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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Chicken Broth

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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 Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
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,, 1 15-ounce can drain and rinsed, 1 15-ounce can, 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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Meatballs And Noodles

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The same dish served two ways, thick or thin. I prefer mine to have a soupier broth, so I can dunk crusty bread into it and sop up all that goodness. Steve likes a thicker consistency. I’ll explain how you can thicken the broth so the consistency is similar to chicken and dumplings. This is my Meatballs And Noodles.

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep Time: 40 minutes (time includes making and cooking the meatballs)
Cook Time:
Total Time:
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, large mixing bowl, two 6-quart Dutch ovens with lids, parchment paper, cookie-dough scoop

Ingredients For Meatballs:
2 pounds of ground sirloin (yields approx. 50 walnut-size meatballs)
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
6 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1/4 cup of ketchup
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 1/2 cups of bread crumbs, Italian-style
1/4 cup of heavy cream
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Ingredients For the Soup:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter, unsalted
1 onion, diced
2 cups of carrots, diced
1 pint of cremini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
1 cup of celery, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup of Kitchen Bouquet
4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 quarts of beef broth, unsalted
1 10.5-ounce can of beef consommé
3 1/4 cups of water (reserve 1/4 cup for *slurry)
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
1 12-ounce package of frozen egg noodles
2 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch

Directions For The Meatballs:
Preheat oven
to 375-degrees F.
Start by lining two rimmed baking sheet pans with parchment paper, sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl add all of the ingredients with the exceptions of the meat, mix to combine. Next, add the ground meat. Gently mix until all the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the meat. Using a cookie-dough scoop, scoop out the meatball mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet pan. Leave about 1-inch between meatballs. Once all the meatballs are made, liberally spray the tops with the non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

While the meatballs are in the oven, dice the carrots, celery, and onion. Clean and quarter the mushrooms, and mince the garlic. Transfer all the vegetables to a large plate and set aside.

Directions For The Soup:
In a large Dutch oven over medium heat together the butter and olive oil. Add diced onions, celery, carrots, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Stirring occasionally, cook until vegetables start to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Next, add the mushrooms and thyme, continue stirring, allowing the mushrooms to release their liquid and begin to brown, another 5 to 7 minutes.

Turn the heat to medium-high, add the beef broth, beef consommé, Kitchen Bouquet, water, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring up to a bubble, reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat.

Transfer the cooked meatballs from the oven adding them slowly into the pot where they’ll continue cooking for another 5 minutes allowing them to absorb that scrumptious broth.

Adjust the heat to medium, bring back up to a boil before adding the frozen egg noodles. Following the instructions on the package, cook for another 18 to 20 minutes.

At this point, the Meatballs And Noodles are ready.

Remember how I was saying that Steve likes his to have a thicker broth.  To do this I divide the Meatballs And Noodles into two pots. One, of the two pots, cover and set aside. Place the other pot over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, add a *slurry of cornstarch and water, stir to combine. Continue to cook allowing the sauce to thicken, another 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the heat off and cover.

You can see, from the pictures above, the difference in the consistency of the two dishes. One is more like a hearty soup, the other has the consistency like chicken and dumplings. Whether you like yours to be brothy or thick both are super delicious.

*Slurry: A thickening mixture that is made up of equal parts cornstarch/flour and water, that is prepared for use in making soups, stews, and sauces. Once the slurry is added the mixture should be thoroughly cooked for several minutes to eliminate the raw taste of the flour.

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Monday Night Football Burgers On Pretzel Buns With Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges


Monday Night Football Burgers On Prezel Buns With Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Next, to having pizza or wings, burgers are really another great choice to have when you’re watching the Monday night game.

I came across these amazing pretzel buns, at the grocery store. They’ll make the perfect vessels for my burgers. These are my Monday Night Football Burgers On Pretzel Rolls With Roasted Sweet Potatoes.

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Today I’m using ground beef for my burgers. You could substitute, ground pork, chicken, or turkey for this recipe, any choice you make will be delicious.

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Monday Night Football Burgers On Prezel Buns With Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 12-inch cast-iron skillet, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, large mixing bowl

2 pounds ground beef (80% lean to 20% fat ratio)
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
8 to 10 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup of barbecue sauce (favorite brand)
2 tablespoons of grilled steak seasoning blend
2 tablespoons of dried parsley
10 tablespoons of unsalted butter (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons)
1  cup of Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 large heirloom tomato, sliced thick
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 cups of mixed greens

Ingredients For Roasted Sweet Potatoes:
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into thick wedges
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.

Start by adding to a large mixing bowl, ground beef, garlic powder, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, barbecue sauce, grilled steak seasoning blend, and dried parsley.

Using a fork, mix all the ingredients together without over mixing. You just want everything to be combined evenly through the meat. Gently pat the mixture down into the bowl, using your hands to score the meat into 4 sections. This helps to ensure the burgers are relatively the same size. Take one of the sections, making a nice patty with your hands. Using your thumb push down in the center forming a dimple. This will ensure they will cook evenly.

In a preheated cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, melt and swirl 2 tablespoons of butter all over the bottom of the pan. The objective is to form a nice crust on the outside of both sides of the burgers.

Set all 4 patties into the cast-iron skillet. After about 6 minutes, (these burgers are pretty thick) flip them and add 2 more tablespoons of butter in the center of the pan to help form the crust on the other side of the burger patties. Remember you only flip the burgers one time. Cook the burgers on the other side for another 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the cooked burgers to a sheet pan and cover with foil to stay warm.

Start by covering a sheet pan with foil. Before using the same skillet, take a paper towel and wipe out some of the burnt bits on the bottom of the pan. On medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter swirl the butter all over the skillet. Once the butter has melted add the pretzel buns to the skillet. Allow them to absorb the butter and toast for 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the toasted buns to the covered sheet pan. Repeat the process for the remaining two buns.

While the burgers are cooking, rub 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil all over the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet. In a small mixing bowl, add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper.

Spread the sweet potatoes wedges onto the baking sheet pan sprinkling them with the seasoning blend, toss to evenly coat all the wedges.  Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, turning them halfway (15 minutes)through the cooking process until caramelized on the outside and fork-tender. Remove the pan of potatoes from the oven, transfer the potatoes to a large serving bowl. While hot, sprinkle the sweet potatoes with Kosher salt.

Set the oven to the broil position:
Evenly divide the shredded Monterey cheese between the four burgers. Place under the broiler to melt the cheese. Keep a close eye on them, 1 to 2 minutes.

I sliced up some of my favorite toppings, mixed greens, sliced heirloom tomatoes, and thinly sliced red onions. It’s time to build the burgers. Nice toasty buns, delicious perfectly cooked burgers, then the toppings. Finally the roasted sweet potatoes. These are my Monday Night Football Burgers On Pretzel Buns With Roasted Sweet Potatoes.

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