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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Homestyle Baked Mac & Cheese

Homemade Mac & Cheese

Can you think of anything better than a Homestyle Baked Mac & Cheese? I’ll bet your answer is no, and I would agree.

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Mac & Cheese (6)

Mac & Cheese (7)

Mac & Cheese (5)

Mac & Cheese (1)

Mac & Cheese (2)

Mac & Cheese (8)

Mac & Cheese (3)

White Cheddar Mac & Cheese (3)

White Cheddar Mac & Cheese (1)

Homestyle Mac & Cheese

Homemade Mac & Cheese

Meatloaf Withh Sundried Tomatoes (2)

Yields: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30-35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Equipment: 9 x 13 baking dish

Ingredients:
1 box or pound of Cavatappi (or elbow macaroni)
3 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 stick unsalted butter plus 6 tablespoons
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
12-ounces Gruyère  cheese, grated (4 cups)
8-ounces white Cheddar, grated (2 cups)
4-ounces Mascarpone, room temperature
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon sweet Paprika (substitute smoked paprika)
1/4 cup dried parsley flakes, plus extra for garnish
Finely shredded Parmesan cheese for garnish on top (optional)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375-degrees F.
Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the macaroni, and cook according to the instructions of the box, 6-8 minutes, drain really well.

At the same time, heat the milk and heavy cream in a small saucepan, but do not boil. Melt 8 tablespoons (1-stick) in a large (6-quart) pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes while whisking, until it’s light blond in color. Whisk in the hot milk and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add the pepper, Kosher salt, and grated nutmeg, continue whisking until sauce thickens and becomes smooth.

Off the heat, switch to a wooden spoon, stir in the Mascarpone first, then the Gruyére and white Cheddar. Add the cooked macaroni, and half the parsley, stir well. Pour into a 9 x 13 buttered baking dish.

Topping:
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large sauté pan. Add the Panko breadcrumbs, Paprika remaining parsley and toss to evenly coat. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs all over the top of the casserole. *Dot the top with the remaining butter. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly and macaroni is browned on top. Optional, sprinkle finely shredded Parmesan cheese and parsley over the top while hot.

Serve hot.

*Dot: To scatter bits of butter over food.

 

Meatloaf With Sundried Tomatoes

 

 

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Cheese Ravioli Lasagna In A Tomato Basil Meat Sauce

Check out my new twist on a classic.

Let's Dish

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Is it crazy to imagine taking a classic dish like lasagna and shaking it up a bit, right? What about taking a little help from your local grocery store. A great start is by purchasing a really good jarred sauce and making it taste as if you made it from scratch. This sauce will taste likes its been simmering on the stove all day.

The other ingredient I’m going to be using for this dish is a good quality store-bought cheese ravioli. They’re found in the freezer section of the grocery store. My favorite is the mini cheese ravioli.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I’m utilizing each one of my fresh herbs, from my Organic Hanging Herb Garden and incorporating them into my dishes. I’m highlighting sweet basil in my Cheese Ravioli Lasagna In A Tomato Basil Meat Sauce.

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Tomato Basil Meat Sauce

Tomato Basil Meat Sauce

Cheese Ravioli

8 X 11 Baking Dish

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Cheese Ravioli Lasagna (3)

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 to 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields: 8 to 10 servings
Equipment: 1- 9 x 13 baking dish, 2 6-quart saucepots, colander, a rimmed baking sheet pan

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 pound lean ground sirloin
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2-24 ounce jars of Rao’s Marinara Sauce, tomato basil variety
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup of unsalted beef broth
2-1 pound 6-ounce packages of frozen mini cheese ravioli
1 cup of fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1/2cup of flat-leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped
2 packages of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated (substitute grated Parmesan)

Directions:
In a large pot over medium-high heat add olive. Add diced onions Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions soften, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the ground sirloin, using a wooden spoon, break up the ground meat and cook until completely brown, about 10 minutes.

Next, add the beef broth and cook for another 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add in the two jars of tomato basil sauce. Simmer for another 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and add the finely chopped fresh basil leaves, stir through.

While the sauce is simmering have a large pot of salted boiling water ready. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to prevent the ravioli from sticking. Let cook just under the required time on the package, about 5 minutes. They will continue their cooking during the baking process. Drain the ravioli into a colander. Rinse under cool water to stop the cooking process, then drain well.

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.

Start by ladling around 1 1/2 cups of the tomato basil sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Next, arrange the mini ravioli in the dish covering all of the sauce. Then add the 1 package of shredded Mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano covering all the ravioli. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the finely chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley. Top with another layer of the tomato basil sauce. Repeat this process one more time. You want to the shredded Mozzarella and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano end up on top. Finally, sprinkle the rest of the finely chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley over the cheese.

Spray the underside (dull side) of the foil with non- stick cooking spray and cover the dish tightly. This will prevent the cheese from sticking to the foil. Place the baking dish on top of a sheet pan. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for another 10 or until the top is golden brown.

Let the baking dish rest for at least 15 minutes to set, before cutting.  Serve with fresh basil leaves.

Note:
What’s great about this recipe is you can prepare everything in advance. All you need to do is to prepare the sauce and the cheese ravioli. Layer all the ingredients into the baking dish. Allow enough time for the dish to come to room temperature. Spray off the dull side of the foil with non-stick cooking spray before tightly wrapping the baking dish. That will prevent the cheese from sticking to the foil in the baking process.

Transfer the whole covered dish into the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake. I recommend no more than two days. If it’s been previously refrigerated, the baking time will vary (may take 45 to 50 minutes or until golden and bubbly).

My Organic Hanging Herb Garden

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Pappardelle With Sweet Italian Sausage, Mozzarella, And Fresh Basil

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 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. This is my Pappardelle With Sweet Italian Sausage, Mozzarella, And Fresh Basil.

Sweet Italian Sausage

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Sweet Italian Sausage (2)

Tuscan Style Roasted Sausage And Grapes (9)

Sweet Italian Sausage (3)

Sweet Italian Sausage (4)

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Sweet Italian Sausage (5)

Sweet Italian Sausage (1)

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Sweet Basil (2)

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: small sauté pan with a glass lid, indoor grill pan, a rondeau (deep-sided frying/braising pan), 6-quart saucepot, colander, heavy grill press

Ingredients:
1 pound of sweet Italian sausage grilled and sliced
1 pound of Pappardelle
8 ounces of fresh Mozzarella, 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 leek, (about 1 cup) cleaned and thinly sliced into half-moons
1/2 cup of red onion, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup, each, of red, yellow, and orange bell peppers finely diced
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
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 flat-leaf Italian parsley finely chopped

Directions:
Prep all the vegetables first. Clean and slice the leeks, finely dice the red onion, bell peppers, and mince the garlic. Transfer all the vegetables to a large plate and set aside.

Prep the fresh herbs and dice the fresh Mozzarella cheese into 1-inch cubes. Transfer into 2 small bowls. Set aside.

To prepare the sausage, prick each of the links with a fork approx. three times on each side. Place the links into a small sauté pan. Cover with 1/2 cup of unsalted chicken broth. Turn the heat to medium-high and cover. Poach the sausage links in the broth for about 10 minutes or until links are no longer pink and the internal temperature reads 150-degrees F.

Transfer the sausage links to a plate. Preheat an indoor grill pan over medium-high heat. Arrange all the sausage links on the grill pan. Place a grill press over the links to ensure even grilling. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes, per side. Once all the links have grill marks on both sides transfer the links again to a plate. Carefully remove the hot grill pan from the stovetop. Slice the grilled links on a bias and transfer to a bowl.

In a preheated large rondeau (deep-sided frying/braising pan) over medium-high heat, add in the olive oil, dried oregano, fennel seeds, and crushed red pepper flakes. Add the sliced leeks to the pan stirring frequently. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until soft.

Next, add in the diced red onion and bell peppers. Season with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes or until all the veggies soften. Finally, add the minced garlic, stir through and cook for 1 minute more.

Have a pot of salted boiling water ready on the back burner.

Add white wine, unsalted chicken stock, and grilled sliced sausage. Bring everything up to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, simmer for another 10 minutes.

In the meantime, drop the pasta. Cook the pasta, to al dente, following the instructions on the package, usually about 10 minutes.

Once the pasta is al dente, using a pair of tongs transfer the pasta to the pan containing the grilled sausage and vegetables. Toss the pasta through. The pasta may absorb most of the liquid. If this is the case, add 1 or 2 ladles of the starchy pasta cooking liquid and toss. Turn the heat off, and transfer to a large serving platter. Add the diced fresh mozzarella basil leaves, and finely chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

There you have it, Pappardelle With Sweet Italian Sausage, Mozzarella, And Fresh Basil.

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