Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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Autumn-Style Bucatini

Bucatini Autumn Style (73)

Bucatini, also known as perciatelli, is a thick spaghetti-like pasta with a hole running through the center. Buca, meaning hole while Bucato or its Neapolitan variant Perciato means, pierced. This style of pasta is commonly used throughout Rome.

Autumn-Style Bucatini brings a whole new taste to the pasta. It’s comforting and delicious.

The best thing about this dish is, that in the time it takes to cook the pasta, the sauce will be ready.

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Mascarpone And Pumpkin Puree

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep Time: zero
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 6-quart stockpot, 12-inch sautè pan, large mixing bowl

Ingredients:
1 pound Bucatini
1 (15-ounce) can of pumpkin purée
1 (8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/2 to 1 cup starchy cooking pasta liquid
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons of flat-leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped, (reserve 2 tablespoons for garnish)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnish

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl add Mascarpone cheese, pumpkin purée, Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, and Italian flat-leaf parsley, mix to combine.

In the meantime,  bring a 6-quart stockpot of water up to a boil. Add a good amount of Kosher salt. This is the only chance you have to season the pasta.

Drop pasta into the salted boiling water. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes until al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce. In a large sautè pan, over medium-low heat, add the pumpkin mixture. At this point, the pasta is almost done. Add a ladle (add small amounts of the pasta water at a time, the amount may vary slightly) of the starchy pasta cooking liquid to the pumpkin mixture to thin out the sauce. Stir the sauce until you get a smooth consistency. Heat to warm the sauce through, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss to coat. Again, if you like the sauce to be a bit looser, add a little more pasta water and toss. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and toss.

To serve: Ladle a good helping of pasta into a serving bowl. Add extra freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and garnish with a sprinkle of Italian flat-leaf parsley.

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Updated-Zuppa Toscana Soup With Homemade Parmesan Croutons

Tuscan Soup With Parrmesan Croutons

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This soup is one you’ll have to try, it’s my Updated-Tuscan Soup With Homemade Parmesan Croutons.

Filled with chicken sausage, potatoes, and kale, and topped with homemade croutons. I decided to make a lighter version, instead of pork sausage, I’m using chicken sausage here but, turkey sausage would be just as delicious. The heavy cream added just at the end gives a touch of silkiness to the soup.

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Below is a picture of Tuscan Soup With Homemade Croutons by my daughter, Melissa. She made it her own by using an Italian-style vegan sausage and substituted spinach for the kale.

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Let’s start with the potatoes.

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Kale

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Homemade Ciabatta Croutons (3)

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Homemade Croutons

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 6-quart Dutch oven, large mixing bowl, 6-quart stockpot, Serrated knife

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds chicken sausage (substitute pork or turkey), casings removed
6 large red potatoes, sliced thin, then cut into half-moons (as seen above)
2 bunches of organic kale, chopped (8 to 10 cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 package of frozen yellow corn, drained and thawed
1 yellow onion, small dice
1 red bell pepper, small dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary chopped
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2-quarts chicken broth, unsalted
1 cup heavy cream

Directions:
Prepare the Potatoes:
In a large pot of boiling salted water, add the sliced potatoes. Par-boil sliced potatoes for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain well, transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.

While the potatoes are cooking prep all the veggies.

In a 6-quart Dutch oven, over medium heat, add olive oil, crushed red pepper flakes, dried oregano, and fresh rosemary, cook for one minute, until fragrant. Add diced onions and diced red bell peppers, Kosher salt, and black pepper. Cook and continue stirring for another 2 to 3 minutes. Next, add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.

To the pot, add the chicken sausage. Using a wooden spoon, break up the sausage. Next, add the dried thyme. Cook sausage until brown, about 15 minutes. Chicken sausage is lean so there is no fat to drain.

Still, on medium heat, add the pre-washed chopped Kale in batches. Once the first batch goes into the pot, stir and combine until wilted. Add the second batch and repeat the process. Add the sliced potatoes, chicken broth, and corn. Stir to combine. Cook for 10 minutes.

Turn the heat down to low, add the heavy cream, stir and simmer for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Cover to keep hot. There you have it my Updated-Zuppa Toscana Soup With Homemade Parmesan Croutons.

Click the link below for my recipe for Homemade Ciabatta Croutons.

Homemade Ciabatta Croutons

Zuppa Toscana

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Antipasto Platters Made Easy

 

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Whenever I’m doing an Antipasto Platter, start with great quality ingredients. I like to assemble a few and dress of few.

For example, the artichokes can be tossed with strips of roasted red peppers, and the cantaloupe and breadsticks, wrap delicious cured meats.

Keeping the same items together gives a more uniform look to the platter. I also always try to utilize herbs in my garden. Here I’m using fresh basil as a garnish for the platters.

Simple dress the grape tomatoes with *E.V.O.O. and a sprinkle of Kosher salt.

What’s great about this is all the ingredients are store-bought. This makes these platters quick and easy to put together. For the seasoned Bocconcini, my recipe is really simple. I doubled the recipe below for my platters in the pictures you see above.

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Dried Basil

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Dried Parsley Flakes

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Prep Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 12 to 16 servings
Equipment: 2 large serving platters, chef’s knife, medium-size mixing bowl

Ingredients For Marinated Bocconcini:
1 tub (18 to 20 ct.)  Bocconcini drained and dried
2 tablespoons of *E.V.O.O.
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of dried basil
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Separate all the mini mozzarella balls and place them into a small bowl along with the rest of the ingredients. Using a spoon, gently mix together.

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

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