill. They preferred a strained version of their Sunday Gravy.

Over the years I’ve taken my Nana’s basic recipe and made a few changes. My nana never mixed the meat into her sauce. The sauce with the meat was always separate from the tomato sauce that went over the pasta. I prefer my Sunday Gravy to be loaded with meat. I suppose I’ve started a new tradition.

Sweet Italian Sausage


Photo Nov 30, 12 28 30 PM

Sweet Italian Sausage (1)



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2018-12-23 13.21.37

Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes


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Cremini Mushrooms



2016-03-03 16.35.13

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

Sweet Basil (2)

fresh basil



Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: 6-quart Dutch oven with lid, 8-inch sauté pan with lid, indoor grill pan, heavy grill press

1 pound of sweet Italian sausage (5 links)
1 pound ground sirloin (90% lean 10% fat)
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 28-ounce can of San Marzano, crushed
1 28-ounce can of San Marzano, whole tomatoes
1 yellow onion, small dice
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 carrot, 1/4 inch dice
1 fresh bay leaf (substitute dried)
2 1/2 cups of unsalted chicken stock
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 pint of cremini mushrooms, quartered (optional)
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 cup of red wine of your choice (Chianti or Cabernet Sauvignon)
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 tablespoon  of kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1/4 cup of fresh basil

Start by dicing the onion, the carrot and mincing the garlic. Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp cloth. Transfer to a plate. Set aside before starting the meat.

To prepare the sausage, prick each of the links with a fork approx. three times on each side. Place the links into a small sauté pan. Cover with 2 cups of unsalted chicken broth. Turn the heat to medium and cover. Poach the sausage links in the broth for about 10 minutes or until links are no longer pink and the internal temperature reads 150-degrees F. Transfer the sausage links to a plate, set aside.

Preheat an indoor grill pan over medium-high heat. Arrange all the sausage links on the grill pan. Place a grill press over the links to ensure even grilling. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes, per side. Once all the links have grill marks on both sides transfer the links again to a plate. Carefully remove the hot grill pan from the stovetop. Once cool enough to handle, slice the grilled sausage links on a bias. Transfer to a bowl, set aside.

Drain the fat and liquid from the sauté pan, wipe clean.

In the same sauté pan, on medium-high heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the ground sirloin, using a wooden spoon to break up the meat. Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Cook for  7 to 10 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink. Transfer the ground beef to a bowl and set aside.

In a Dutch oven, on medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Sauté the onions until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add crushed red pepper flakes, brown sugar, and tomato paste stirring occasionally. Next, add the carrots, continue cooking for another 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, minced garlic, dried oregano, bay leaf, and dried thyme, stir to combine, cooking for another 5 minutes.

Add the red wine and 1/2 cup of unsalted chicken stock. Bring to a boil reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer. Allow the liquids to reduce by half before adding the meat back into the pot, around 5 minutes.

Finally, add the crushed and the whole peeled tomatoes. Using a pair of kitchen shears cut the whole tomatoes in half. Stir gently and simmer for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

After 3 1/2 hours taste for seasoning to see if you need to add a little more salt. Turn off the heat and add chopped fresh basil and stir. The sauce is done put a lid on it and keep warm until pasta is cooked

Cook the pasta of your choice in boiling salted water until al dente. My Nana always told me do not to drown your pasta in sauce, use it as a condiment. You want a little of everything but, you want the Sunday Gravy to compliment the pasta.  It really is so much better this way.


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