Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Cremini Mushroom And Zucchini Gratin

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Cremini Mushroom And Zucchini 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.

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Olive Oil

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Ricotta

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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In a bowl is my leftover marinara sauce. You can always substitute your favorite jarred marinara sauce for this dish.

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Leftover Marinara Sauce

Cremini Mushrooms (3)

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Prep Time: 25 minutes, (includes slicing and sautèeing of the vegetables)
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 4 gratin dishes, 2 rimmed sheet pans, 1 (12-inch) sauté pan, mini food processor

Ingredients:
1/2 cup olive oil, divided, plus 1 tablespoon
2 tablespoons of butter, unsalted
2 zucchini, 1/4-inch slices
1 yellow squash, 1/4-inch slices
2 pints of cremini mushrooms, sliced (small ones quartered)
1 1/2 cups Homemade Marinara Sauce, (substitute your favorite jarred marinara sauce)
2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tablespoon dried thyme)
1 tablespoon Kosher salt (for seasoning zucchini and squash)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (for seasoning zucchini and squash
1/4 cup Ricotta cheese, whole milk
1/4 cup half-and-half
1 large egg
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated (reserve 3 tablespoons for the top of each gratin)
1/4 cup of Italian flat-leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped (reserve 2 tablespoons for garnish)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
In a large sautépan over medium-high heat, carefully melt the butter with the 1 tablespoon of 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 ground 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 ground black pepper. Using the same sautè pan, over medium heat, add 1/4 cup of 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 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. Repeat the process for the remaining zucchini and squash using the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil.

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, 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 the 4 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. Finish by garnishing with finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, There you have it, Cremini Mushroom And Zucchini Gratin.

Serve hot.

Roasted Eggplant Vegetarian Meatballs In Marinara Sauce

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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!

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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, diced tomatoes, and huge shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. The dish comes together with garlic and white wine which makes for a sauce that’s light and flavorful. This is my Rigatoni With Sweet Italian Sausage And Zucchini.

Mini Sweet Bell Peppers

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Unsalted Chicken Stock

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rigatoni

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Parmigiano-Reggiano-Cheese

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes ( this includes time for the sausage to steam and grill)
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 2 (6-quart) saucepots (1 with a tight-fitting lid), 1 (6-quart) Dutch oven, indoor grill pan, chef’s knife, vegetable peeler

Ingredients:
1 pound (5 links) of sweet Italian sausage
1 pound (1 box) of Rigatoni
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 yellow onion diced
3 large zucchinis, cut into half-moons and quartered
1 1/2 cups of mini multi-colored sweet bell peppers, seeded and diced
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 (15-ounce) can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 quart plus 1 cup of chicken stock, unsalted
1 1/2 cups of good white wine (Pinot Grigio)
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (3 to 4 shavings per serving)
1/2 a cup of fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped for garnish

Directions:
Start by using a fork to prick 3 sets of holes into the sausage links on both sides. In a large saucepot with a tight-fitting (glass) lid add the sausage links. Pour 1 cup of the chicken stock over the sausage. Turn the heat to medium, cover allowing the sausages to poach, in the broth, for 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Preheat an indoor grill pan over medium-high heat. Arrange the links on the grill pan. Grill the sausages for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the links to cool before slicing them on the bias. Set aside.

In a preheated Dutch oven add over medium heat add olive oil and diced onions, red pepper flakes, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, cook until onions are soft and translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the diced peppers and zucchini, and dried oregano, frequently stirring, cook for another 5 to 7 minutes. Add the sliced garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

Next, add the wine, bring up to a bubble before adding the sliced grilled sausage, fire-roasted tomatoes, and a quart of chicken stock, occasionally stirring, simmer for 10 to 12 minutes.

In a large pot of boiling salted water drop the pasta. Cook until al dente, around 10 to 12 minutes.

Drain the pasta really well. Add the hot pasta in the bottom of a serving bowl(s). Ladle the delicious sausage and zucchini over top. Include a ladle of the broth too. Using a vegetable peeler, add shaving of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over the top of each serving. Finally, garnish with the parsley. This is my Rigatoni With Sweet Italian Sausage And Zucchini.

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