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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Ribollita With Chicken Sausage Meatballs

2015-04-16 12.37.46

I’m giving this traditional Italian vegetable soup a makeover. I’ve added chicken sausage meatballs to what was an already perfect soup. Now it’s even heartier. This is my Ribollita With Chicken Sausage Meatballs.

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Cookie Dough Scoops

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time 48 to 50 minutes minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: Food Processor, 6-quart saucepot, cookie dough scoop, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans

Ingredients For Chicken Sausage Meatballs:
1 pound of ground chicken breasts
1 large egg
2 tablespoons of finely fresh chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup of Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup of heavy cream
5 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup of freshly ground Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of fennel seeds

Ingredients For Ribollita:
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 diced onion
1/4 pound of pancetta, diced
1 cup of carrots (2 medium-size carrots), diced
3 ribs of celery (1 cup), diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 15-ounce cans of Cannellini beans drained and rinsed, 1 15-ounce can to be puréed
1 bay leaf,
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
1 28-ounce can of San Marzano whole tomatoes
2 quarts of unsalted chicken stock
1/2 cup of chopped fresh basil leaves
3 cups of chopped kale
3 cups of chopped Savoy cabbage
5 slices of good sourdough bread, crusts removed
1/2 a cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
*E.V.O.O for drizzling over the top of each bowl

Directions For Chicken Meatballs:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
Line two rimmed baking sheet pans with parchment paper. Spray each one with non-stick cooking spray.

In al large mixing bowl add all the ingredients from the list above, except the ground chicken, mix to combine. Add the ground chicken last. Using a fork, combine all the ingredients (flavorings) throughout the ground chicken. Do not overmix.

Note: Every few scoops of the meat mixture spray the inside of the scoop with non-stick cooking spray for easy removal. After forming a few meatballs, lightly spritz your hands with warm tap water. This will give your meatballs a smoother texture.

Using a cookie dough scoop, scoop the meat mixture into your hands to form the meatballs. Lightly spray the tops of all the meatballs with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the meatballs are cooking, use this time to prep all the vegetables from the list above. Once you’ve prepped the veggies the meatballs should be ready to come out of the oven. Set the two trays of meatballs aside.

Start the Ribollita.
Over medium heat, add the olive oil and diced onions. Sauté until soft and translucent but not brown. Add crushed red pepper flakes and diced pancetta, cook for 3 to 5 minutes.

Next, add the diced carrots, celery, and bay leaf stir to combine. Add the minced garlic, Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Stirring occasionally, cook together for 10 minutes until the veggies start to soften. At this point, add the whole canned tomatoes with their juice. Use a wooden spoon, break up the tomatoes.

Next, add the chopped cabbage and kale, and freshly grated nutmeg, cook for another 5 to 7 minutes until the greens wilt down. Turn the heat down to medium-low, add the puréed Cannellini beans, stir to combine. Next, add the whole beans, again stir to combine.

Pour in the unsalted chicken stock. This is the point when you add the cooked meatballs. Still on medium-low heat simmer for another 15 minutes. At this point add in the cubed bread and continue simmering for another 10 minutes. The bread will dissolve and thicken the soup. The Ribollita With Chicken Sausage Meatballs is done at this point. Turn the heat off add the fresh basil leaves, stir to combine.

To Serve:
Ladle a good helping of the Ribollita into large porcelain soup or pasta bowl. Add a nice helping of the freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Finally. lightly drizzle your best *E.V.O.O on top. I promise, if you love really good soup or a delicious stew, I would say try making my Ribollita With Chicken Sausage Meatballs.

*E.V.O.O. is extra virgin olive oil.

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Roasted Eggplant Vegetarian Meatballs In Marinara Sauce

2015-01-14 13.53.16

I’ve been working on some new recipes for, my daughter, Melissa to try. It’s my Roasted Eggplant Vegetarian Meatballs In Marinara Sauce. Melissa’s led a meat-free lifestyle for quite a few years. Now, as far as any gluten allergies, Melissa doesn’t have any but Tonya, a good friend of mine, believes she may. My Roasted Eggplant Vegetarian Meatballs In Marinara Sauce is gluten-free. I think it’s really helpful to have someone that’s happy to try a new recipe I’m testing and get their input.

I knew this recipe needed to have great flavor, this way, the lack of having any type of meat wouldn’t be missed at all. I’m not saying that this dish is for everyone, but if you choose a meat-free and gluten-free lifestyle, I can tell you this dish does not disappoint. Also for the meat lover who just wants to cut down on the amount of meat in your diet, this is a great alternative.

Roasted Eggplant Vegetarian Meatballs In Marinara Sauce

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Prep Time: 40 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 24 hours
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 day plus 1 1/2 hours
Yields: 30 to 32 2-ounce meatballs
Equipment: 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, 10-cup food processor, large mixing bowl, 6-quart Dutch oven

Ingredients For Roasted Eggplant and Cremini Mushrooms:
1 whole eggplant, top removed and sliced in half
1/4 cup of olive oil, divided evenly between the halves, plus 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon Kosher salt, divided evenly between the halves
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper, divided evenly between the halves

Ingredients For Roasted Eggplant Meatballs:
1 roasted eggplant, puréed
1 pint of roasted cremini mushrooms, puréed
1 8-ounce jar of Piquillo peppers, puréed
1 jar of marinated artichokes with their oil, puréed
1 15-ounce can of Cannellini beans, puréed
1 onion diced purèed
3 whole garlic cloves purèed
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh oregano leaves
3 tablespoon of chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley (reserve 2 tablespoons for garnish)
3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 large egg
3 1/2 cups of gluten-free bread crumbs

Ingredients For Marinara Sauce:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 diced onion
3 cloves of minced garlic
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of dried basil leaves
2 tablespoons of light brown sugar
1/4 cup chicken broth, unsalted
2 28-ounce cans of San Marzano tomatoes
1 8-ounce jar of pureed Piquillo peppers, puréed
1 to 2 tablespoons of freshly torn basil leaves, (plus basil for garnish)

Directions For Roasting Eggplant:
The day before serving this dish you want to make the vegetarian meatballs.
Step 1: Roast the eggplant and cremini mushrooms.

Preheat oven to 425-degrees F.
Start by cutting the top off the eggplant then slicing a whole eggplant in half.  Drizzle each half with olive oil then sprinkle with Kosher salt and black pepper. Place the eggplant halves on a rimmed baking sheet pan, cut side down, roast for 20 to 25 minutes.

At the same time, spread sliced cremini mushrooms onto a sheet pan. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil toss to coat then spread out into one even layer. Roast for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

This step needs to be done in two batches. Add half of the following ingredients to the food processor at a time. Start with the Cannellini beans, marinated artichokes with their oil, roasted Piquillo peppers, whole garlic cloves, diced onions, Kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Pulse until combined. Refer to the picture above. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Repeat this process with the remaining half until all the ingredients are puréed.

Once the eggplant has finished cooking, remove the flesh from each half and place into a food processor with the cremini mushrooms. Process until combined. Refer to the picture above. Add the eggplant mixture to the rest of the processed vegetables. Refer to the picture above.

To the same bowl add a beaten egg, gluten-free bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, fresh oregano, fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Using your hands, mix to combine.

To ensure all of the vegetarian meatballs are the same size, use a 2-ounce cookie-dough scoop. Scoop and form the vegetable mixture into golf-size balls. Place them on baking sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Transfer the vegetarian balls to the refrigerator to set overnight.

Next-Day:
Preheat a large Dutch oven (or heavy bottom pot with a lid) over medium heat. Add olive oil and the diced onions. Sauté the onions until they become translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes. Next, add tomato paste, minced garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, dried oregano, dried basil, brown sugar, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, stirring all the ingredients as they cook for another 5 minutes.

For the liquids, add chicken broth allow to come up to a bubble then let reduce by half. Next, add the crushed tomatoes and puréed Piquillo peppers, stir to combine. Turn the heat down to low and let the sauce simmer for 40 minutes. Turn the heat off.

Remove the pot from the heat and add torn basil leaves, stir to combine. Cover to keep warm.

Preheat oven to 275-degrees F.
Remove the vegetarian meatballs from the refrigerator. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top of each of the veggie balls. Transfer the pans of the vegetarian meatballs on the middle rack for 15 to 20 minutes, just until they’re warmed through. Keep a close eye on them.

Note: Due to the fact that these are vegetarian balls, they may flatten slightly, on the bottom, during the warming process. Halfway through the cooking process, use two spoons to gently turn them over to keep the integrity of their shape.

To Serve: Ladle the hot Marinara sauce on the bottom of a serving dish. Arrange the Roasted Eggplant Vegetarian Meatballs on top, ladling a little of the Marinara Sauce over each one. Garnish with Italian flat-leaf parsley and fresh basil. Serve hot.

Tip: Roasted Eggplant Vegetarian Meatballs can be stored in airtight resealable bags and frozen.

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Pappardelle Alla Bolognese

2014-08-25 16.53.42

My Pappardelle Alla Bolognese will have you coming back for seconds. The beautiful thick flat pasta known as Pappardelle is perfect for this ragu, known as Bolognese, to complement these ribbons of pasta. Let me tell you how I make this delicious sauce.

I wanted to mention that whenever I make any type of tomato sauce I always have extra. This time is no different. What I decided to do is to post one or two recipes using my leftover Bolognese. At the bottom of this post is a link to one of those recipes. I hope you’ll check out my Portobello Mushroom Pizzas.

Sweet Italian Sausage

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Chicken Broth

Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo With Sweet Italian Sausage (2)

Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes

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Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese (2)

Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese (1)

2014-08-25 16.53.42

Prep Time: 30
Cook Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: 12-inch sauté pan, 6-quart Dutch oven, large slotted spoon, 1 large mixing bowl, 2 medium-size bowls, 10-cup food processor, mini food processor, large stockpot

Ingredients:
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 pound of lean ground sirloin
1 pound of ground pork
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons of dried oregano
2 tablespoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon of fennel seeds
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 large carrots, peeled cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1/2 a red onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
3 ribs of celery, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup of Cabernet (a good red wine)
1 cup of unsalted chicken broth
1 12-ounce jar of Piquillo peppers, puréed (substitute roasted red peppers)
1 14.5-ounce can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 28-ounce can of whole San Marzano tomatoes
1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
2 fresh bay leaves (substitute dry)
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
2 tablespoons of brown sugar (light or dark)
2 cups Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
1 cup of fresh basil leaves for garnish
2 16-ounce (2 pounds) packages of Pappardelle

Directions:
First the meat. Here I’m using three types of meat, sweet Italian sausage, ground pork, and lean ground sirloin.

In a large sauté pan heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. To the pan, add the sweet Italian sausage, ground pork, and ground sirloin. Next, add 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, 2 tablespoons of dried oregano, and 1 tablespoon of dried thyme, stir to combine. Frequently stirring, sauté the meat for 12 to 15 minutes until browned through. Turn the heat off.

Using a large slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a large platter lined with a paper towel allowing for any excess fat to drain. After the meat has drained, again using the slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a large mixing bowl.

Next step is to prepare the *sofrito (vegetable mixture) and purée the Piquillo peppers.
In a food processor add the chopped carrots, diced onions, garlic cloves, and chopped celery. Pulse the vegetables together until finely minced as seen in the picture above. Transfer the sofrito to a bowl. Next, add the Piquillo peppers to the food processor, pulse until the peppers are puréed again as seen in the picture above. Set the bowl aside.

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes. Stir and cook for 1 minute allowing the spices to *bloom (to release their essential oils).

Next, add the *sofrito, 2 tablespoons of dried oregano, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, and tomato paste stir to combine. Cook, stirring frequently allowing the vegetables to release their water and soften around 5 minutes.

At this point add the unsalted chicken broth and red wine. Stir and allow the liquids to reduce by half, 3 to 4 minutes. This completes the base to the Bolognese.

Next in the pot goes the cans of tomatoes. Add the whole tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and the diced fire-roasted tomatoes. Using the back of a wooden spoon break up the whole tomatoes. Add bay leaves (don’t forget to remove the bay leaves when the sauce is done), 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, 1 tablespoon of dried thyme, and the brown sugar. Stir to combine.

Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Next, add the browned meat to the sauce, stir to combine and let simmer on low heat for another 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat off. Tear fresh basil leaves dropping them into the sauce, stir to combine, and cover to keep hot.

In a large stockpot filled with 8 quarts of boiling salted water, drop both packages of the Pappardelle. Cook according to directions on the package, al dente 8 to 10 minutes, drain really well.

In the bottom of a large, family-style serving bowl add 1 cup of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Add the cooked pasta to the bowl and toss coating all the pasta. Ladle 2 to 3 large ladles full of the Bolognese and toss through. Garnish with fresh basil. Top with more grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Serve hot.

*Sofrito is generally a Caribbean sauce or Latin American sauce of tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic, and herbs. In this recipe, it’s the use of carrots, onion, celery, garlic, and Piquillo peppers.

*Bloom is a term used in cooking. Blooming spices or herbs in fat before the liquid goes into the pot can extract far more flavor than by simply simmering these ingredients in water.

 

Portobello Mushroom Pizzas

 

 

 

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