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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

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Chicken Broth

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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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Lobster Mac & Cheese

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I’m pretty confident in saying, Mac and Cheese is the favorite comfort food for people of all ages. There are so many recipes out there from the classic version to endless variations of the classic. Chorizo and smoked Gouda, or how about butternut squash mac and cheese! The one I like to serve when entertaining is my Lobster Mac And Cheese. The lobster adds a delicate sweetness along with a variety of delicious cheeses and a flavorful crunchy topping complete the perfect recipe for Lobster Mac & Cheese.

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Parmesan Cheese

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Prep Time: 1 hour (the time it takes to cook the lobsters for the casserole)
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
Equipment: 16-quart stockpot, 2 6-quart saucepots, 9 x 13 casserole dish, 2 large mixing bowls, colander, Microplane

Ingredients:
4 cups of lobster meat, large dice (equivalent to approx. three 1 1/2 lb lobsters)
1 stick (8 tablespoons) of butter, unsalted, (4 tablespoons for greasing the baking dish)
4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
4 cups of whole milk, *scalded
1 teaspoon of nutmeg, freshly grated
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
1 cup of corn (optional)
1 cup of Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup of Brie cheese, without the rind, diced
2 cups of Fontina cheese, freshly grated (reserve 1 cup for the top)
1/2 cup of Sargento Parmesan cheese, shredded
3 tablespoon of fresh chives, finely chopped
3 tablespoons of tarragon leaves, chopped
2 (16-ounce) packages (2 pounds) of cooked Paccheri Rigati, just under al-dente ( large rigatoni shaped pasta, substitute rigatoni)

Topping:
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups of Panko bread crumbs
3 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
3/4 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated

Notes:
Note: For a 1 1/2 pound lobster, cook time is 15 to 20 minutes.
Note: They need to be a vibrant red color when fully cooked.
Note: I prefer to cook lobsters one at a time.

Directions:
Start by buttering a casserole dish.

Directions, How To Cook A Lobster:
Bring a 16-quart pot (a little over half filled) of well-salted water up to a rapid boil. Drop the lobster into the pot, quickly place the lid on. Using a towel, hold the lid in place for just a minute, giving the water a chance to come back up to a boil,  then start the cooking time. After about 15 to 20 minutes, remove the lobster from the pot and set aside to cool. Repeat this process two more times.

Boil 16 ounces (1 pound) of pasta just before the al dente stage, about 8 to 10 minutes, and drain. The pasta will finish cooking during the baking process.

Remove the lobster meat from the tails and claws. Chop the lobster meat into large chunks and place into a bowl.

Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
In a large saucepot melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Continuously whisking the flour and butter to form a *roux. Cook, whisking constantly until the mixture becomes blond in color and paste-like, about 2 minutes. Again continue whisking while slowly adding the (*scalded) hot milk. Continue to whisk as the sauce thickens. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more. Sprinkle in the grated nutmeg, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, continuously whisking until sauce becomes thick and smooth. Remove from the heat, switch to a wooden spoon, stir in the chopped tarragon, finely chopped chives, grated cheeses, and corn (optional). Last, add the cooked lobster meat. Mix to combined.

Add the cooked pasta into the cheese sauce stirring gently not to break up the pasta. Pour the entire mixture into the buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle the reserved Fontina cheese evenly over the top.

For the crumb topping, add the melted butter to the Panko bread crumbs. Mix in the Italian flat-leaf parsley and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

Allow the casserole to rest for 15 minutes before serving. This is my Lobster Mac & Cheese.

*Roux is a mixture of fat (especially butter) and flour used in making sauces

*Scalded milk is milk heated to a near boil. Small bubbles will appear around the inner rim of the pot.

How To Cook and Open A Lobster

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A Ladies Luncheon At Lynn’s Home With My Kale And White Bean Soup

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My very good friend Lynn asked me if I would have a cooking class/ luncheon at her home. Without hesitation, I said yes! Her home is located in the historic district of Orlando. A Ladies Luncheon At Lynn’s Home With My Kale And White Bean Soup was the perfect place for Lynn and her friends, Marian, Jean, Diane, Gloria, and Sandy to spend some quality time together. I thought it would be a great idea to put a menu together, show the girls some tips, and cooking techniques they could take home and use when they’re cooking for their families.

Earlier in the week, Lynn and I met to iron out all the details. We came up with a plan and set it in motion. Gifts for the girls, a tablescape that would compliment the Italian theme, and then, of course, the menu. The day before the luncheon, I went shopping and found some great seasonal ingredients at the local farmers market in town. I wanted the centerpiece for the table to also echo a few of the ingredients I was using. A large rustic bowl filled with pink grapefruits, lemons, fennel fronds, and fresh bay leaves.

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I set up a small cheese board filled with shards of different types of Parmesan cheeses. The saltiness of the cheeses paired really well with the Peach Bellinis made with fresh peach purée mixed with Prosecco sparkling wine, finishes with a strawberry garnish. A traditional cocktail that originated in Venice, Italy.

I went through the steps for each course step by step. The ladies were taking notes which made me feel pretty special. They asked great questions and I think they went away realizing, when you use fresh and seasonal ingredients, cooking can be super fun as well as satisfying.

These were some of the sweetest ladies, I hope that we’ll be able to get together again in the near future. Lynn, I can’t thank you enough for the opportunity to help you with this amazing luncheon.

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Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rinds

I love to save the cheese rinds to add to the soup. They add so much flavor!

E.V.O.O.

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Homemade Croutons

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 to 40 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 2 (6-quart) Dutch ovens with lids

Menu:
Peach Bellinis
Cheese Board; Parmesan, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and Grana Padano
Fennel Salad With Grapefruit, Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese Garnished With Edible Flowers
Kale And White Bean Soup
Homemade Ciabatta Croutons
Eton Mess By Way Of Italy (menu category -desserts)
Mint and Peach Iced Tea

Ingredients For Kale And White Bean Soup:
(better known as Beans And Greens Soup)
All ingredients below divided evenly into 2 (6-quart) heavy bottom pots

2 bunches (approx. 12 cups chopped in total) of organic kale, center ribs removed, roughly chopped
4 (15.5-ounce) cans of Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 tablespoons of olive oil
4 stalks of celery, 2-inch dice (include leafy tops)
2 large onions, 2-inch dice
8 carrots peeled and 2-inch dice
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons of nutmeg freshly grated grated
2 Fresno chilis seeded and minced
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 quarts of vegetable stock, unsalted
8 cups of water (amount of water may vary slightly)
2 (2-inch) pieces of Parmigiano-Reggiano rinds
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt (1 tablespoon per pot)
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper (1/2 teaspoon per pot)
2 fresh bay leaves (substitute dried)
2 teaspoons of freshly chopped rosemary leaves
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated for garnish
*E.V.O.O drizzle (drizzle on top as a finish to the soup)
Accompaniment: homemade croutons

Note: smoked sausage is an option to add to this soup (sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick pieces)

Directions:
Turn the burners to medium-high heat allowing the two heavy bottom pot to heat up. Remember that all the ingredients will be evenly divided into the two pots. Once the pots have come up to temperature, adjust the temperature to medium. Add in the olive oil, diced onions, minced Fresno chili, celery, diced carrots, and tomato paste. Stir all the ingredients together cook until vegetables start to soften, around 10 minutes. Make sure to season as you go by adding Kosher salt, black pepper to taste.

Add the minced garlic, bay leaves, and freshly chopped rosemary leaves continue to stir. About 3 to 5 minutes in, add in the unsalted chicken stock, cheese rinds. Slowly add in half of the chopped kale leaves to each pot. Using a spoon, start to submerge the leaves into the liquid. Next, slowly add in the water and the rest of the chopped kale. This is the point is where you’ll be able to see if you have enough liquid, (refer to the pictures above) allowing 3 inches of space at the top of each pot.

The kale will wilt as it cooks, and most of the ingredients will also release their water. Not to worry, (cooking soup uncovered) as the soup comes up to a boil, water will also evaporate as the soup cooks. Now, the drained Cannellini beans. Next, it’s time to add the 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, and the freshly grated nutmeg to each pot. Stir all the ingredients together. Bring the soup up to a boil, reduce the temperature and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes or until the kale and carrots are tender. Once finished, cover the soup pots until ready to serve.

Serve in porcelain bowls with grated Parmesan cheese, croutons, and a drizzle of good *E.V.O.O.

The dessert you see in the pictures above, “Eton Mess By Way Of Italy”  and “Homemade Croutons” recipes can be found by clicking on the links below.

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

Eton Mess By Way Of Italy

Homemade Ciabatta Croutons

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