Posts Tagged ‘italian sausage’
Shake up your regular pasta for dinner with a creamy ricotta sauce, Italian chicken sausage, and hearty kale. Cooks up quick for a great weeknight meal and only uses two pans.
We’re almost halfway through the calendar year folks. Which means nearly 6 months have gone by since I graduated with my PhD and my student loans from the past 11 years are about to come knocking on my door. Thankfully I do not have much debt with grad school tuition waived and a stipend the last 7 years. I’ve already taken a chunk out of my undergrad loans thanks to my dad’s help with investing what money I could spare over the years. Thank goodness for a father with money/investing smarts.
You know what else is smart? Making this pasta for dinner tonight. One pot for cooking the pasta, one skillet for the rest, and dinner is ready pronto. As an added bonus it also happens to be delicious.
When I first started this food blogging thing, I submitted several pictures to websites like Tastespotting and Foodgawker only to be consistently rejected. Honestly I cannot blame them as my pictures during those times weren’t that wonderful (as many food bloggers can relate to with their first photos). Now that I have a nice camera and a little more experience, I decided it was time to try them out again. And guess what? I got my first submissions onto both sites yesterday! The Smoked Sea Salt Caramel Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies made it onto both Foodgawker and Tastespotting, and the Cookie Dough Oreo Cake made it onto Tastespotting. Of course several others were rejected but that seems to be pretty typical and I still have plenty of learning to do when it comes to food photography.
Most of the time when my pictures don’t come out perfectly it is because I am in a hurry or don’t have the best lighting. It is especially difficult when you have hungry eaters anxiously waiting to eat the item you are photographing. Take these spaghetti squash lasagna boats for example: the lighting was not ideal but three other people were ready to dig in. I love cooking for more than just myself, but always feel bad making people wait until the photoshoot is done. It is a tricky thing to balance! Lighting aside, these lasagna boats were a delicious, low carb alternative to traditional lasagna with a fun presentation.
One year ago: Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Two years ago: Gluten-Free Bananas Foster Muffins
It is a rare day to find flights for under $300, even more so under $200, but yesterday was one of those days and I snatched it up as fast as I could confirm the time and place of events for that weekend. This flight purchase was for my friend Amber’s wedding in October, another of which I am a bridesmaid! The flight actually ended up being free because I had accrued enough miles to do so. I should have signed up for the Amex Delta Skymiles CC a long time ago. Imagine all the free flights, free 1st checked bag, and group 1 seating I could have been enjoying all these years!
But anywho, to go along with the theme of frugality, here is a pizza taco recipe that I was able to make almost without a trip to the grocery store. Lately I have been trying to cook more with the items I already have stocked, and surprisingly for this meal I had every ingredient on hand except for the ricotta. That goes to show how well stocked my kitchen is for a girl living with no one else besides her cat. Sometimes I try to estimate how long I could survive without leaving my home, and appreciate that I do not need to test it for real because I covet fresh fruit far too much.
P.S. This recipe is a great, quick weeknight meal!
One year ago: Easy S’mores Ice Cream Sandwiches
Gnocchi is supposedly a filling pasta and most people I know can only eat about 8-10 morsels before claiming to be “full”. Yet I can house an entire package by myself without feeling the slightest discomfort. I am not claiming this to be a good thing, just a fun fact about my belly.
This gnocchi dish however was in fact very filling and for once managed to only eat the recommended serving size. Actually, finishing one serving left me feeling quite full and satisfied. And it was a quick prep recipe too, which I am in dire need of these days!
P.S. Today is actually National Waffle Day, but I didn’t have time to whip up a recipe for the occasion. Just sharing this info in case you wanted to celebrate on your own ;-).
Other than pumpkin, I think butternut squash may be my favorite type of squash. But for some reason I only think to cook with it during the winter and the same with pumpkin during the fall. To solve this problem, I decided to buy more butternut squash than I needed for this recipe, and saved the remaining peeled and cubed pieces in my freezer. Muwahaha! Now to just remember it is there to use later. That may be the bigger problem because if you saw how stuffed my freezer was year-round, you’d understand. “How long has that homemade ice cream been in here?? And what flavor is it? ::sniff::” Seriously happened. Also discovered frozen boxes of Girl Scout cookies the other day. How do you forget about those? Oh yea, they were blocked by the 10 packages of butter I stocked up on when it went on sale. Serious food blogger problems in my fridge.
But I digress, let’s focus on unfrozen food such as this pasta. The butternut squash is pureed to function as the sauce itself, and what a fantastic idea! It’s complimented very nicely with the spicy sausage and the winter-ific sage. And don’t forget the spinach to finish off this healthy meal. But I decided to curb that a little by serving it with pull apart garlic bread. Mmm garlicky carbs.
And a Happy Birthday shout-out to my big brother!! Happy 33rd!
One year ago: Blizzard Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Cookies
It’s amazing how much time goes by during the work day when you are starring at your computer screen, moving figures and text boxes around one pixel at a time in attempts to get everything fitted and sized nicely. This is how poster presentations are done in my world, in preparation for the upcoming research conference my lab is attending. And it’s a royal pain in my bottom. The scariest part is that even after making it pretty, my PI can undo everything by telling me to add one simple sentence, and thus offsetting everything. The horror! I feel like a magician by the end of it all because I will have more than once uttered the phrase, “There’s no way it is going to work”, and yet there it is in front of me. But for now I await the edits of destruction.
While I pull out my hair and eat plentiful amounts of dark chocolate covered mini pretzels (the most recent Trader Joe’s lab-obsession), I want you to sit back and enjoy a good healthy meal. How about some zucchini stuffed with Italian turkey sausage? I cannot be alone in still experiencing 98 degree weather despite the name of the month stated on the calendar, which means some of you probably still have some zucchini around from your garden (of which I am jealous). If not, it’s a good thing they invented a thing called the grocery store ;-).
Ask and you shall receive. On my last pizza post, many of you left comments to keep the pizzas rolling so here’s this week’s installment! This time I’ve made a recipe I found on Bev Cooks awhile back. You make a pesto using spinach leaves for the sauce, and top it off with red pepper, Italian sausage and of course Mozzarella cheese. It’s a pretty fantastic little dance of ingredients. And they certainly look good together too!
Of course as with all of my pizza recipes, you do not need a stone and peel to make pizza at home. Just cook it on a pizza pan or cookie sheet as you prefer, but I am convinced that the crust comes out as pure perfection when using a stone. So you really should get your hands on one sooner rather than later. Probably my favorite kitchen item ever. And I am sure you can tell how well-loved it is by it’s stained appearance in pictures.
By the way, is anyone shocked that I rate every pizza I make as 2-3 servings? Maybe I am just a fat kid but there’s hardly a pizza made in my kitchen that ends up producing more than 3 servings. Maybe I cut my slices too big, but I don’t care O:-).
Have you made plans for Valentine’s Day yet? I actually do not have any yet, but in the meantime have not slacked off on making Valentine’s Day inspired treats and meals. For example, after I mastered the stromboli I decided it was time to take on the calzone. But not just any calzone, but a heart-shaped one! And it conveniently serves two people. Or maybe four if you serve anything substantial on the side.
And if the shape alone wasn’t enough this baby is actually stuffed with sausage lasagna filling. Gooey, cheesy, meaty loveliness wrapped up in dough. Yup, go ahead and eat your heart out. (Sorry sorry couldn’t resist)
One year ago: Oreo Truffles
SAUSAGE LASAGNA HEART CALZONE
1/2 lb pizza dough
1 lb spicy Italian sausage
1-1/2 cups pizza sauce
8 oz low fat ricotta cheese
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
Pinch of salt, fresh cracked pepper
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning, plus more for topping (optional)
1 egg, beaten (for brushing dough)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown sausage until browned. Drain and return back to skillet. Add pasta sauce and reduce heat to low to simmer.
- Place ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella cheese and seasonings in a mixing bowl. Mix until well combined.
- Cut the pizza doughs in half. On a floured sheet of parchment paper, form two large hearts and roll until about 1/8″ thick. Move one dough-heart onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Top the dough-heart on the baking sheet with sausage marinara then with ricotta (you may have leftovers), leaving a 1/2″ edge. Brush the edges of the dough with egg and top with remaining dough-heart. Press seams together, brush entire top lightly with egg then sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Cut a few slices in the top, transfer to a cookie sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes or until browned and cooked through.
Source: Adapted slightly from Picky Palate.
Lasagna is a great comfort food. But soup is my favorite comfort food right now, so why not combine the two? You should be able to figure out the answer to that judging by the title of this post you are reading, which is “yes, do it!” because the result is wonderful. I know it sounds weird at first because I thought the same thing. But I have been converted and am so glad that there are leftovers. And they are all mine – back off!
The ricotta-blob bread was my favorite part (thank you Stephanie for introducing the term ricotta-blob into my food vocabulary). The ricotta brought the entire lasagna-feel of the soup together. And I loved letting it soak up some of the soup juices. MMmm juices.
One year ago: Pumpkin Pancakes
LASAGNA SOUP WITH RICOTTA BREAD
2 tsp olive oil
1 lb Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-32 oz container reduced sodium chicken broth
1-15 oz can tomato sauce
1-14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
4 oz whole wheat pasta
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup + 3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided (plus more for topping)
1/2 cup lowfat ricotta
1 loaf multi-grain French bread, sliced 1/2″ thick
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup each of Parmesan, mozzarella and ricotta, set aside.
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick saucepot or Dutch oven. Add the sausage, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is crumbled and browned, 8 – 10 minutes.
- Add the broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, salt, and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are blended, about 20 minutes. Add the noodles; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the soup thickens slightly and the noodles are tender, 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella, basil, and the 3 tablespoons Parmesan.
- While the pasta cooks, spread a tablespoon of the cheese mixture onto each bread slice. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is golden and bread edges are crunchy. Sprinkle more Mozzarella on top of the soup and serve with ricotta-blob bread.
Leah and I made this last night to kick off our Harry Potter movie marathon, in preparation for the final movie coming out next week. You better believe we are going to the midnight showing! Unfortunately, the four others we convinced to start the marathon with us last night (4 who have never watched any of the movies, let alone read the books – blasphemy I say) will probably not be joining us for the duration. Advantage of reading the books as they came out (totally waiting in line more than once at midnight for it) and then watching the movies right as they hit the screen, I suppose. Somehow this meal wasn’t enough to convince them to come back for more.
This was the second time I’ve played with the Philadelphia cooking creme, and I continue to love it. I really need to try the other blends, because it makes for fun and quick meals. This dish in particular was almost a little too spicy for Leah, but I not only got seconds but thirds. And the not-so-much-Harry Potter fans found something else to be a fan of. In other words it was just marvelous… darling.
Oh, and this is completely unrelated but if I had a bunch of money lying around, I would buy these shoes in a heart beat. Size 7, mk thanks O:-).
1 lb fettuccine noodles (used Ronzoni’s Garden Delight)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb hot Italian turkey sausage, sliced thin
16 oz package frozen vegetable medley (used broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, and yellow squash)
1 tub (10 0z) Philadelphia Italian Herb and Cheese Blend Cooking Creme
1/2 cup – 1 cup reserved pasta cooking water
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
1 tsp red pepper flakes, plus more for garnish
- Cook noodles according to directions. reserve pasta water.
- Heat large skillet over medium high heat with olive oil. Brown sausages for about 7 minutes. Add frozen vegetables, cover and let cook for about 5 minutes, until vegetables have thawed out. Add cooking creme and noodles to skillet and stir together. Add reserved pasta water, one ladle at at a time, until sauce is to your desired consistency. Stir in Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes. Serve immediately with more Parmesan and red pepper flakes as garnish.
Source: PB & Kelly