Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

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.

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Roasted Red Peppers

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Chicken Broth

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Prep Time: 30
Cook Time: 3 hours 17 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 47 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: 1 (12-inch) deep-sided frying pan, 1 (6-quart) Dutch oven, 1 (6-quart) saucepot, large slotted spoon, colander, 1 large mixing bowl, 2 medium-size bowls, 1 (10-cup) food processor, mini food processor, 1 (6-quart) stockpot, Microplane

Ingredients:
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 pound of (90% lean) ground sirloin
1 pound of ground pork
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons Kosher salt
3 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of fresh rosemary, finely minced
4 tablespoons of dried oregano
2 tablespoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon of fennel seeds
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 large leafy-top carrots, peeled cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2onions, 1 roughly chopped, 1/2 finely diced
4 cloves of garlic, 3 roughly chopped, 1 finely minced
3 ribs of celery, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup of Cabernet (a good red wine)
1 cup of chicken broth, reduced sodium
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)
1 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated (ground), extra cheese for the top
1 cup of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped, extra sprigs for garnish
2 (16-ounce) packages of Pappardelle

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

In a 12-inch deep-sided frying pan, over medium-high heat, add of olive oil and whole fennel seeds cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. To the pan add the ground pork, ground sirloin, and sweet Italian sausage. Using a wooden spoon break up all the meat. Add the minced garlic, dried oregano, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and finely minced fresh rosemary.

Cook until the meat is completely browned, around 10 minutes Using a slotted spoon to strain off any excess grease, transfer the browned meat from the pan to a large mixing bowl, set aside.

The next step is to prepare the *sofrito (vegetable mixture). In a food processor add the quartered onions, chopped garlic cloves, pulse until puréed. To the puréed onions and garlic, add the chopped celery, repeat the process. Transfer the onion, garlic and celery mixture to a bowl. Repeat the process with the chopped carrots, transfer to the same bowl. Refer to the picture containing the *sofrito above. Last, add the Piquillo peppers to the food processor, pulse until the peppers are puréed, transfer to a separate bowl. Set both bowls aside.

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

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 chicken broth and red wine. Stir and allow the liquids to reduce by half, 3 to 4 minutes. This completes the base for 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, simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Next, add the browned meat mixutre to the sauce, stir to combine. Simmer over low heat for another 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat off. Tear fresh basil leaves dropping them into the sauce, stir to combine, cover to keep hot.

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

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

I like to serve Pappardelle Alla Bolognese family-style.

*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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Zuppa Toscana Soup With Homemade Parmesan Croutons

2014-05-12-16-26-42

Have you ever went out to eat and had a dish that just stuck with you? I mean, one you couldn’t forget no matter how hard you tried. This is that dish for me. It’s a soup with spicy Italian sausage, potatoes, and creamy broth. Can I just tell you, I loved it and had to recreate it. I did change a couple of things to make it my own, and now Steve and I have it all the time. This is my Zuppa Toscana Soup With Homemade Parmesan Croutons.

I’m going to start by grabbing a few fresh herbs from my Hanging Herb Garden.

Oregano

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 1 (6-quart) Dutch oven, 1 (3-quart) saucepot, potato peeler, 2 medium-size bowls, 1 large bowl, 1 mesh sieve

Ingredients:
2 pounds of sweet Italian sausage, if link style, casings removed
1 tablespoon of olive oil
3 large red potatoes, parboiled, peeled and diced (approx. 2-inch dice)
2 tablespoons of fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups of frozen corn, thawed (yellow or shoepeg variety)
1 (15-ounce) package of frozen cut leaf spinach, thawed, excess water removed
1 large white onion, diced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 clove of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
6 cups of chicken broth, unsalted
1 cup of heavy cream

Directions:
Start by adding the potatoes into a pot, cover with cold water, and bring up to a boil.  Add 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt. Boil the potatoes for 10 minutes then drain. After the potatoes have cooled down enough to handle, peel and dice the potatoes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

While the potatoes are parboiling, drain and squeeze the excess water from the spinach and place into a bowl. Next, dice the onion, seed and dice the bell pepper, and mince the garlic. Transfer to a plate and set aside. In another bowl add the thawed corn.

Next, over medium-high heat add a tablespoon of olive oil along with the sweet Italian sausage into a heavy bottom pot. Using the back of a wooden spoon break up the sausage. Continue cooking until the sausage is no longer any pink, about 10 minutes.

Adjust the heat to medium, add the diced onion, bell pepper, minced garlic, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, stir to combine. Remove the oregano leaves, from their stems, roughly chop up the leaves, set aside.

After the veggies have softened, about 5 minutes, add the fresh oregano, stir to combine.

Add the chicken broth and thawed corn kernels. Bring the soup up to a boil then reduce the heat to medium, simmer for 30 minutes. At this point, I like to use a large spoon to skim off any ecess fat that may have accumulated on top.

After 30 minutes add the diced potatoes, heavy cream, and spinach. Cook for an additional 10 minutes. Turn the heat off, soup’s ready.

I like to ladle a good helping of my Zuppa Toscana into a porcelain soup bowl and top with my Homemade Ciabatta Croutons.

Homemade Ciabatta Croutons

Updated-Zuppa Toscana Soup With Homemade Parmesan Croutons

My Hanging Organic Herb Garden And Summertime Flowers

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Coq Au Vin

2014-03-26-18-00-18

To be honest, I haven’t had the opportunity to be able to travel to France, but I can dream right?. If I ever had the opportunity it would be during my favorite season, Autumn. I thought how can I get to experience a taste of Paris during the fall season, then it came to me, Coq Au Vin, chicken cooked in red wine. It’s a comforting dish that’s perfect when you want the best of French comfort food.

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Cremini Mushrooms

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Whenever you’re cooking something for a long time all the flavors tend to get slightly dull. People way smarter than I figured out how to bring braised dishes back to life, make them pop! They top braised dishes right before serving with what’s called a *Gremolata.

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 1 (6-quart) Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid, large mixing bowl

Ingredients:
4 chickens breasts, bone-in, skin-on, cut in half
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

6 to 8 bacon slices, cut into lardons
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 medium-size onion, small dice
3 leafy-top carrots, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of garlic, minced
1 pint of Cremini mushrooms, quartered
8 baby Yukon gold potatoes, halved
1 cup chicken broth, low-sodium or unsalted
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1 cup of Cabernet Sauvignon

Ingredients For Gremolata:
1 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 lemon, zested
pinch of Kosher salt
pinch of fresh ground black pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Preheat a Dutch oven over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes until hot. Add the *lardons. When the fat begins to melt reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. As more fat gathers in the pot reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Using a pair of tongs, flip the *lardons and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove any crisp lardons onto a plate lined with a paper towel and move any lardon that needs additional time to the center of the pot to continue cooking until the remaining lardons are all crisp.

Meanwhile, lay the chicken out on paper towels and pat dry. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl add the all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt, and 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper, whisk to combine. When the bacon is all removed from the pot, turn up the heat to medium. Dredge the chicken pieces into the seasoned flour, shake off any excess, carefully arrange the pieces, skin side down in the pot, do not overcrowd. Cook the chicken pieces in batches for around 5 minutes, turning to brown both sides evenly. Transfer the first batch to a plate, continue to brown the remaining pieces. Set aside.

To the pot add olive oil, onions, carrots, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic, cook for 1 minute more. Put the bacon (lardons) and chicken back into the pot. Add the wine, chicken broth, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, mushrooms, and potatoes, and bring to a bubble. Cover and place into the oven for 35 to 45 minutes, until the internal temperature of the chicken reads 165-degrees F. and the potatoes are fork-tender.

Whenever you’re making a stew or braising some type of meat where it needs to cook for a long time, all the flavors tend to get slightly dull. People much smarter than me figured out how to bring braised dishes back to life, make them pop! They top braised dishes, right before serving, with a *Gremolata.

Directions For The *Gremolata:
Start with lemon zest, garlic, flat-leaf Italian parsley, Kosher salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Place all the ingredients on a cutting board and chop them up together as finely as possible. Place into a bowl. Spoon on top of the finished dish. This way you can stir it in right before you eat. *Gremolata brings all the flavors back to life from any long cooking process.

To Serve:
Ladle the Coq Au Vin into a porcelain serving bowl with a dollop of that amazing Gremolata on top. Alongside, a good loaf of crusty French bread for dipping. You must give this dish a try, it’s so delicious.

*Lardons, also called lardoon or larding, are small 1/4″ strips of fatty bacon used in a wide variety of cuisines.

*Gremolata or Gremonlada is a chopped herb condiment classically made of lemon zest, garlic, and parsley. It’s a traditional accompaniment to many braised dishes., Gremolata is also used as a garnish.

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