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Roasted Red Pepper Fettuccine Alfredo With Sweet Italian Sausage And Fresh Herbs

Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo With Sweet Italian Sausage (1)

This dish puts a bold and delicious spin on Alfredo sauce. It’s my Roasted Red Pepper Fettuccine Alfredo With Sweet Italian Sausage And Fresh Herbs. In the past, I’ve made this dish with broccoli florets, today I’ve made it using fresh herbs. My recipe below is using fresh herbs and giving you the option to add broccoli.

This dish can also be done meat-free.

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Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo With Sweet Italian Sausage (35)

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

Sweet Basil (2)

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Piquillo Peppers (2)

Piquillo Peppers (1)

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Chicken Broth

Sweet Italian Sausage (2)

Sweet Italian Sausage (3)

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Mascarpone Cheese

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Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo With Sweet Italian Sausage (20)

Bechamel Sauce

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Below are side by side pictures using broccoli florets or just using fresh herbs, both are delicious.

Roasted Red Pepper Fettuccine Alfredo With Italian Sausage And Broccoli

Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo With Sweet Italian Sausage (35)

Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo With Sweet Italian Sausage (1)

Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo With Sweet Italian Sausage (36)

 

 

 

 

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 to 35 minutes (Includes cooking sausage and sauce. Pasta and sauce cook at the same time.)
Total Cook Time: 40 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: indoor grill pan, large deep-sided frying pan (*rondeau), 1 (10-cup) food processor, 1 (6-quart) stockpot, 1 mini food processor

Ingredients:
1 pound Fettuccine, al dente
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, grilled and sliced on the bias
3 cups chicken broth, unsalted
1 (12-ounce) jar Piquillo peppers, puréed (substitute sweet roasted red peppers)
4 ounces Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
2 cups Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
1 garlic clove, freshly grated
2 1/2 cups heavy cream, cold
1 stick (8 tablespoons) of butter, unsalted
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, freshly grated
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups completely thawed frozen broccoli florets (optional)
2 tablespoons basil, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of flat-leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped

Directions For Sausage:
Using a fork, prick the sausage links, through the casing, three times on both sides. In a pot with a glass lid. Add 3 cups of unsalted chicken broth. Turn the heat to medium, add the sausage links to the pot. Place the lid on and bring up to a boil reduce to a simmer. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until sausage is no longer pink and cooked through.

Remove the links from the cooking liquid and transfer to a plate, set aside. Preheat indoor grill pan, settings on both front and back burners to medium-high. Grill the sausage links 2 to 3 minutes per side to get nice grill marks. Again transfer the grilled sausage links to a plate. Next, slice the sausage links on the bias, transfer to a plate, cover with foil to keep warm.

In a large stockpot of boiling salted water drop the Fettuccine. When pasta is al dente, 8 to 10 minutes; drain.

In the meantime, in a large *rondeau, over medium-low heat, melt the butter into the cream, simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Add Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, smoked paprika, freshly grated nutmeg, and freshly grated garlic, continuing to whisk.

Add the Mascarpone, continue to whisk, simmer until the sauce thickens, 3 to 5 minutes. Next, switch to a spoon, add the Piquillo pepper purée, and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, stir to combine. Finally, add the sliced Italian sausage, stir through. If you’re choosing to add the broccoli florets add them at this point and stir to combine.

Add the pasta to the sauce, tossing until all the pasta is coated. Finally, add in the chopped herbs, toss to combine. There you have it my Roasted Red Pepper Fettuccine Alfredo With Sweet Italian Sausage And Fresh Herbs.

Serve hot.

Note: If you should need to thin the sauce out, add a ladle of the pasta water and toss.
Note: If using thawed frozen broccoli florets, place them onto a plate lined with a paper towel to allow any or all excess water to drain. Using another sheet to pat the florets dry before adding to the sauce.

*Rondeau: A rondeau is sometimes called a brazier or braiser, this wide, somewhat shallow pan similar to a stockpot or Dutch oven but not nearly as deep.

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Pan Seared Gnocchi

 

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Gnocchi is a great side dish, but what about as the main dish? I wanted to rethink how I could make these delicious billowy cloud-like potato dumplings into something with a little more texture. I thought about changing the cooking process to a more Asian-style technique.

The traditional way to cook them is to drop them into boiling salted water. when they float to the surface they’re done.  When you cook with Asian dumplings they’re sometimes pan-fried, first to give that crunchy exterior, then a splash of water is added, the lid is placed on, and they finish by steaming. This allows for the inside to have a creamy texture.

I decided to give this technique a try with gnocchi. For this challenge, rather than making the gnocchi from scratch, I decided to buy a good store-bought brand. It turns out, most grocery stores today carry fresh potato gnocchi so easy it’s easily available. This is my Pan Seared Gnocchi.

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Olive Oil

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time Total: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Yields: 2 servings
Equipment: 2 (12-inch) sauté pans, 1 tight-fitting glass lid, chef’s knife

Ingredients:
1 package of potato gnocchi
1/4 cup of orange bell pepper, finely diced
1/4 cup of red bell pepper, finely diced
1/4 cup of yellow bell pepper, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, freshly grated
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 stick of butter, unsalted
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicy)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated (more if you like)
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped for garnish

Directions:
In a preheated sauté pan over medium heat add olive oil. Add the finely diced bell peppers, stirring frequently, cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until peppers soften.  Season with Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Add in the grated garlic and continue cooking for another 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.

This next stage goes pretty fast. In another large sauté pan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the entire package of gnocchi to the pan. Brown the gnocchi on the one side for 2 to 3 minutes. Don’t disturb them. The gnocchi needs a chance to brown and caramelize. Once that happens, using a spatula, flip the gnocchi and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes on the other side.

Next, add the water. The gnocchi will start to steam. Immediately cover with a tight-fitting lid (preferably a glass lid). Once all the water evaporates about 2 minutes, remove the gnocchi from the heat.

Transfer the gnocchi to a large serving bowl. Add the sautéed peppers, toss to combine. Grate Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over the top and garnish with Italian flat-leaf parsley. Serve hot. There you have it my Pan Seared Gnocchi.

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Stuffed Artichokes

Stuffed Artichoke

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Growing up, whenever there was a special occasion this dish was in high demand. I can remember she would always ask what it was that we would like her to make. Stuffed Artichokes was one of those dishes.

I believe that Italians utilize as much of a vegetable as they can. If you know anything about artichokes, much of it is either trimmed or cut. Preparing the artichokes using this method prevents that waste. Let me explain. I find that many home cooks tend to be intimidated by this strange thistle. I’m here to help fix that fear.

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Artichokes

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Prosciutto

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Proscuito

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Take the cooled artichoke and remove the center. This is where the thistle is located and is not editable. Start by pulling the leaves apart gently until the center of the artichoke is exposed, take a tablespoon and dig out the thistle. It looks like a circular hairy piece also known as the choke. Repeat this process for the remaining artichokes.

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You can see here above how the center is now hollowed out. To stuff, the artichokes, start with the bottom working your way around pulling the leaves apart gently and with your fingers. Continue until you reach the center. Stuff as much of the filling between the leaves as possible.

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Stuffed Artichoke

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 1 (6-quart) stockpot, 9 x 11 baking dish, 2 large mixing bowls, 1 heavy plate

Ingredients:
4 medium fresh artichokes
4 cups of Italian style breadcrumbs
2 cloves garlic, freshly grated
1 1/2 cups Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated, plus 4 tablespoons
2 tablespoon pine nuts
6 sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins
6 slices Prosciutto, julienned
1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, plus extra for garnish
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup *E.V.O.O. more if necessary
1 cup of good dry white wine
2 lemons, juiced (save juiced lemons for the water)
water

Directions:
Start by pulling off some of the outer leaves from the bottom. Then take a pair of kitchen scissors, trim the tips (the pointy sharp part) of the leaves. Next, cut the stems off so they will have a flat bottom.

Fill a 6-quart stockpot 1/2 to 3/4 of the way up with water. Cut 2 lemons in half, juice the lemons right into the water. Throw the remaining parts of the two lemons into the water too. This prevents the artichokes from turning brown and/or oxidizing.

As you can see I trimmed the stalks (stems) down quite a bit. I did throw the stalks into the pot because they’re edible. To keep the artichokes submerged in the boiling water, place a plate on top like this.

On medium-high heat, bring the artichokes up to a boil. Once up to a boil adjust the heat so as to keep the water at a boil but not so high the water boils over. Continue to cook the artichokes for 45 minutes or until fork-tender. Transfer the artichokes and the stems to a plate to cool. Prepare the filling while boiling the artichokes.

For the Filling:
In a large bowl add Italian-style bread crumbs, grated garlic, grated Parmigiano-Reggianocheese, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, golden raisins, freshly ground black pepper, Italian flat-leaf parsley, and julienned Prosciutto. The prosciutto and cheese add a saltiness to the filling, no extra salt is needed. Finally, add the *E.V.O.O., stir to combine. You want the consistency of wet sand. You may need to adjust the amount of oil depending on the type and amount of breadcrumbs used.

…Continued Directions:
Take the cooled artichoke and remove the center. This is where the thistle is located and is not editable.

Start by pulling the leaves apart gently until the center of the artichoke is exposed, take a tablespoon and dig out the thistle. It looks like a circular hairy piece also known as the choke. Continue to scrape out the choke until the center of the artichoke is completely hollowed out. Repeat this process for the remaining artichokes. For reference, refer to the pictures above.

To stuff, the artichokes, start with the bottom and work your way around pulling the leaves apart gently and with your fingers. Continue until you reach the center. Stuff as much of the filling between each row of leaves.

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
In a large baking dish, place the stuffed artichokes along with the stems. Add a cup of white wine. Top each artichoke with more cheese and drizzle each one with a good amount of *E.V.O.O.

Bake for around 30 minutes, or until the filling is nice and hot, the cheese is golden brown, and the artichokes have absorbed almost all of the wine.

When you’re ready to eat the Stuffed Artichokes, just pull each leaf off using the leaf as a natural spoon, getting all that deliciousness off each one. As you make your way to the center, there you’ll find the best surprise of all, the heart of the artichoke. The heart is the most tender part of the whole artichoke. Don’t forget about those stems too, YUM!

Garnish with fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley. This dish is a show stopper and any dinner party.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

*E.V.O.O. is the acronym for Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

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