Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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Spaghetti With Zucchini And Yellow Squash

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This Spaghetti With Zucchini And Yellow Squash is a delicious summertime vegetarian dish. The extra flavor from the bruschetta topping adds beautiful color and pairs perfectly with the zucchini and yellow squash.

You’ll notice below I’ve made extra bruschetta topping, I’ll explain the reason, in my notes, in the post below. Adding shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to the dish adds another layer of unforgettable flavor.

I garnish every dish with a large sprig of fresh basil giving you the choice to add torn fresh basil leaves through the pasta.

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Zucchini And Yellow Squash

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Olive Oil

Frezno Chili

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Ciabatta (2)

Toasted Ciabatta Bread

Sweet Basil (2)

fresh basil

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Diced Mozzarella Cheese

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 to 12 minutes
Total Time: 42 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: veggie spiral machine, 1 (6-quart) stockpot, 1 (3-quart) saucepot, vegetable peeler, long-handled tongs, chef’s knife, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, large mixing bowl, medium-size mixing bowl

4 zucchini, ends removed, cut in half and spiraled
4 yellow squash, ends removed, cut in half and spiraled
1 pound box of spaghetti
2/3 cup of good olive oil
6 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1 Fresno chili, seeded and finely minced
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
Large sprigs of fresh basil for garnish
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shavings for garnish
*E.V.O.O. for garnish

Ingredients For Bruschetta Topping:
16 Roma tomatoes, cut in half, seeded and finely diced
1 (16-ounce) package of Galbani mozzarella cheese, finely diced (low moisture, whole-milk variety)
1/2 cup of fresh basil, sliced chiffonade style
*E.V.O.O. for garnish
1 loaf of Tuscan garlic Ciabatta, toasted (yields 16 slices) OPTIONAL

Note: I’ve made extra bruschetta topping not only used as the garnish for this dish but to also serve on top of the toasted Tuscan garlic Ciabatta bread. I can’t get enough of that delicious basil, mozzarella, and tomato topping with a tiny little drizzle of really good *E.V.O.O.

Directions For Bruschetta Topping:
Slice the Roma tomatoes in half, spoon out the seeds, and finely dice. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Next, finely dice the mozzarella cheese and add to the diced tomatoes. Finely add the chiffonade style basil toss everything to combine. Set aside.

Directions For Spaghetti With Zucchini And Yellow Squash:
Start by spiraling the zucchini and yellow squash and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Next, prep the Fresno chili and garlic, set aside.

In a large stockpot of boiling salted water drop the spaghetti. Cook between 8 to 12 minutes or until al dente.

Note: As soon as the zucchini and yellow squash spaghetti start to wilt and soften slightly turn the heat off. You want them to keep their crunchiness and integrity. All you’re really doing is making sure they are well coated with the flavored oil.

In the meantime, in a saucepot over medium heat add the olive oil minced Fresno chili and garlic. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the spiraled zucchini, yellow squash, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Using your tongs, toss the spiraled zucchini and yellow squash with the oil, garlic, and minced chilies. Cook, continuously tossing, for 2 to 3 minutes allowing the vegetable spaghetti to begin to wilt and soften slightly as they become evenly coated with the flavored oil. Immediately turn the heat off.

Again using the long-handled tongs, transfer the cooked spaghetti to the saucepot. Toss to combine the vegetable spaghetti and pasta together. Continue to toss until the pasta is evenly distributed.

Ladle a good helping into a porcelain serving bowl and garnish with a large sprig of fresh basil. There you have it, my Spaghetti With Zucchini And Yellow Squash.

Directions For Toasted Ciabatta Bread:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
Slice the Ciabatta bread at a 45-degree angle into 1/2 -inch thick slices. Arrange the bread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the top surface of each slice of Ciabatta lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Place into the oven on the center rack. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the bread is golden. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and let the toast cool slightly before adding the toppings.

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

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Sweet Italian Sausage And Cavatelli Soup

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Sweet Italian Sausage And Cavatelli Soup (2)

I’d first made this soup some time ago and found a couple of pictures of the finished dish. I’m not even sure how I came up with this soup. I just started throwing ingredients together and my Sweet Italian Sausage And Cavatelli Soup was born.

I just bought an inductions burner and I was super excited to try it out. I know it’s going to work perfectly when my sister and I film my next video. Anyway, I decided to make this soup while I had some time off from work.

We’re living in extraordinary times due to COVID-19. People are doing a lot more grocery shopping and cooking at home, because of a shelter-in-place order, that said, many products, because of high demand, had limits placed on them or they weren’t readily available. I wasn’t able to find any Cavatelli pasta so I’m going to be substituting baby shells. I found the shape of the two kinds of pasta to be similar. Cavatelli pasta will be back on the grocery shelves soon enough so I’m keeping the name for this dish.

Whenever I make a soup using sausage, I like to cook the sausage separately then incorporate it into the soup. This makes what I call a clean broth. By cooking the sausage separately and leaving all the grease with the pan I believe makes a big difference in the finished soup.

Sweet Italian Sausage, And Cavatelli Soup

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Frezno Chili

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diced roma tomatoes

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Olive Oil





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diced roma tomatoes

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley



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Sweet Italian Sausage, And Cavatelli Soup

Sweet Italian Sausage And Cavatelli Soup (2)

Homemade Croutons


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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: 1 (6-quart) Dutch oven, 1 (12-inch) sauté pan, chef’s knife, mesh sieve, 1 (6-quart) stockpot, colander, large slotted spoon

Tip:  The night before, place the frozen spinach in a mesh sieve over a bowl to drain. You could also use the defrost setting on your microwave the thaw out the spinach.

2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 pound of sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (substitute a hot variety)
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1 head of green cabbage, cored and quartered
1 1/2 cups of carrots, 1-inch dice
1 large onion, diced, 1-inch dice
3 ribs of celery, 1-inch dice, include leafy tops
1 Fresno Chili, seeded and minced
1 fresh bay leaf, substitute dried
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 cup of diced Roma tomatoes
1 (10-ounce) package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained (squeeze all excess water from the spinach)
1 quart of chicken stock, unsalted
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups of Cavatelli pasta (substituting baby shells)
Italian flat-leaf parsley for garnish
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Begin by dicing and mincing all the vegetables. Drain and squeeze as much water from the thawed spinach as possible.

Remove the casings from the sausage links. In a large sauté pan over medium heat add olive oil and sausage. Using a wooden spoon, break up the sausage and cook until the sausage is no longer pink about 10 to 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, allowing as much grease as possible to stay with the pan, transfer to a bowl or plate lined with a paper towel, set aside.

In a preheated Dutch oven over medium-high heat add olive, diced onions, and red pepper flakes. Add the diced carrots, celery, bay leaf, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and fresh finely chopped thyme. Stirring, frequently, cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the minced garlic, cook for 1 minute more.

Next, add the cooked sausage, cabbage, and diced tomatoes. Add the chicken stock, bring it up to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally,  for 40 minutes.

After 30 minutes, remove the cover, taste for seasoning (add salt if needed). Add the Cavatelli pasta, stir to combine. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes before adding the spinach, again stir to combine. Turn the heat off, and serve.

Ladle a good helping into a porcelain soup bowl. Add fresh parsley, freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and Homemade Ciabatta Croutons. This is my Sweet Italian Sausage And Cavatelli Soup.

My Hanging Organic Herb Garden And Summertime Flowers

Homemade Ciabatta Croutons

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Seafood Fettuccine


Growing up in New Jersey we ate a lot of mussels. At the store, I found some beautiful ones and to go along with the mussels some beautiful shrimp. I thought a seafood pasta dish would be delicious. This is my Seafood Fettuccine.







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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley





Stuffing (2)




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Olive Oil


Chicken Broth





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Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 1 (6-quart) Dutch oven, 1 (6-quart) saucepot, colander, hand-held juicer, chef’s knife, hand-held juicer

2 pounds of mussels, beards removed and shells cleaned
2 pounds of jumbo shrimp, shelled, cleaned, deveined, and tails removed
2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter, unsalted
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of saffron
1 large onion, diced
3 cups of Roma tomatoes, diced
1 tablespoon of Agave nectar
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 bottle of dry white wine (Pinot Grigio or Chardonney)
1 cup of chicken broth, unsalted
2 tablespoons of Pernod
2 lemons, sliced into rounds
3 tablespoons of lemon zest (3 to 4 large lemons)
1/3 cup of lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 tablespoons of tarragon leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 1/2 boxes (1 1/2 pounds) of Fettuccine
Reserve: 1 to 2 ladles of the starchy pasta cooking liquid, if needed

Cleaning the mussels is really easy. First, check for any *beards, pull them off. Fill up your sink with cold water and add 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Stir the flour through with your hands. Toss in the mussels. The mussels are like little filters and they’ll drink up the flour then spit it out along with any sand.

Drain and rinse them really well. Any mussels that aren’t closed, tap on the counter if they don’t close, on their own, get rid of them, they’re no longer alive. The same rule applies after they’re cooked. If they don’t open, throw them out they’re no good.

Peel and devein the shrimp and removing all the tails.

This dish cooks quickly. First, you want to have a large pot of salted boiling water ready, on the back burner. Second, it’s important to have all the vegetables prepped (according to the ingredient-list above) and set aside.

In a large preheated heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat add the olive oil and butter. Add the red pepper flakes, minced garlic, and lemon zest, stir to combine. Add the diced onions, season with the Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, stir, cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Moving forward, add the Pernod, lemon juice, and Agave nectar frequently stirring, add the diced tomatoes,, mix to combine. Add the white wine, chicken broth, and saffron, bring the liquid up to a bubble, 3 to 5 minutes. Next, add the mussels, shrimp, and tarragon, stir one more time and cover. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes. This is the perfect time to drop the fettuccine.

Remove the lid, give another stir making sure all the mussels have opened and the shrimp are perfectly cooked.

Cook the pasta until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a pair of tongs, transfer the fettuccine to the pot containing the seafood. Add the chopped parsley and toss through.

The pasta will absorb the broth. If you feel you need to add a little more liquid add 1 or 2 ladles of the starchy pasta cooking liquid.

Garnish with lemon slices. I like to serve this dish with crusty bread to soak up as much of the broth as possible. There you have it, my Seafood Fettuccine

*Beard: The beard also known as byssus threads. They”re filaments that the mussel uses to secure itself to hard surfaces. they’re usually brownish and may appear somewhat like seaweed.

*Pernod: Pernod is an Anise-flavored liqueur.


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