Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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Sweet Italian Sausage And Cavatelli Soup

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Sweet Italian Sausage And Cavatelli Soup (2)

I’d first made this soup some time ago and found a couple of pictures of the finished dish. I’m not even sure how I came up with this soup. I just started throwing ingredients together and my Sweet Italian Sausage And Cavatelli Soup was born.

I just bought an inductions burner and I was super excited to try it out. I know it’s going to work perfectly when my sister and I film my next video. Anyway, I decided to make this soup while I had some time off from work.

We’re living in extraordinary times due to COVID-19. People are doing a lot more of grocery shopping and cooking at home, because of a shelter-in-place order, that said, many products, because of high demand, had limits placed on them or they weren’t readily available. I wasn’t able to find any Cavatelli pasta so I’m going to be substituting baby shells. I found the shape of the two kinds of pasta to be similar. Cavatelli pasta will be back on the grocery shelves soon enough so I’m keeping the name for this dish.

Whenever I make a soup using sausage, I like to cook the sausage separately then incorporate it into the soup. This makes what I call a clean broth. By cooking the sausage separately and leaving all the grease with the pan I believe makes a big difference in the finished soup.

Sweet Italian Sausage, And Cavatelli Soup

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Onions

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Frezno Chili

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Spinach

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diced roma tomatoes

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Olive Oil

Thyme

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Rosemary-1Rosemary (2)

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diced roma tomatoes

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Sweet Italian Sausage, And Cavatelli Soup

Sweet Italian Sausage And Cavatelli Soup (2)

Homemade Croutons

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: 1 (6-quart) Dutch oven, 1 (12-inch) sauté pan, chef’s knife, mesh sieve, 1 (6-quart) stockpot, colander, large slotted spoon

Tip:  The night before, place the frozen spinach in a mesh sieve over a bowl to drain. You could also use the defrost setting on your microwave the thaw out the spinach.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 pound of sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (substitute a hot variety)
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1 head of green cabbage, cored and quartered
1 1/2 cups of carrots, 1-inch dice
1 large onion, diced, 1-inch dice
3 ribs of celery, 1-inch dice, include leafy tops
1 Fresno Chili, seeded and minced
1 fresh bay leaf, substitute dried
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 cup of diced Roma tomatoes
1 (10-ounce) package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained (squeeze all excess water from the spinach)
1 quart of chicken stock, unsalted
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups of Cavatelli pasta (substituting baby shells)
Italian flat-leaf parsley for garnish
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Directions:
Begin by dicing and mincing all the vegetables. Drain and squeeze as much water from the thawed the spinach as possible.

Remove the casings from the sausage links. In a large sauté pan over medium heat add olive oil and sausage. Using a wooden spoon, break up the sausage and cook until sausage is no longer pink about 10 to 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, allowing as much grease as possible to stay with the pan, transfer to a bowl or plate lined with a paper towel, set aside.

In a preheated Dutch oven over medium-high heat add olive, diced onions, and red pepper flakes. Add the diced carrots, celery, bay leaf, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and fresh finely chopped thyme. Stirring, frequently, cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the minced garlic, cook for 1 minute more.

Next, add the cooked sausage, cabbage, and diced tomatoes. Add the chicken stock, bring up to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally,  for 40 minutes.

After 30 minutes, remove the cover, taste for seasoning (add salt if needed). Add the Cavatelli pasta, stir to combine. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes before adding the spinach, again stir to combine. Turn the heat off, and serve.

Ladle a good helping into a porcelain soup bowl. Add fresh parsley, freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and Homemade Ciabatta Croutons. This is my Sweet Italian Sausage And Cavatelli Soup.

My Hanging Organic Herb Garden And Summertime Flowers

Homemade Ciabatta Croutons

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Braised Cabbage With Potatoes And Smoked Sausage

Brasied Cabbage With Potatoes And Smoked Sausage (2)

Brasied Cabbage With Potatoes And Smoked Sausage (1)

My Braised Cabbage With Potatoes And Smoked Sausage, in a somewhat simpler style, is a dish I grew up eating. My mom made cabbage and potatoes as a side dish never as the main meal. She always added salt pork to flavor the dish. Now, don’t get me wrong, it was delicious I thought I’d update the dish and make it a complete one-pot meal. I’m leaving out the salt pork and adding smoked sausage along with a few other ingredients.

Full of flavor, my Braised Cabbage With Potatoes And Smoked Sausage is a delicious one-pot meal.

Whenever I make a one-pot meal, I like to have all my ingredients ready. Let’s start with getting the prep done for this dish.

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Brasied-Cabbage-With-Potatoes-And-Smoked-Sausage-2-1

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 12-inch *rondeau (deep-sided frying pan) with a lid, serving bowls, chef’s knife

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups smoked sausage (substitute smoked turkey sausage or kielbasa), 1-inch pieces (slice into half-moons then quartered)
1 large head of cabbage, core removed, sliced very thin
1 1/2 cups of green onions, sliced thin (reserve green tops for garnish, slice the tops on the bias)
3 cups carrots, (cut into half-moons then quartered)
4 cups 1 inch cubed Yukon gold/red potatoes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced
2/3 cup chicken broth, unsalted
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
2 tablespoons fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (substitute 1 tablespoon of dried parsley flakes)

Directions:
First, have all the vegetables prepped. Have the pan preheating on medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. Drop in the diced onions, diced carrots, minced garlic, minced Fresno chili, Kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. Stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the green onions, fennel seeds, and toss those through. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Next, add the diced smoked sausage to the vegetables, continue stirring. Next, top with the cubed potatoes and toss through.

Next, add half of the sliced cabbage. Toss the cabbage through with the hot vegetables allowing the cabbage to wilt down, another 2 to 3 minutes. Once that’s happened, add the remaining cabbage and repeat. Season with a sprinkling of Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Pour the chicken broth and apple cider vinegar over the cabbage. Place the lid on, turn the heat down to medium, and cook for 30 minutes.

Remove the lid, increase the heat to medium-high, cook uncovered for another 10 minutes or until the pan juices evaporate and the cabbage just starts to brown.  Add the green onion tops and finely chopped parsley.

Ladle into porcelain bowls and serve hot.

*Rondeau: Sometimes called a brazier or brasier, this wide, somewhat shallow pan is similar to a stockpot or Dutch oven but nearly as deep.

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Farro Breakfast Bowl

Farro Breakfast Bowl (3)

Farro is an ancient grain from Rome. Its delicious nutty flavor and slightly chewy texture remind me of a lot of barley. Up until recently, you couldn’t get your hands on it anywhere! Now, it’s readily available in your local grocery store.

I’m showing two pictures of my Farro Breakfast Bowls, one topped with an egg, and one without. Steve and I have a difference of opinion about eggs. I’m not even sure if “opinion” is even the right word. I’m no fan of the fried egg, to be fair, eggs are a big part of any breakfast and Steve loves them, that’s the reason for the two pictures.

Anyway, this is my Farro Breakfast Bowl, it’s easy to make while combining great flavor, color, and texture. Here’s how this dish comes together.

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Shoepeg Corn

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mint

Chives (2)

Sweet Basil (2)

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Farro-Breakfast-Bowl-3

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 1 (12-inch) sautèpan, 1 (4-quart) saucepot with a tight-fitting lid.

Ingredients:
1 cup of uncooked Farro
3 cups of chicken stock, unsalted
1 pound of Italian chicken sausage, casings removed (substitute pork or turkey Italian sausage)
1 heaping cup of frozen white shoepeg corn, thawed
1 cup of diced red bell pepper, 1-inch dice
1 cup of diced yellow bell pepper, 1-inch dice
1 cup of diced onion, 1-inch diced
1/2 cup of carrots, 1-inch dice
1 tablespoon (3 cloves) of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup Pistachios, roughly chopped (optional)
7 ounces of Feta cheese, cubed
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese,  freshly grated
2 tablespoons of fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh chives, minced
2 tablespoons of fresh mint, chopped
1 fried egg (optional), cooked to the temperature of your choosing)

Directions For Farro:
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Feel free to use either water or unsalted chicken stock for cooking the Farro. In place of the butter, I substitute olive oil.

Tip: Cook the sausage and Farro at the same time.

Directions:
Start by rinsing and draining the Farro using a mesh sieve. In a 4-quart saucepot bring the chicken stock and 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt up to a rolling boil. Add the Farro, stir to combine. Simmer the Farro as if you are cooking pasta. Once the Farro is al dente, 15 to 20 minutes, drain any remaining liquid through a mesh sieve.

Next, in a large sautè pan on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Using a wooden spoon start by breaking up the sausage. Turn and toss the sausage allowing it to brown on all sides or until the sausage is complete brown with no pink spots, around 10 minutes.

Add the onion, garlic, diced peppers and carrots to the pan. Season with Kosher salt and black pepper. Stir and continue cooking until vegetables become tender another 7 to 10 minutes.

Don’t worry about the sausage bits sticking to the bottom of the pan because once the vegetables are added, they’ll release their water allowing those bits to be released.

Using the back of a wooden spoon, scrape as much of those brown bits off the bottom of the pan, that’s all flavor!

Transfer the cooked Farro and shoepeg corn to a large mixing bowl. Using a slotted spoon, add the cooked sausage and vegetable mixture to the bowl. Next, add the pistachios (optional), Parmesan cheese, cubed feta, and fresh herbs, then toss together.

Ladle the Farro mixture into a serving bowl and top with a fried egg (optional).

Serve hot!

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