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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 With Roasted Vegetables Over Creamy Polenta

2017-11-30 15.09.32

This recipe is one that brings comfort food and bold flavors together, and that’s all you really want to achieve, in a great dish. I’ts really easy to make. Let me tell you how I pull this together.

2017-11-30 15.09.32

Yields: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time `1 hour 40 minutes
Equipment: 2 sheet pans, 1 large saucepan, indoor grill pan

Ingredients:
2 pounds of sweet Italian sausage, grilled and sliced
1-1/2 cups of unsalted chicken broth or stock
2 cups 1 inch diced zucchini
1 red bell pepper, seeded and 1 inch dice
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and 1 inch dice
1 orange bell pepper, seeded and 1 inch dice
1 red onion diced
5 cloves of minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground cracked black pepper
1/4 cup of finely Julienned fresh basil leaves
Creamy Polenta (recipe below)

Directions For Sweet Itaian Sausage:
In a large sauce pan with a tight fitting lid, add 1-1/2 cups of unsalted chicken broth. Using a fork prick all the sausage link on both sides ( 3 sets on each side) to allow for faster cooking.  Turn the heat to med- high, place the links into the saucepan, and place the lid on tight. Let the chicken broth come up to a hard boil.  The sausage links steam for about 10 minutes, turning them, once, halfway through the process.

Transfer the sausage links onto a plate lined with paper towel to absorb any liquid from the steaming process.  Next, place the links onto an indoor grill pan that’s been preheated. On med-high heat, grill the sausages for 3-5 minutes per side. You may need to do this in 2 batches. Once the links all have nice grill marks, transfer to a cutting board and slice links, on the bias.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Place the vegetables, minced garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper into a large bowl. Toss to combine. Pour the vegetables onto two sheet pans, spread out evenly into one layer ( this way they will roast and not steam!). Roast for 30-40 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and begin to brown.

Lower the heat to 350 degrees F., Add the slices of grilled Italian sausage to the pans with the roasted veggies and bake for another 10 minutes. Transfer the all veggies and sausage to a large bowl, add the basil and toss. Serve over hot creamy Polenta.

Creamy Parmesan Polenta: serves 6-8
3 cups of unsalted chicken broth
3 cups half and half
1 tablespoon of grated garlic
1-1/2 cups stone-ground corn meal
1 tablespoonKosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground cracked black pepper to taste
1/4 cup room temperature Mascarpone cheese
1-1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons of room temperature unsalted butter, diced

D;irections:
Combine the chicken stock, half and half, and garlic in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and very slowly add the cornmeal, whisking continuously to make sure there are no lumps.

Sitch to a wooden spoon, add 1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons pepper, and simmer over very low heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring constantly, until thick. (cooking time may vary slightly .) Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan thoroughly while stirring. Off the heat add the Mascarpone, grated Parmesan cheese and butter. Taste for seasoning.

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Stuffing Muffins

 

2016-11-24-07-26-51

Stuffing muffins are a great way to serve this traditional side dish. My guests are always amazed when they see these on the table. Just as easy to make as baking the stuffing in a casserole dish

Equipment: 12 cup muffin tin
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Yields: 12 muffins
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:
1 pound,  skins removed and browned, sweet Italian sausage  (drain excess grease completely)
2 tablespoon of olive oil
1 stick of unsalted butter
4 ribs of celery washed and trimmed into sticks, then diced
1 sweet onion, chopped
1/2 cup of golden raisins
2 tablespoon poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh sage leaves
1/4 cup of freshly chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
8 cups of Pepperidge Farm cubed bread
1 quart box of unsalted chicken stock

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Convection- 350 degrees F.
Preheat 2 large saute pans over medium high heat. To the first pan add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, along with with the skinless sausage links. Using a wooden spoon break the sausage apart and cook until golden brown, about 10- 15 minutes. Drain the excess grease from the sausage completely and set into a large bowl.

In the second saute pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 4 tablespoons of butter. While the butter is melting add in the chopped fresh sage leaves. Add in the onions and celery as you chop them. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. Now add in the golden raisins. Saute for 5-6 minutes to begin to soften the vegetables. Lastly, add in the chopped parsley and turn the heat off.

Add the veggies and bread cubes to the bowl with the cooked sausage. Mix all the ingredients until combined.  Using a ladle, moisten the stuffing with the with the chicken stock until bread is soft not wet. This may use almost all the box of stock.

Using the reserved butter,  liberally butter the muffin cups. Use an ice cream scoop to fill and mound up the stuffing into the muffin tins. Bake until set and crisp on top, 12-15 minutes. Keep a close eye on them as they cook, times could vary slightly.  Carefully remove the stuffing muffins to a platter and serve hot or at room temperature.

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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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Rigatoni al Forno With ShitakeMushrooms, Radicchio, And Sweet Italian Sausage

2015-12-31 14.04.30

Maybe my grandmother wouldn’t have approved of me adding sausage to this traditional Italian dish. I could just hear her now saying, ” Linda, you’re supposed to use the pasta shells with the ridges, not Rigatoni, that’s why it’s called Conchiglie al Forno With Shitake Mushrooms and Radicchio”. I just like to put my own spin on a traditional dish, so you’ll see, that’s what I’m doing here. You can most certainly leave the sausage out of this recipe too.

Yields: 8 servings
Oven Temp: 500 degrees F.
Prep Time: 30-35 minutes ( this includes cooking all the components and the actual prep)
Bake Time:  roughly, 8-12 minutes
Equipment: large baking dish
Ingredients:
1-1/2 pounds of sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
2 pints of Shitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
1 stick of unsalted butter, 8 tablespoons, (plus 2 tablespoons to dot the top of the dish and some to grease the baking dish)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/4 cup diced yellow onion
2 tablespoons of minced garlic
2 heads, (2 cups) of finely sliced radicchio
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2-1/2 cups of heavy cream
1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
3/4 cup of shredded Fontina
1/4 cup of good quality crumbled Gorgonzola
4 teaspoons of Ricotta
8 sage leaves chopped finely (see note)
1-1/2 boxes of Rigatoni
Flat leaf Italian parsley for garnish

Directions:
To start, I want to dice and mince the onion and garlic and just set them aside. Next, I’m removing the casing from the sausages. In a large saute pan, on med heat,  I add olive oil, diced onion, and crushed red pepper flakes. Sauteing those for a couple of minutes, then adding in the sausage. Breaking the sausage up with the back of a wooden spoon, I let the sausage saute until fully cooked. This takes about 10-15 minutes. Then I remove the cooked sausage, using a slotted spoon to drain off any extra grease, and place the cooked sausage into a large bowl. I remove any grease, left in the pan, and add a couple of tablespoons of unsalted butter.

Next step is to saute the mushrooms. I have a pint each of Shitake and Cremini mushrooms (I could only get one pint of the Shitake mushrooms so I had to improvise). The Shitake mushrooms need to have the stems removed, and the Cremini need to be cleaned off with a damp paper towel, to remove any extra grit from them. I’m doing all this while the sausage is sauteing in the pan. This allows me to get right into the next step of sauteing the mushrooms.

I’ve already sliced the mushrooms before adding them, in the pan, to the melted butter. I stir them around, still on med heat, until they start to brown. At that point is when I add in the minced garlic. Once all the mushrooms have caramelized, are dark brown in color, and fully cooked, about 4-5 minutes I’m going to add them to the bowl with the cooked sausage. While the mushrooms are sauteing, I’m slicing the Radicchio and  grating the cheeses for the next component of this dish. To the sausage and mushrooms, I add in some fresh chopped sage leaves. Note: If you are not a fan of sage, don’t use dried, use fresh thyme leaves.

At this point, preheat oven to 500 degrees F.  I have another large bowl that I have two heads that I’ve sliced of radicchio. I also have a large pot of water on the stove boiling and ready. In the mean time,  I’m adding the ricotta, grated Fontina, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and crumbled Gorgonzola, and heavy cream to the bowl with the Radicchio. Before I mix all these ingredients together, I sprinkle in some Kosher salt and black pepper. Not too much salt because the some of the cheese can be salty already.

Moving forward, I add the bowl with the cooked sausage, mushrooms, and sage to the larger bowl that has the radicchio, heavy cream, and cheeses in it. I mix all the ingredients until everything is well combined.

Now, I’m ready to dump the pasta into the water. The reason I waited, is because, the pasta is only going to cook for 4 minutes in the water. I then can drain it off and add the Rigatoni to the bowl with all the other ingredients. Mixing carefully, not to break up the pasta, combining all this together.

I have a large casserole baking dish that I use for this recipe, and I’ve butter it well. Place the Rigatoni mixture into the baking dish making it as level as possible. Dot the top with butter and place into the oven for about 8-12 minutes. You want to keep an eye on this dish so, it gets bubbly, the top browns nicely, it doesn’t burn. Once out of the oven, garnish with fresh chopped flat leaf Italian parsley.

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