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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Sweet Italian Sausage, Mozzarella, And Basil Over Pappardelle

Sweet Italian Sausage, Mozzarella, And Basil Over Pappardelle (2)

Sweet Italian Sausage, Mozzarella, and Basil Over Pappardelle

Great quality ingredients are what make this pasta dish so delicious. A good white wine, unsalted chicken stock, and the pasta cooking liquid are what pull the sauce together for this dish. It’s really just about keeping it simple.

Equipment: small saute pan with lid, indoor grill pan, 12 inch frying pan
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:
1 pound of sweet Italian sausage grilled and sliced
1 package Pappardelle pasta
8 ounces of fresh Mozzarella cubed
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 leek cleaned and thinly sliced, about 1 cup
1/2 cup of finely diced red onion
3 cloves of minced garlic
1/4 cup each of red, yellow, and orange bell pepper finely diced
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 cup white wine, Pino Grigio
1-1/2 cups of unsalted chicken stock
1 cup of fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons of finely chopped flat leaf Italian parsley

Directions:
Prep all the vegetables first. Clean and slice the leeks, dice the other vegetables, mince the garlic cloves, and prep the herbs. Dice the fresh Mozzarella cheese.  Set all the veggies on a plate to the side.

To prepare the sausage, prick each of the links with a fork on each side. Place the links in a small saute pan , preheated to medium-high heat. Add half a cup of unsalted chicken stock and cover. Let the sausage links steam in the broth for about 10 minutes or until links are completely cooked, 150 degrees internal temperature. Remove from the pan and set on an indoor grill pan that’s been preheated to med- high heat. Let the links 2-1/2 minutes, per side, allowing for grilled markings Carefully remove the hot grill pan from the stove top. Finally, slice the links on a bias.

Have a large pot of boiling salted water ready to drop the pasta, on the back burner.

In a large frying pan, preheated to medium heat, add in the olive oil, fennel seeds, crushed red pepper flakes.  Add the sliced leeks to the pan. Stir the leeks around sauteing them until soft, about a minute or so. Next, add in the diced red onion and diced bell peppers. To the veggies, sprinkle in the Kosher salt and black pepper.Continue sauteing for around 3-5 minutes until all the veggies have softened. Finally, add in the minced garlic and stir through.

Add the white wine, unsalted chicken stock, and sliced cooked sausage back into the pan. Bring everything up to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer and cook for another 10 minutes. This will allow the flavors from the liquids to marry with all the other ingredients.  While the pan is simmering, drop the pasta. Cook the pasta, to al dente, following the instructions on the package, usually about 10 minutes.

Once the pasta is just al dente, add the pasta to the pan with the sausage and vegetables. Toss the pasta through. The pasta may absorb most of the liquid. If this is the case, add in a ladle or two of the starchy pasta cooking liquid to the pan. Turn the heat off, and transfer to a large serving platter. Add the diced fresh mozzarella cheese, basil leaves, and finely chopped parsley.

Serve immediately.

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Pappardelle With Sausage And Mozzarella

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Pappardelle is my favorite pasta. The long thick ribbons of pasta allows the sauce to adhere really well. Adding fresh ingredients to compliment the pasta is super important. This dish is one that very easy and doesn’t take long to make. Precooking the sausage is key. Let me explain.

I take a large saute pan and add to it a 1/2 a cup of unsalted chicken stock. I take a fork and prick holes into each of the links on both side, about 3 per side. Then I place the links down into the chicken stock. I place the lid on and turn the heat to medium. The sausage will begin to steam and poach in the broth. This will take a good 15 minutes. Then I turn the heat off and let them steep in the hot broth for another 5 minutes. I remove all the sausage links from the pan and set them onto a plate until I’m ready to grill them. While I’m precooking my sausages, I take that time to prep all the vegetables I’m going to need for this dish

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Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes ( allowing for the prep of the veggies as well as the precooking                           of the sausage as posted above).

Equipment: A Rondeau pan, indoor grill pan
Cook Time: 30 minutes (includes the grilling time of the sausage links)

Ingredients:
2- 16.2 ounce packages of Flora Pasta
10 sweet Italian sausage links – 2 pounds, grilled and sliced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 minced garlic cloves
2 cleaned and thinly sliced leeks
1/2 a red finely diced onion
1/2 each red, yellow, and orange bell pepper finely diced
3 cups of unsalted chicken stock
1-1/2 cups of Pino Grigio
1 cup of pasta cooking liquid
8 ounces of fresh diced buffalo mozzarella
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped Italian parsley
3 tablespoons of E.V.O.O.
6-8 fresh basil leaves

Directions:
Once the precooking of the sausage is finished (explained in the first paragraph) along with the prep of the vegetables. That is of course preparing  of the leeks, red onions, garlic, and sweet bell peppers, it’s time to grill off the sausage links. Using an indoor grill pan, on med high heat. Place all the links on the grill. You just want to get those beautiful grill marks on all sides of the links. This takes about (time may vary) 3 minutes per side. Remove them from the grill and carefully slice on the bias. Set them on a plate until it’s time to add them to the pan.

For the vegetables, I start with the sliced leeks in a large deep sided saute pan, with a lid, called a Rondeau pan. This pan will allow me to saute the veggies yet I’ll still be able to add the pasta in, and toss easily, with the other ingredients.

On med heat, start sauteing the leeks in some olive oil, Kosher salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Saute the leeks until they just start to soften, about 2-3 minutes. On the back burner, have a pot of salted boiling water, on stand-by ready for the pasta.

To the softened leeks, add in all the other veggies, diced red onions, minced garlic, and diced bell peppers. Again, seasoning as we go, another light sprinkling of Kosher salt. Stir all these ingredients together and  again continue to saute for another 2-3 minutes.

At this point, you want to add in the sliced grilled Italian sausage and dried oregano to the pan. Stirring all the ingredients together. Next, you want to add in the liquids, to the pan, that will be the sauce for this dish. Keeping the heat at medium, add the unsalted chicken stock and Pino Grigio. Let this come up to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. While all this is simmering, throw the pasta into the water. You want to cook the pasta to just before the al dente point. Reserve back a cup of pasta cooking liquid.  Remember, the pasta will continue to cook when it’s added to the sauce and other ingredients in the pan. Once the pasta has been added, then add a cup of the pasta cooking liquid, gently tossed through turn the heat off. The pasta will have absorbed most if not all of the wine and chicken stock.

To serve, I like to plate this dish on 2 large serving platters where everyone can help themselves, “family style”. To finish I top with fresh mozzarella, freshly chopped Italian parsley, whole basil leaves and a generous drizzle of good E.V.O.O..

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Chicken Sausage Meatballs Over Pappardelle

 2015-05-18 17.03.542015-05-18 17.03.49

Thanks to my mom and grandmother, I’ve learned so much in the art of making great meatballs. The one important thing that they both told me was not to overwork the meat, when mixing all the ingredients together. Well, keeping that in mind, I went one better. I came to the conclusion, that if you mix all the wet ingredients along with the spices first, then add in the meat, there was less likelihood of over mixing. Let me show you what I mean.

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First, in a large mixing bowl I add in all the ingredients that will flavor the meat. After it’s been mixed together, I’m looking for it to have the consistency of wet sand as shown in the above picture. I do use a secret ingredient, fresh store-bought basil pesto.

In another bowl I have some ground chicken ( it’s a mixture of dark and white meat) and sweet Italian sausage. Add the meat to the flavor mixture. I use a fork to combine all the ingredients. It does take a minute, but it will ensure that no over mixing happens.

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I used a pound of ground chicken and a pound of sweet Italian sausage for this recipe. Using the large size ice cream scoop, to keep them all the same size,I then rolled out each meatball. This yielded about 22 golf ball size meatballs. On two baking trays lined with parchment paper, that I lightly sprayed some non-stick cooking spray, I lay the meatballs out, with a little room between each one. Lastly before baking them off I sprayed the tops with a little of that non- stick cooking spray to ensure they would brown nicely.

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While the meatball are baking in the oven, I start on the tomato sauce. In a large pot on med heat I sauteed some diced onions until translucent. To the onions I added in some minced garlic, dried oregano,crushed red pepper flakes, Kosher salt, and black pepper. I stirred that together and then cooked those for a minute more. Add the tomato paste for some of that deep tomato flavor. Stir that until the tomato paste melted in with the onions and garlic.

Next, add the low sodium chicken broth. Let that come up to a bubble then I reduced the the heat for a couple of minutes before adding in the tomato product. Next, I add in  the brown sugar to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes and let all this come up to a bubble before reducing it to a slow simmer.

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Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees F..

Transfer the meatballs to the sauce and let everything simmer together on med-low heat for around 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, start cooking the pasta.

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I am totally a fan of Pappardelle. The wide ribbons have so much more surface area for the sauce to adhere. I just follow the instructions on the package using the standard salted boiling water. After I’ve drained the pasta really well, I take a cup of freshly grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese and place that into the bottom of the bowl.

 I toss the cheese through the pasta, very gently, so all those ribbons get coated really well.  Then I take a couple of ladles full of the tomato sauce and toss that through.  what you are witnessing is that the cheese sticks to the pasta, and the sauce sticks to the cheese. Win Win!

Finally, I finish with ladling some of the meatballs on top with a bit more sauce, and a little more sprinkling of that cheese. Serve with some crusty cheese bread.

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Prep Time: 30 minutes ( this includes making the meatball mixture and dicing the onions and garlic for the sauce)
Baking Time For Meatballs: 20 minutes at 375 degrees
Cooking Time For Tomato Sauce: 45 minutes
Yields: 22 golf size meatballs
Equipment: 2 baking trays lined with parchment paper, large Dutch oven pot

Ingredients For Meatballs:
1 pound of sweet Italian sausage
1 pound of ground chicken
1/4 cup of finely chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup of fresh basil pesto (store-bought pesto can be found in the refrigerated section where you find the fresh pasta and sauces)
1/4 cup of fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 cup of plain Panko bread crumbs
1/2 a cup of seasoned Italian bread crumbs
3 cloves of freshly grated garlic
2 large beaten eggs
5 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup of Ricotta cheese
1 cup up of half and half ( start with 3/4’s of a cup and add more until you get the consistency of wet sand)

Ingredients For Tomato Sauce:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 diced onion
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 cup of low sodium chicken broth
2 -28 ounce cans: 1 each of San Marzano whole tomatoes and crushed tomatoes (be sure to break up whole tomatoes)
1 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for the pasta (reserve some for garnish)

Directions:
Start with making the meatball mixture. Then roll the balls out and lay them out onto 2 parchment paper lined baking sheets that have been sprayed with non- stick cooking spray. Also spray the tops of the meatballs lightly with the spray. Bake them off at 375 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes. While the meatballs are baking off, start on the tomato sauce. Once all the ingredients have been added to the pot, like described above, and the tomato sauce is at a low simmer, remove the meatballs from the oven.

Next, transfer the meatballs to the sauce. Let all this cook on a slow simmer for 45 minutes. Next, start the water boiling (don’t forget to salt the water) for the pasta. Drain the pasta really well, have some grated cheese ready in the bottom of a large bowl before adding in the drained pasta. Toss the cheese through the pasta, then ladle in some of the tomato sauce and toss that through. Place some of the lightly coated pasta into a serving bowl, add on a ladle or two of sauce with the meatballs and finally sprinkle with cheese.

Serve with some great cheesy bread.

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