Advertisements

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.

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

Zucchini And Cremini Mushroom Gratin. Gluten Free

2015-09-30 19.35.15 2015-09-30 19.35.54

Gratins are the easiest yet 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. All you would have to do is to buy your favorite jarred marinara sauce.

2015-09-30 18.09.43

In a large sautè pan on medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Slice 1/2 a pint of Cremini mushrooms and throw them right into the pan set on med-high heat. I like to add 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves, but dried thyme is fine. Use 1 teaspoon of the dried. I also add black pepper and Kosher salt to taste.  I don’t salt the mushrooms until they reached the brown stage. The salt will cause them to release their water and they won’t brown properly. Once you see they are nice and caramelized, just sprinkle salt to taste. The sauteing of the mushrooms will only take about 10 minutes. Once the mushrooms have been sauteed, remove them from the pan and place them into a bowl until we need them again.

2015-09-30 17.49.452015-09-30 17.55.542015-09-30 17.57.042015-09-30 18.14.09

I have 2 zucchinis and 1 yellow squash that I’ve sliced about 1/2 an inch thick. I have them in a bowl where I’ve added Kosher salt and pepper. Using the same pan, on med heat, I add in 1/4 cup of olive oil that I let get really hot. I carefully place the sliced zucchini and squash in not to overcrowd. This needs to be done in two separate batches. They will shallow fry for about 2 minutes per side. I do this just long enough for the veggies to soften and get some nice color on them before they go into the gratin dishes.I have a large plate lined with a paper towel so once the veggies are done sauteing, they go right onto the plate to remove any extra oil that may be on them.

2015-09-30 17.38.22 2015-09-30 17.41.522015-09-30 17.44.31 2015-09-30 17.45.232015-09-30 18.22.462015-09-30 17.46.29

I already have my leftover tomato sauce set in a bowl and ready. In a separate bowl, I make the cheese filling for the gratin. I have some Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese that I’ve ground up in my mini food processor. I add half of the cheese I ground up, into the bowl with some Ricotta, egg, some freshly chopped flat leaf Italian parsley,  and a sprinkling of Kosher salt, black pepper. Finally some half and half. I use the half and half just to thin the mixture out a bit. So now the cheesy gratin part is done. It’s time to assemble.

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 18.26.55

2015-09-30 18.26.57  2015-09-30 18.28.04

2015-09-30 18.28.07  2015-09-30 18.30.30

I figured with the number of mushrooms and zucchini slices, I had enough veggies to make 3 individual gratins. You don’t want to overfill the dishes. I started with the zucchini and squash slices first. One even layer at the bottom of the dishes. Next, a thin layer of homemade marinara sauce. I like using homemade marinara because it already has the onions, garlic, and basil. On top of that, the sliced cremini mushrooms. I sprinkle just a little of the grated cheese, that I reserved, on top of the mushroom. Then I spoon on the cheese mixture. Lastly, the rest of the reserved Parmigiano-Reggiano, I sprinkle evenly on top of each one.

I place the 3 gratins on two baking sheets to prevent any spillover. Preheat oven to 400- degrees F. Bake for 30 minutes. When finished, garnish with some chopped flat leaf Italian parsley.

2015-09-30 19.13.27 2015-09-30 19.13.312015-09-30 19.35.152015-09-30 19.35.54

Yields: 3 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes, allowing for the sautèing of the vegetables
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Equipment: 3 gratin dishes, 1 rimmed sheet pan

Ingredients
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil for sautèing mushrooms
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
2 zucchini, sliced
1 yellow squash, sliced
3/4 cup homemade marinara sauce ( bottled is fine)
2 tablespoons of thyme leaves (or1 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 plus 3 tablespoons of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup of freshly chopped flat leaf Italian parsley ( reserve 2 tablespoons for garnish

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, carefully add the unsalted butter and olive oil. Add the sliced mushrooms and fresh thyme leaves. Sautè the mushrooms, about 5-7 minutes, or until they’ve browned nicely. One the mushrooms have browned season with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste and stir. Note: Wait to salt the mushrooms until they’ve browned completely. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel.

Next, in the same large sautè pan still on medium-high heat, add olive oil, zucchini, and yellow squash slices. Sautè about 7-10 minutes or until they get a nice color on them. You made need to do this in two batches. Transfer the sliced veggies to a plate lined with paper towel to drain.

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, 1/4 cup of 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 bottled 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 the sautèed mushrooms. I sprinkle a little of the reserved grated cheese on top of the mushrooms. Then, 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 they come out of the oven, garnish with the parsley. Serve while hot.

Leave a comment »

Zucchini, The Black Beauty Variety

2015-07-09 07.01.17

My very first zucchini plant. I’m really excited about this. She already has flowers starting to bloom. You know what that means? Stuffed Zucchini Flowers!!!! Maybe I’m getting a little ahead of myself here, I’ll keep posting pictures on how she matures. If everything goes as planned, this is what I have to look forward to!

2015-07-09 07.11.53 2015-07-09 07.11.44 2015-07-09 07.11.39

1 Comment »

Rigatoni With Sweet Italian Sausage And Zucchini

2015-04-08 18.05.25

This dish is one of Steve’s favorites. Loaded with sweet Italian sausage, sweet bell peppers, zucchini,, canned diced tomatoes, and shavings of Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese. The dish comes together with it’s garlic and white wine sauce that’s light and flavorful.

2015-04-08 16.21.492015-04-08 17.02.292015-04-08 17.05.49

Preparing all the veggies for this dish in a small dice. Onions, sweet bell peppers, zucchini, and minced garlic. Next for the sausage. Whenever I cook my sausage, the first step I take is to prick holes in the links with a fork to allow the inside of the sausages to get a head start on cooking. After that, I place them all into a large saute pan that has a tight fitting lid. I add in around a 1/2 a cup of low sodium chicken broth to the pan with the sausages. On med high heat, with the lid on the saute pan, I let the sausages steam in the liquid for around 15 minutes, turning them over half way through. This gives some extra flavor to the sausages and ensures that the sausages will be completely throughout.

2015-04-08 17.05.46

For the next step I take the sausages out and set them onto a plate. I get my grill pan out and heated up for the next stage of cooking the sausage.

2015-04-08 17.08.33 2015-04-08 17.17.342015-04-08 17.25.17

Once the grill pan is nice and hot, I place the steamed sausages on the grill. This takes around 3-4 minutes per side with the grill pan on med high heat. Once all the sausages have those beautiful grill marks all over, I let them cool down for about 10 minutes. Next I slice the sausages on the bias for this recipe. Now that all the components are ready, it’s time to start putting this dish together.

2015-04-08 17.34.122015-04-08 17.05.49

In a large Dutch oven on med heat, I have some olive oil and the diced onions sauteing until the onions are soft. Next I add in all the other veggies on the plate, stirring them around until they just start to soften, around 5-7 minutes. At this point I season with some Kosher salt, pepper, and dried oregano.

2015-04-08 17.25.17

2015-04-08 17.38.592015-04-08 17.48.272015-04-08 17.41.142015-04-08 17.52.25

To the vegetables, I add back in the sliced sausage and stir that all through. Next for some liquid.  I add in some white wine and let that go for just a couple of minutes, coating and flavoring all the ingredients, before adding in the drained canned diced tomatoes and low sodium chicken stock. I am using chicken stock and not broth for this recipe. It has a deeper flavor and I thought it would be a perfect accompaniment for the other ingredients. Still on med heat, I let everything come up to a good simmer and this will allow time for the pasta to cook.The pasta will take about 10-12 minutes according to the box, which is the perfect amount of time for the sausage, peppers, and zucchini to be doing their thing.

2015-04-08 17.54.51

Once the pasta is al dente, I drain the pasta and place some of that beautiful Rigatoni into a bowl.  Next, I ladle the sausage, zucchini all over the top of the pasta, making sure that I get plenty of that delicious broth too. Finally adding a few shavings of Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese over the top.

2015-04-08 18.05.25

To garnish, a sprinkle of finely chopped fresh flat leaf Italian parsley.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour 20 minutes ( this includes time for sausage to steam and grill)
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients:
1 package of sweet Italian sausage ( 5 links)
1 box of Rigatoni
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 package of fresh zucchini diced (3 large zucchinis)
1 yellow onion diced
1 red bell pepper diced
1 yellow bell pepper diced
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 quart of low sodium or unsalted chicken stock (1/2 a cup for steaming the sausage)
1 -1/2 cups of good white wine ( Pinot Grigio)
Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese (3-4 shaved pieces per serving)
1/2 a cup of freshly chopped Italian flat leaf parsley (garnish)
Directions:
While the sausage is steaming in the pan, dice up all the veggies and set them aside on a plate. When the sausage has steamed for a good 15 minutes, take them out and start heating up a grill pan. If you don’t have a grill pan, you can roast them off in a cast iron skillet in a very hot oven. I would say 425 degrees for about 30-35 minutes or until the internal temp is 155 degrees. Let them rest for about 15 minutes before slicing. Once you have grilled all the sausages and they have grill marks on all sides. This again will take about 3-4 minutes per side, then take them off and let cool down before trying to slice them on the bias. In a Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot add the olive oil in a pot that’s been heating up on med heat. Add the onions in first. Once they’ve softened, add in all the other veggies. This is when I season with the Kosher salt, pepper, and oregano. Stir all the veggies around and let them go for about 5-7 minutes. Next add in the wine and let that bubble for a couple of minutes before adding in the sliced sausage pieces and the drained diced tomatoes. Stir that all through and then add in the remainder of the quart of chicken stock. Have a large pot of boiling salted water ready for the pasta on the back burner. Let all this simmer on med heat while you get the pasta ready. The pasta takes about 10-12 minutes and I like the pasta to be al dente. Drain off the pasta and place the hot pasta in the bottom of your serving bowls. Next ladle on some of the delicious sausage and zucchini over the pasta. Using a peeler, shave some of the cheese over the top. Finally garnish with the parsley. If you are not going to be needing all that pasta at one time, maybe because there are only two of you, a good tip is, to rinse the pasta off really well with a bit of cold water. Place the pasta in a large Tupperware container, and then add in some olive oil. This will prevent the pasta from clumping up until the next time your going to use it. Then all you need to do is have some boiling water on the stove and place the cooked pasta in for just a minute to get it hot for your next helping.

Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: