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Spaghetti With Zucchini And Yellow Squash

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This Spaghetti With Zucchini And Yellow Squash is a delicious summertime vegetarian dish. The extra flavor from the bruschetta topping adds beautiful color and pairs perfectly with the zucchini and yellow squash.

You’ll notice below I’ve made extra bruschetta topping, I’ll explain the reason, in my notes, in the post below. Adding shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to the dish adds another layer of unforgettable flavor.

I garnish every dish with a large sprig of fresh basil giving you the choice to add torn fresh basil leaves through the pasta.

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Zucchini And Yellow Squash

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Olive Oil

Frezno Chili

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Ciabatta

Ciabatta (2)

Toasted Ciabatta Bread

Sweet Basil (2)

fresh basil

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Diced Mozzarella Cheese

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E.V.O.O.

Parmigiano-Reggiano-Cheese

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 to 12 minutes
Total Time: 42 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: veggie spiral machine, 1 (6-quart) stockpot, 1 (3-quart) saucepot, vegetable peeler, long-handled tongs, chef’s knife, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, large mixing bowl, medium-size mixing bowl

Ingredients:
4 zucchini, ends removed, cut in half and spiraled
4 yellow squash, ends removed, cut in half and spiraled
1 pound box of spaghetti
2/3 cup of good olive oil
6 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1 Fresno chili, seeded and finely minced
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
Large sprigs of fresh basil for garnish
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shavings for garnish
*E.V.O.O. for garnish

Ingredients For Bruschetta Topping:
16 Roma tomatoes, cut in half, seeded and finely diced
1 (16-ounce) package of Galbani mozzarella cheese, finely diced (low moisture, whole-milk variety)
1/2 cup of fresh basil, sliced chiffonade style
*E.V.O.O. for garnish
1 loaf of Tuscan garlic Ciabatta, toasted (yields 16 slices) OPTIONAL

Note: I’ve made extra bruschetta topping not only used as the garnish for this dish but to also serve on top of the toasted Tuscan garlic Ciabatta bread. I can’t get enough of that delicious basil, mozzarella, and tomato topping with a tiny little drizzle of really good *E.V.O.O.

Directions For Bruschetta Topping:
Slice the Roma tomatoes in half, spoon out the seeds, and finely dice. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Next, finely dice the mozzarella cheese and add to the diced tomatoes. Finely add the chiffonade style basil toss everything to combine. Set aside.

Directions For Spaghetti With Zucchini And Yellow Squash:
Start by spiraling the zucchini and yellow squash and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Next, prep the Fresno chili and garlic, set aside.

In a large stockpot of boiling salted water drop the spaghetti. Cook between 8 to 12 minutes or until al dente.

Note: As soon as the zucchini and yellow squash spaghetti start to wilt and soften slightly turn the heat off. You want them to keep their crunchiness and integrity. All you’re really doing is making sure they are well coated with the flavored oil.

In the meantime, in a saucepot over medium heat add the olive oil minced Fresno chili and garlic. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the spiraled zucchini, yellow squash, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Using your tongs, toss the spiraled zucchini and yellow squash with the oil, garlic, and minced chilies. Cook, continuously tossing, for 2 to 3 minutes allowing the vegetable spaghetti to begin to wilt and soften slightly as they become evenly coated with the flavored oil. Immediately turn the heat off.

Again using the long-handled tongs, transfer the cooked spaghetti to the saucepot. Toss to combine the vegetable spaghetti and pasta together. Continue to toss until the pasta is evenly distributed.

Ladle a good helping into a porcelain serving bowl and garnish with a large sprig of fresh basil. There you have it my Spaghetti With Zucchini And Yellow Squash.

Directions For Toasted 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 to 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.

*E.V.O.O. is the acronym for extra virgin olive oil.

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Italian Sausage And Mushroom Stuffing

Sweet And Hot Italian Sausage Stuffing (3)

Sweet And Hot Italian Sausage Stuffing (2)

Sweet And Hot Italian Sausage Stuffing (1)

I’ve been talking to a lot of people who say their favorite holiday dish is the stuffing and/or dressing and I have to agree. My family’s traditional stuffing recipe has changed over the years. The ingredients are the same but the preparation is totally different. I remember my mother stuffing the turkey before it went into the oven. My stuffing is done separate from the bird and I believe it makes a big difference in the way a turkey cooks.

I’m going to a Christmas party this year so I’m bringing my Italians Sausage And Mushroom Stuffing. I’m using disposable deep-sided pans for easy transport.

In my opinion, the best bread for the bread cubes is Ciabatta bread. Let’s talk a little bit about the bread cubes and how easy it is to make your own.

I do think that you’ll want to make a large pan or two of stuffing. Family and friends love this dish and always want extra helpings. It’s also great to serve the next day, especially with a ladle of your favorite gravy on top!

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Onions

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Sweet And Hot Italian Sausage Stuffing (2)

 

 

 

 

Prep Time: 40 minutes (includes all prep and the cooking of the vegetables)
Baking Time 1 hour 10 to15 minutes
Total Cook Time: 1 hour 50 to 55 minutes
Yields: 12 servings
Equipment: 12-inch sauté pan, large mixing bowl, two 1/4-size rimmed baking sheet pans, a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish/disposable pan

Tip:  The day before you want to make the stuffing, make the Homemade Ciabatta Croutons.

Ingredients:
2 loaves of  Ciabatta (artisanal bread)
3/4 of cup olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper

Directions For The Oven Bake Method.
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.

Step1: Homemade Croutons:
Start by evenly dividing the bread cubes out onto two rimmed baking sheet pans. Add olive oil, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, toss to evenly coat the bread cubes. Spread the bread cubes evenly into a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes turning them once halfway through the cooking process to make sure they brown evenly. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Step 2: Stuffing:
Use 1/4 cup of butter (4 tablespoons) to grease a 13 x 9 x 2 disposable pan (or casserole baking dish).

Ingredients:
2 pints of whole Cremini mushrooms, quartered
2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of garlic, minced
2 tablespoon of butter, unsalted
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
In a large sauté pan over medium heat add butter and olive oil. Add the Cremini mushrooms, minced garlic, pepper, and fresh thyme leaves. Stir to combine. Cook the mushrooms for about 5 minutes. Once the mushrooms have softened and released their water, add the Kosher salt. Cook for another 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and transfer the mushroom to a bowl and set aside.

Steps 3 and 4: Italian Sausage And Vegetables:
Ingredients:
1 pound of hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 pound of sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 sprig of fresh rosemary

4 tablespoons butter, unsalted
1 large onion, diced
2 1/2 cups of celery diced include leafy tops
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
In a large sauté pan, on medium heat, add in olive oil and sausage breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Add the sprig of fresh rosemary and cook for around 15 minutes or until no longer pink. Discard the rosemary stems, drain.  Remove cooked sausage with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl.

In the same sauté pan over medium heat melt butter. Add diced onions, celery, minced garlic, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Cook until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, allow to cool.

Step 5: The Mix:
Ingredients:

3 large beaten eggs (cage-free)
3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 teaspoon dried oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of Italian parsley flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1-quart chicken broth, unsalted

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325-degrees F.
In a mixing large bowl, add the beaten eggs, cheese, all herbs, and seasonings. Add the cooked mushrooms.  Combine really well so the mushrooms are completely coated.

In another very large bowl combine the croutons (cooked bread cubes), cooked sausage, and cooled veggie mixture. Add the egg-mushroom mixture to the bowl, gently toss to combine.

Finally, slowly pour the chicken broth over all the ingredients, allowing all the bread cubes to absorb the liquid. Continually stirring gently, as you add the liquid. There will most likely be extra liquid in the bowl, that liquid will get absorbed during the baking process.

Spoon the stuffing mixture to the buttered casserole dish. Pour over any excess liquid left in the bowl.  Cover and bake for 1 hour. Uncover, bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until light golden brown, and a meat thermometer reads 160-degrees F. This is my Italian Sausage And Mushroom Stuffing.

Homemade Ciabatta Croutons

Maple Bourbon Brined Turkey

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Stuffed Roasted Acorn Squash With Italian Sausage And Pears

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My favorite part of any stuffing is the crunchy and caramelized topping that occurs in the last minutes of cooking. How the croutons become golden brown, the pears release their sugars and glisten from that slight char along with the crunchy exterior of the sweet Italian sausage. Yet inside, the stuffing is soft and flavorful. What I’m describing is my Stuffed Roasted Acorn Squash With Italian Sausage And Pears.

Let me start by showing you how roasting winter squashes brings out their flavor. Then I’m going to go a step further and fill them with savory sausage and sweet pears.

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Homemade Ciabatta Croutons (2)

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Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 12-inch non-stick sauté pan, 4 rimmed baking sheet pans, Chef’s knife, small mixing bowl, whisk, pastry brush

Ingredients:
4 acorn squash, seeded and tops and bottoms cut
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 stick of butter, unsalted, melted
1 teaspoon of chili powder
1/4 cup of dark brown sugar

Ingredients:
1 pound of sweet Italian sausage, bulk or casings removed
1 sprig plus 1 tablespoon of fresh sage leaves, julienned
2 tablespoons of butter, unsalted
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 diced Bosc pears
1 diced zucchini
6 cremini mushrooms, diced
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 ribs of celery, diced
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of chili powder
3 heaping cups of homemade croutons, (Ciabatta bread), 1 /1/2 inch bread cubes
1/2 cup of Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
Bib lettuce and fresh sage for garnish

Directions For The Homemade Croutons:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Start by evenly dividing the bread cubes out onto two rimmed baking sheet pans. Add olive oil, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, toss to evenly coat the bread cubes. Spread the bread cubes evenly into a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes turning them once halfway through the cooking process to make sure they brown evenly. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Start by cutting the tops off the 4 squash. Next, clean the seeds out of the inside. Then cut a thin slice off the bottom of each one so they will sit upright on the baking sheets. Place 2 on each sheet tray. On the inside of each acorn squash add olive oil, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until fork-tender. In a small mixing bowl with melted butter add chili powder and brown sugar, whisk to combine. Brush the inside of each squash with the flavored butter mixture and return to the oven for another 5 to 7 minutes. Be sure to keep a close eye on the squash for the last few minutes of cooking. You don’t want them to burn. Remove the squash from the oven, Set aside.

In a large non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat (no oil needed) add the skinless sweet Italian sausage. Using a wooden spoon, start breaking up the sausage. Cook the sausage for 15 minutes until brown, crumbly, and there is no pink. Transfer the cooked sausage to a plate lined with a paper towel allowing the fat to drain, set aside.

Tip: Take a paper towel and wipe out the sauté pan. No reason to dirty another pan.

Using the same sauté pan over medium heat, melt butter, olive oil, and chopped sage leaves. Once the sage becomes fragrant add the diced cremini mushrooms, zucchini, celery, onions, Bosc pears, minced garlic, chili powder, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Once the veggies start to soften, then add in the diced pears. Stir and continue to cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the cooked sausage back to the pan, stir to combine. Cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Tip: It’s important that all the veggies are relatively cut the same size ensuring they’ll cook at the same time.

At this point, add the sausage and vegetable mixture to the bowl with the croutons. Add the grated Pecorino Romano cheese, gently toss to combine.

Fill each of the squash with the filling. Any extra filling place into an oven-safe baking dish. Drizzle olive oil over the top of each one and place back into the oven for 3 to 5 minutes or until the tops become golden brown and caramelized.

First, place the leafy greens on the plate. Arrange the Roasted Acorn Squash Filled With Italian Sausage And Pears on top, garnish with a sprig of fresh sage. Serve hot.

Homemade Ciabatta Croutons

 

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