Advertisements

Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Sweet Italian Sausage And Roasted Vegetables Over Creamy Polenta

2017-11-30 15.09.32

My recipe for Sweet Italian Sausage And Roasted Vegetables Over Creamy Polenta is one that brings bold flavors and comfort food together. Isn’t that really what you want to achieve in any dish? There are three components to this dish. Let me explain/show you how I pull this all together.

2017-11-30 15.09.32

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
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 Italian Sausage:
In a large saucepan 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 medium-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 a 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 to 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.

Adjust oven temperature 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.

Ingredients For Creamy Parmesan Polenta:
3 cups of unsalted chicken broth
3 cups half and half
1 tablespoon of grated garlic
1 1/2 cups stone-ground cornmeal
1 tablespoon kosher 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

Directions For Creamy Polenta:
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.

Switch to a wooden spoon, add 1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons pepper, and simmer over very low heat for 5 to 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.

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

Roasted Acorn Squash Filled With Italian Sausage And Pears

 

2015-10-19 15.07.03 (2)

My favorite part of any stuffing is the crunchy and caramelized topping that occurs in the last minutes of cooking. How the croutons become golden brown, the pears release their sugars and glisten from that slight char along with the crunchy exterior of the sweet Italian sausage. Yet inside, the stuffing is soft and flavorful. What I’m describing is my Roasted Acorn Squash Filled With Italian Sausage And Pears.

Let me start by showing you how roasting winter squashes brings out their flavor. Then I’m going to go a step further and fill them with savory sausage and sweet pears.

Homemade Ciabatta Croutons (3)

Homemade Ciabatta Croutons (2)

2015-10-08 17.55.17

2015-09-28 04.31.32

Sage.JPG

2015-10-19 11.57.35

2015-10-19 11.23.38

2015-10-19 11.22.05

2015-10-19 11.22.03

2015-10-19 11.26.04

One final step. They get a drizzle of olive oil over the top of each one and go back into the 400-degree oven for 3 to 5 minutes. Just long enough to get the tops golden brown and caramelized.

I know it’s a few steps to pull this dish together. Really all the steps are easy. It’s just a matter of having all the prep done and roasting the acorn squash first. I’ll explain in more detail in the directions at the end.

2015-10-19 15.07.03 (2)

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 12-inch non-stick sauté pan, 4 rimmed baking sheet pans, Chef’s knife, small mixing bowl, whisk, pastry brush

Ingredients:
4 acorn squash that has been seeded and tops and bottoms cut
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon of chili powder
1/4 cup of dark brown sugar

Ingredients:
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, bulk or casings removed
1 sprig plus 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh sage leaves
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 diced Bosc pears
1 diced zucchini
6 cremini mushrooms, diced
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves minced garlic
2 ribs of diced celery
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 tablespoon of chili powder
3 heaping cups of homemade croutons, (Ciabatta bread), 1 /1/2 inch bread cubes
1/2 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
greens for garnish

Directions For The Homemade Croutons:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Start by evenly dividing the bread cubes out onto two rimmed baking sheet pans. Add olive oil, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, toss to evenly coat the bread cubes. Spread the bread cubes evenly into a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes turning them once halfway through the cooking process to make sure they brown evenly. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Start by cutting the tops off the 4 squash. Next, clean the seeds out of the inside. Then cut a thin slice off the bottom of each one so they will sit upright on the baking sheets. Place 2 on each sheet tray. On the inside of each acorn squash add olive oil, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until fork-tender. In a small mixing bowl with melted butter add chili powder and brown sugar, whisk to combine. Brush the inside of each squash with the flavored butter mixture and return to oven for another 5 to 7 minutes. Be sure to keep a close eye on the squash for the last few minutes of cooking. You don’t want them to burn. Remove the squash from the oven and set aside.

In a large non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat (no oil needed) add the skinless sweet Italian sausage. Using a wooden spoon, start breaking up the sausage. Cook the sausage for 15 minutes until brown, crumbly, and there is no pink. Transfer the cooked sausage to a plate lined with a paper towel allowing the fat to drain, set aside.

Tip: Take a paper towel and wipe out the sauté pan. No reason to dirty another pan

Using the same sauté pan over medium heat, melt butter, olive oil, and chopped sage leaves. Once the sage becomes fragrant add the diced cremini mushrooms, zucchini, celery, onions, Bosc pears, minced garlic, chili powder, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Once the veggies start to soften, then add in the diced pears. Stir and continue to cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the cooked sausage back to the pan, stir to combine. Cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Tip: It’s important that all the veggies are relatively cut the same size ensuring they’ll cook at the same time.

At this point, add the sausage and vegetable mixture to the bowl with the croutons. Add the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, gently toss to combine.

Fill each of the squash with the filling. Any extra filling place into an oven-safe baking dish. Drizzle olive oil over the top of each one and place back into the 400-degree F. oven for 3 to 5 minutes or until the tops become golden brown and caramelized.

Place leavy greens on the plate. Arrange the Roasted Acorn Squash Filled With Italian Sausage And Pears on top, garnish with a sprig of fresh sage. Serve hot.

 

Homemade Ciabatta Croutons

 

Leave a comment »

Gluten-Free Zucchini And Cremini Mushroom Gratin

2015-09-30-19-35-15.jpg

2015-09-30-19-13-311

2015-09-30-19-35-54.jpg

Gluten-Free Zucchini And Cremini Mushroom Gratin are the easiest and the most elegant looking appetizers to serve to your guests. Everyone gets their own individual dish. That always seems to make friends and family feel extra special.

Whenever I make a tomato sauce, I always seem to have plenty left over. There’s just two of us so I’m always trying to think up different ways to use any leftover sauce. That’s how this dish came to be. This recipe can be made easy enough if you don’t have leftover sauce, use your favorite jarred marinara sauce.

2015-09-30-18-09-431.jpg

2015-09-30 17.55.54

2015-09-30-17-57-041

2015-09-30-18-14-091

2015-09-30 17.38.22

2015-09-30 17.41.52

2015-09-30 17.44.31

2015-09-30 17.45.23

2015-09-30-17-46-291

2015-09-30 18.22.46

In a bowl is my leftover tomato sauce. If you don’t have any leftover homemade tomato sauce, substitute your favorite jarred sauce.

2015-09-30 18.22.29

2015-09-30 18.22.46

2015-09-30 18.23.26

2015-09-30 18.25.00

2015-09-30 18.25.41

2015-09-30-17-46-291

2015-09-30 18.26.55

2015-09-30 18.26.57

2015-09-30-17-41-521

2015-09-30 18.28.04

2015-09-30 18.28.07

2015-09-30 18.30.30

2015-09-30 19.13.27

2015-09-30 19.13.31

2015-09-30 19.35.15

2015-09-30 19.35.54

Prep Time: 25 minutes, (the slicing and sautèeing of the vegetables)
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Equipment: 3 gratin dishes, 1 rimmed sheet pan, 12-inch sauté pan
Yields: 3 servings

Ingredients:
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil for sautèeing mushrooms
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
2 zucchini, sliced
1 yellow squash, sliced
3/4 cup homemade marinara sauce (substitute your favorite jarred marinara sauce)
2 tablespoons of thyme leaves (or 1 tablespoon dried thyme)
1 tablespoon Kosher salt (for seasoning zucchini and squash)
1 teaspoon black pepper (for seasoning zucchini and squash
1/4 cup Ricotta cheese
1/4 cup half and half
1 large egg
3/4 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese  plus 3 tablespoons for the top of each gratin
1/4 cup of freshly chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley (reserve 2 tablespoons for garnish)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
In a large sautépan over medium-high heat, carefully melt the unsalted butter with the olive oil. Add the sliced mushrooms and fresh thyme leaves.

Sautè the mushrooms, about 5 to 7 minutes, or until they’re brown and tender. Only then season with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel.

Note: Wait to salt the mushrooms until they browned completely. This process allows them to brown and not steam from the water they release.

Slice 2 zucchinis and 1 yellow squash about 1/2 an inch thick. Place them into a bowl and sprinkle with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Using the same sautèpan, on medium heat, add the olive oil. Give the oil a chance to get hot but not where it’s smoking.

Arrange the sliced zucchini and squash in one layer in the pan, do not to overcrowd the veggies. This needs to be done in two separate batches. They will shallow fry for about 2 minutes per side. Do this just long enough for the veggies to soften and get some nice color on them before they go into the gratin dishes.

Again, have another large plate lined with a paper towel ready for the sautéed veggies once they’re finished cooking to drain off any extra grease.

While that’s working, go ahead and process the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in a food processor.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl add the ricotta, egg, half and half, chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley,  3/4 cup of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and a pinch each of Kosher salt and black pepper, mix to combine.  If you are using leftover marinara or are using jarred, have it ready.

In each of 3 gratin dishes, place a layer of the zucchini and squash. Next, and a thin layer of the marinara sauce. To that, add the sautèed mushrooms. Sprinkle a little of the reserved grated cheese on top of the mushrooms. Next spoon on a third of the ricotta cheese mixture.

Finally, top each gratin with a tablespoon of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Place the dishes on a rimmed sheet pan. Bake for 30 minutes. When the Zucchini And Cremini Mushroom Gratins come out of the oven, garnish with the parsley.

Serve hot.

Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: