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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Rigatoni With Sweet Italian Sausage And Zucchini

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This dish is one of Steve’s favorites, loaded with sweet Italian sausage, sweet bell peppers, zucchini, diced tomatoes, and huge shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. The dish comes together with garlic and white wine which makes for a sauce that’s light and flavorful. This is my Rigatoni With Sweet Italian Sausage And Zucchini.

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Unsalted Chicken Stock

Sweet Italian Sausage (2)

Sweet Italian Sausage (3)

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rigatoni

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes ( this includes time for the sausage to steam and grill)
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 2 6-quart saucepots 1 glass tight-fitting lid for 6-quart saucepot, 6-quart Dutch oven, indoor grill pan

Ingredients:
1 pound (5 links) of sweet Italian sausage
1 pound (1box) of Rigatoni
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 yellow onion diced
3 large fresh zucchinis, cut into half-moons then quartered
1 1/2 cups of mini multi-colored sweet bell peppers, seeded and diced
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 15-ounce can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 quart plus 1 cup of unsalted chicken stock
1 1/2 cups of good white wine (Pinot Grigio)
Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese (3 to 4 shaved pieces per serving)
1/2 a cup of fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped for garnish

Directions:
Start by using a fork to prick 3 sets of holes into the sausage links on both sides. In a large saucepot with a tight-fitting (glass) lid add the sausage links. Pour 1 cup of the chicken stock over the sausage. Turn the heat to medium, cover allowing the sausages to poach, in the broth, for 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Preheat an indoor grill pan over medium-high heat. Arrange the links on the grill pan. Grill the sausages for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the links to cool before slicing them on the bias. Set aside.

In a preheated Dutch oven add over medium heat add olive oil and diced onions and crushed red pepper flakes, cook until onions are soft and translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Once they’ve softened, add the diced peppers and zucchini, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and dried oregano, frequently stirring, cook for another 5 to 7 minutes. Add the sliced garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

Next, add the wine, bring up to a bubble before adding the sliced grilled sausage, fire-roasted tomatoes, and a quart of chicken stock, occasionally stirring, simmer for 10 to 12 minutes.

In a large pot of boiling salted water drop the pasta. Cook until al dente, around 10 to 12 minutes.

Drain the pasta really well. Add the hot pasta in the bottom of a serving bowl(s). Ladle the delicious sausage and zucchini over top. Include a ladle of the broth too. Using a vegetable peeler, add shaving of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over the top of each serving. Finally, garnish with the parsley. This is my Rigatoni With Sweet Italian Sausage And Zucchini.

 

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Chunky Style Guacamole

 

Guacamole (1)

Guacamole (7)

Tex-Mex wouldn’t be the same without some great Guacamole. My recipe has a secret ingredient that will make your Guacamole pop! I tell you about that in a minute.

I’m a fan of a Chunky Style Guacamole with rather than one that looks like it been purèed. I like it to have lots of texture. As the Guacamole sits, the lime juice starts to break down the chunks of avocado giving my Chunky Style Guacamole a mixture of textures, but it’s never completely smooth.

I have a some diced red onion, a minced Fresno chili, diced and seeded plum tomatoes, the juice of a lime, and a container of store-bought fresh salsa. Yep, that’s my secret ingredient. You can find this salsa in the refrigerated section of the produce department, at your local grocery store. I like the medium, it’s not too hot but still has a slight kick.

Salsa is really close to being a Pico de Gallo in the sense that it has small diced tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos, except that it also contains lime juice. I love to use fresh salsa as an ingredient, especially in guacamole. I also prefer my guacamole to be on the chunky side rather than completely smooth.

I prefer Haas avocados. They are super buttery in flavor. When I’m buying avocados, I hold them in the palm of my and squeeze gently. A ripe avocado should yield to, a firm, gentle pressure, but shouldn’t be overly soft or mushy. I look for ones where the skins have just turned brown in color, still pretty firm, yet have a slight give when you press on them.

Guacamole (6)

Guacamole (1)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:
4 ripe Haas avocados, halved and pit removed (large dice)
1 seeded and minced Fresno chili (substitute jalapeno)
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro leaves
1/4 cup of fresh salsa, mild, medium, or hot, (substitute 1/3 cup seeded plum tomatoes, fine dice)
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper

Directions:
Using a paring knife make slits in the flesh making sure not to go the way through the skin. I make a crisscross pattern and then scoop the flesh out with a spoon. Toss the chunks of avocado into a large mixing bowl. Add Kosher salt and black pepper. Next, add the diced onion, minced Fresno chili, cilantro, and lime juice. Using a hand-held sieve, drain the juice, as much as possible, from the salsa. Add the salsa to the rest of the ingredients. Mix gently to combine.

Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the guacamole. This will prevent air from getting to the avocados and causing the guacamole to turn brown.

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Bella Collina

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On the west side of Orlando, 15920 County Rd 455 Montverde, Fl. 34756, lies a resort like no other I’ve seen. I was able to get a few pictures to show you, but they really don’t do any justice to what their website can do. It’s a moving video of the grounds that’s just breathtaking. For more information visit their website at  www.bellacollina.com

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