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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Ribollita With Chicken Sausage Meatballs

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I’m giving this traditional Italian vegetable soup a makeover. I’ve added chicken sausage meatballs to what was an already perfect soup. Now it’s even heartier. This is my Ribollita With Chicken Sausage Meatballs.

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time 48 to 50 minutes minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: Food Processor, 6-quart saucepot, cookie dough scoop, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans

Ingredients For Chicken Sausage Meatballs:
1 pound of ground chicken breasts
1 large egg
2 tablespoons of finely fresh chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup of Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup of heavy cream
5 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup of freshly ground Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of fennel seeds

Ingredients For Ribollita:
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 diced onion
1/4 pound of pancetta, diced
1 cup of carrots (2 medium-size carrots), diced
3 ribs of celery (1 cup), diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 15-ounce cans of Cannellini beans drained and rinsed, 1 15-ounce can to be puréed
1 bay leaf,
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
1 28-ounce can of San Marzano whole tomatoes
2 quarts of unsalted chicken stock
1/2 cup of chopped fresh basil leaves
3 cups of chopped kale
3 cups of chopped Savoy cabbage
5 slices of good sourdough bread, crusts removed
1/2 a cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
*E.V.O.O for drizzling over the top of each bowl

Directions For Chicken Meatballs:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
Line two rimmed baking sheet pans with parchment paper. Spray each one with non-stick cooking spray.

In al large mixing bowl add all the ingredients from the list above, except the ground chicken, mix to combine. Add the ground chicken last. Using a fork, combine all the ingredients (flavorings) throughout the ground chicken. Do not overmix.

Note: Every few scoops of the meat mixture spray the inside of the scoop with non-stick cooking spray for easy removal. After forming a few meatballs, lightly spritz your hands with warm tap water. This will give your meatballs a smoother texture.

Using a cookie dough scoop, scoop the meat mixture into your hands to form the meatballs. Lightly spray the tops of all the meatballs with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the meatballs are cooking, use this time to prep all the vegetables from the list above. Once you’ve prepped the veggies the meatballs should be ready to come out of the oven. Set the two trays of meatballs aside.

Start the Ribollita.
Over medium heat, add the olive oil and diced onions. Sauté until soft and translucent but not brown. Add crushed red pepper flakes and diced pancetta, cook for 3 to 5 minutes.

Next, add the diced carrots, celery, and bay leaf stir to combine. Add the minced garlic, Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Stirring occasionally, cook together for 10 minutes until the veggies start to soften. At this point, add the whole canned tomatoes with their juice. Use a wooden spoon, break up the tomatoes.

Next, add the chopped cabbage and kale, and freshly grated nutmeg, cook for another 5 to 7 minutes until the greens wilt down. Turn the heat down to medium-low, add the puréed Cannellini beans, stir to combine. Next, add the whole beans, again stir to combine.

Pour in the unsalted chicken stock. This is the point when you add the cooked meatballs. Still on medium-low heat simmer for another 15 minutes. At this point add in the cubed bread and continue simmering for another 10 minutes. The bread will dissolve and thicken the soup. The Ribollita With Chicken Sausage Meatballs is done at this point. Turn the heat off add the fresh basil leaves, stir to combine.

To Serve:
Ladle a good helping of the Ribollita into large porcelain soup or pasta bowl. Add a nice helping of the freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Finally. lightly drizzle your best *E.V.O.O on top. I promise, if you love really good soup or a delicious stew, I would say try making my Ribollita With Chicken Sausage Meatballs.

*E.V.O.O. is extra virgin olive oil.

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Pestos and Tapenades

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It’s a meat-free day today at my house. Anything you can spread on grilled bread or toasted bread is delicious.

Pesto doesn’t have to be made with just basil anymore. You can substitute arugula or spinach, you can add walnuts or pistachios. The possibilities are endless.

The difference between a Pesto and a Tapenade is generally Tapenades are olive-based… yes there are olives in certain Pestos.

In the pictures above I’ve made a Roasted Piquillo Pepper Pesto, a Pea With Fresh Mint Pesto, an Artichoke Pesto, and a Kalamata Olive With Cannellini Bean Tapenade.

I like to change it up, by using all types of different ingredients. For example; roasted red peppers, artichokes, peas, Cannellini beans, Kalamata olives, or Ricotta cheese, mix in nuts and fresh herbs.

Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese, fresh lemon juice, and a great Extra Virgin Olive Oil are key in making a great pesto or Tapenade. Let’s not forget about the nuts. Traditionally pine nuts are what’s used, not today, it’s pistachios. I even used a variety of herbs like basil, chives, mint, and Italian flat-leaf parsley. I say let your imagination go wild!  Then spread it on grilled bread.

In the next section, is my recipe for the Roasted Piquillo Pepper Pesto. Recipes may vary from one pesto to another, some tend to be thicker than others. A secret I use to thicken certain Pesto recipes is by adding a small amount of Cannellini Beans. They add a creaminess and give great texture to the Pesto or Tapenade.

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Pestos And Tapenades

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12-15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Equipment: Food Processor, rimmed baking sheet with a rack

Ingredients For RoastedPiquilloPepper Pesto:
7-ounce jar of drained roasted Piquillo peppers, (If you can’t find Piquillo peppers, substitute roasted red peppers)
1/4 cup of drained and rinsed Cannellini beans
1/4 cup of Pistachios
1/4 cup of  grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese
1 small clove of peeled garlic
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 a teaspoon of black pepper
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped basil leaves
1/4 cup of *E.V.O.O.
1 loaf of Tuscan Ciabatta bread, sliced (yields 16 slices) substitute a good French baguette

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
Slice the Ciabatta bread at a 45-degree angle into 1/2 -inch thick slices. Arrange the bread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet topped with a rack. Brush the top surface of each slice of Ciabatta lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Place into the oven on the center rack. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the bread is golden. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and let the toast cool slightly before adding the toppings.

Start processing the nuts ( Pistachios) garlic and the herb of choice first. You can see this in the pictures above. Once this has been processed, add in the main ingredients. In this case, the drained and rinsed roasted Piquillo peppers, Cannellini beans, fresh lemon juice, Kosher salt, and pepper.

Next, through the feed tube, at the top, drizzle in the *E.V.O.O. slowly. This will allow you to control the consistency of the pesto as it’s being processed, and you can adjust the amount accordingly.

Finally, add the grated cheese. The reason I do it this way, is so the cheese doesn’t get too hot from that blade doing all this processing and change the integrity of the cheese. I only pulse the cheese through the mix just until it’s mixed through.

This is the method I use when making any type of pesto. I also want to mention, using Cannellini beans gives extra body to the pesto without changing the flavor.

*E.V.O.O. is Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

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Roasted Piquillo Pepper And Edamame Pestos

 

Roasted Piquillo Pepper And Edamame Pesto

When I make any type of pesto, whether it’s the original basil pesto or pesto made with different ingredients, they’re all so delicious. In this post, I’m making two identical pestos but changing up the star ingredient. The first one is my Roasted Piquillo Pepper Pesto, the second is an Edamame Pesto.

Crostini, are what’s known as little slices of grilled bread. The choice of bread is just as important as the toppings you put on them. Ciabatta bread I find is the best bread to use.

I lay them out onto a baking sheet, drizzle them with olive oil, and sprinkle each one with Kosher salt, and pepper. Pop them into the oven until they’re golden brown. Another great way to toast the Ciabatta is on an indoor grill pan.

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I want to talk a little about Hominy. Hominy is just whole corn kernels that have been soaked in a lime solution to soften the tough outer hulls. The second ingredients I love to add to pesto is Cannellini beans.

I’m incorporating these ingredients in my pestos for extra body and texture. First, because it doesn’t overpower the flavors that I’m highlighting and second, they’re a staple in my pantry.

With the exception of the star ingredient, the Edamame and the Roasted Piquillo Pepper both pestos contain all of the same ingredients.

So you can see here I have everything prepped including my grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

First, I’m starting with the RoastedPiquillo Pepper Pesto.

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When the pesto is finished I always drizzle a little of the E.V.O.O. over the top, it adds a nice finish to the pesto.

Roasted Piquillo Pepper And Edamame Pesto

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Equipment: food processor, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans

Ingredients:
1 cup of Roasted Piquillo peppers
1/2 cup of drained and rinsed Cannellini beans
1/2 cup hominy, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 clove of peeled garlic, roughly chopped
1/4 cup of chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
1/3 cup of E.V.O.O.
1/3 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 loaf of Ciabatta bread (yields 16 slices)

Ingredients:
1 cup Edamame, shelled
1/2 cup of drained and rinsed Cannellini beans
1/2 cup hominy, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 clove of peeled garlic, roughly chopped
1/4 cup of chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
1/3 cup of E.V.O.O.
1/3 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Directions For Ciabatta Bread:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
Slice the Ciabatta bread at a 45-degree angle into 1/2 -inch thick slices. Arrange the bread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the top surface of each slice of Ciabatta lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Place into the oven on the center rack. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the bread is golden. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and let the toast cool slightly before adding the toppings.

Directions:
Start with the adding the walnuts to the food processor first, giving them a head start on getting ground up. Pulse the walnuts a few times. Next, add the Roasted Piquillo Peppers, or the shelled Edamame, Cannellini beans, Hominy, roughly chopped garlic, lemon juice, crushed red pepper flakes, Kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper into a food processor. Pulse until everything just purèed. Though the feeding tube, add the e.v.o.o. until pesto comes together to a paste-like consistency. Last, add the grated cheese and then give it a couple more pulses till the cheese is combined. Give the pesto a quick taste to make sure the seasoning is just right. Transfer the pesto to a serving bowl. Drizzle a little E.V.O.O. over the top.

 

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