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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Gnocchi With A Porcini Mushroom And Sweet Italian Sausage Ragu

2015-08-20 18.19.57

Whenever I talk about a “ragù”  it’s usually a meat-based sauce served with some type of pasta. In this case, I thought that using the soft pillowy texture of a potato Gnocchi would be perfect. This is my Gnocchi With A Porcini Mushroom And Sweet Italian Sausage Ragu.

Let’s start with the ragù.

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Most likely than not, Porcini mushrooms come in dried form. First, the rehydration process of the mushrooms. I like to use unsalted beef broth for the extra flavor it gives the Porcini mushrooms

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Prep Time: 15 minutes (re-hydrating mushrooms)
Cooking Time: 40 minutes (includes the cooking time for browning sausage)
Total Cook Time: 55 minutes
Equipment: 3-quart saucepan, 10-inch non-stick sauté pan, 12-inch rondeau pan, 5-quart saucepot, Microplane for grating
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:
1 pound of sweet Italian sausage, bulk style
1 4.5-ounce package of dried Porcini mushrooms
2 cups of unsalted beef broth
1 cup of mushroom stock (the liquid from the re-hydrated Porcini mushrooms)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 large sweet onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of fennel seeds (optional)
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 package of store-bought potato gnocchi, substitute homemade
1-1/4 cups of crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup of heavy cream
flat leaf Italian parsley for garnish
1 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (reserve 1/2 cup to sprinkle over each serving)

Directions:
Start by re-hydrating the Porcini mushrooms over medium-low heat with unsalted beef broth, 15 to 20 minutes until plump. Using a slotted spoon, remove the mushrooms and transfer them to a cutting board reserving the mushroom liquid. Next, finely dice the mushrooms placing them into a small bowl.

In a rondeau pan over medium heat add the Italian sausage to the pan breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon. Cook and stir until sausage is completely brown, with no pink, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and drain the grease by using a strainer or a slotted spoon, transferring the sausage to a plate lined with a paper towel.

While the sausage is browning, dice up the onion and mince the garlic, set aside.

Using the same rondeau pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Stir and let that soften and the onions become translucent 2 to 3 minutes. Next, add the chopped Porcini mushrooms, minced garlic, and the fresh thyme leaves, stir to combine.

At this point, add the gnocchi into a pot of boiling salted water.

Pour in the mushroom stock and reduce until a couple of tablespoons of the liquid is left in the pan. Add back in the browned of sausage and crushed tomatoes stir through and let simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and add the heavy cream, stir through.

When it the Gnocchi begins floating they’re done. Using a colander-style spoon transfer the gnocchi into the pan with the ragù, stir gently to combine. Turn the heat to off then add in the grated cheese, again, stir to combine. Garnish with flat leaf Italian parsley.

Ladle the Gnocchi With A Porcini Mushroom And Sweet Italian Sausage Ragù into individual porcelain serving bowls. Top with more of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Serve hot.

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Homemade Salisbury Steak

Homemade Salisbury Steak

2014-03-17-13-55-02

Homemade Salisbury Steak has to be the one TV dinner you knew if you grew up in the ’70s. I believe the most popular brand was the Hungry Man TV dinner. They were a great time saver for parents and offered all the major food groups. My mom also had her own recipe for Salisbury steak and her’s was so good.

Today I’m making my version of this iconic meal. Homemade Salisbury Steak with mash potatoes and corn brings back so many memories. This one’s for you mom!

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 to 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 12-inch cast iron skillet, large mixing bowl

Ingredients:
1 pound lean ground sirloin
1 pound ground pork
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 stick unsalted butter plus 1 tablespoon
1 large onion, thinly sliced into half moons
1-pint button white button mushrooms, sliced
1 8-ounce container ricotta cheese
2 tablespoon fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 to 1 1/4 cups Italian-style breadcrumbs
2 extra large eggs, beaten
8 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of ketchup
2 tablespoons of fresh garlic, grated
3 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1 1/2 cups unsalted beef broth
1 teaspoon of Kitchen Boquet, seasoning sauce
1 15-ounce bag Publix Sweet Corn
*Slurry
1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon of unsalted beef broth

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl start with ricotta cheese, freshly chopped Italian parsley, Italian seasoned bread crumbs, beaten eggs, 3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, freshly grated garlic, 2 teaspoons of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, mix until the consistency is like wet sand. If needed, adjust by adding an extra 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs.

Next, add the ground pork and sirloin to the bowl, combine everything together, do not overmix. In the bowl, using your hands, divide the meat into four (4) equal quadrants. Take a quarter of the mixture and form an oval patty. Hold the patty in your hand, with your other hand, take your fingers and make indentations going across the patty on one side. Transfer the patty to a plate. Repeat this process three more times.

As the patties cook, the indentions will act as though they’ve been cooking on a grill and give you great looking grill marks. Repeat this with the other 3 patties. Transfer to a platter and set aside.

In a cast iron skillet med-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Place the patties indentation side down first. After patties have browned 3 to 4 minutes, turn the patties over and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned. Transfer the patties to a platter and pour off any excess grease.

In the same skillet, reduce the heat to medium. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil with 1/4 stick of butter. Add the sliced onions, stir and cook until golden brown. Next, add the sliced white button mushrooms. Stir and cook until the onions and mushrooms start to soften 5 to 7 minutes. Add the fresh thyme leaves stir to combine. As the onions and mushrooms get some nice color, and their liquid has evaporated, season with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/2 a teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper.

At this point, to the onions and mushrooms add ketchup, around 5 dashes of Worcestershire sauce, seasoning sauce (Kitchen Boquet), chopped rosemary, and 1 1/2 cups of unsalted beef broth, stir to combine. Next, in a small bowl make the *slurry by adding 1 heaping tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of unsalted beef broth. Whisk until a smooth paste. Add the *slurry to the sauce, stir to combine. When the sauce starts to thicken turn the heat down to low.

As the patties are simmering, spoon some of the gravy with mushrooms and onions over the top of each one. Let simmer on low heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until the patties are no longer pink in the middle.

Keeping with the tradition of the “TV Dinner”, I like to serve my Homemade Salisbury Steak with my Homestyle Mashed Potatoes (click the link below for my recipe) and sweet corn.

*Cornstarch Slurry: For each cup of liquid you want to thicken, start with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in a small bowl. Add an equal amount of cold liquid (broth or water) and stir until smooth paste forms. This is your slurry. Wisk the slurry into the hot, simmering liquid you want to thicken.

 

Homestyle Mashed Potatoes

 

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