Category Archives: sausage

Pappardelle w/ Sausages, Fennel & Ricotta Cheese

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It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

I love this pasta dish from Williams Sonoma. Their version has you making homemade pasta which while not difficult, is too time consuming for a Fast Friday dish. I used fresh pasta from my local grocery store which when combined with ricotta cheese, fennel sausage and fresh sauteed fennel, produces a wonderfully satisfying dinner in a matter of minutes. I did, however, use my own fresh ricotta cheese (which I already had on hand). Not only is making your own ricotta easy, but when I use the wonderful fresh raw milk that I can buy from local Belgian farms, it simply tastes so good.

PAPPARDELLE w/ SAUSAGES, FENNEL & RICOTTA CHEESE

10 ounces fresh pappardelle or other long pasta

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound loose fennel sausage

2 fennel bulbs, cored and julienned

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 cup low sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup diced shallots

1/4 cup chopped garlic

2 teaspoons fresh minced thyme

1 cup fresh ricotta cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta according to package directions, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Drain the pasta and set aside.

Warm the olive oil in a large saute pan set over medium high heat.

When the oil shimmers, add the sausage and fennel to the pan. Use a wooden spoon to break the sausage into small pieces.

Saute, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes.

Add the wine, shallots, garlic and thyme and cook until the the wine is reduced by half, about 3 minutes.

Add the chicken broth to the pan and continue to cook until the sauce is further reduced by three-quarters, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the cooked pappardelle to the pan along with the reserved cooking liquid. Toss well to coat.

Transfer the pasta to warmed serving dishes, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and top with dollops of the ricotta cheese. Diners can stir the warmed ricotta into their pasta making their own creamy sauce.

Serves 4

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Zuppa Toscana Soup

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It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

I love soup and here’s a classic Italian soup that is both delicious and fast. I like to use a spicy Italian sausage but you can also use a milder version if you prefer. Kale is my green of choice but spinach or beet greens are also tasty. Use whatever you like and whatever looks good or even use a combination of greens. All you need is some crusty bread and dinner is served.

ZUPPA TOSCANA SOUP

1 pound ground Italian sausage

1½ tsp crushed red peppers

1 red onion, diced

1/3 cup pancetta

4 garlic cloves, crushed

6 cups low sodium chicken broth

2 cups water

1 cup heavy cream

3 large red potatoes, skin on and sliced

1/4 pound fresh greens of your choice, I prefer kale or spinach

  • Sauté the sausage and crushed red pepper in a large pot, using a wooden spoon to crumble the meat into smaller pieces. Drain off the excess fat, move the meat to a separate plate and set aside.
  • In the same pan, sauté the pancetta, onions and garlic over medium-low heat until the onions are soft and translucent
  • Add the chicken broth and water to the pot, raise the heat to medium-high and cook until the mixture starts to boil.
  • Add the sliced potatoes and cook until soft when pierced with a fork.
  • Lower the heat, add the heavy cream and just cook until thoroughly heated.
  • Return the sausage to the pan then add the kale, let all heat through and serve.

Serves 4

 

Tuscan Sausage & White Bean Soup

soup
It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.
Tonight calls for soup. After a holiday season filled with rich treats and perhaps a late night ringing in the new year, tonight’s dinner needs to be easy, fast and on the lighter side while still being warming and comforting (since the weather is anything but). So soup it is. And this soup, from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe fits the bill perfectly. It is warm and satisfying without being heavy. And in true Fast Friday form, it is fast. So go ahead and make a pot tonight. Just add some crusty French bread and dinner is served.
TUSCAN SAUSAGE & WHITE BEAN SOUP

1 pound mild Italian sausage links, casings removed

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1/2 cup chopped yellow onion

3 cloves garlic, chopped

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 (14.5-ounce each) cans diced tomatoes

1 (15-ounce) can Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 tablespoon dried basil

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 cups uncooked small pasta

9 ounces spinach leaves, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

  • In a large pot, cook the sausage over medium heat until browned, 3-4 minutes, breaking it into small pieces as it cooks.
  • Add the carrots, onion, and garlic, and continue to cook, stirring often, until the sausage is cooked through, 5-10 minutes.
  • Add the broth, tomatoes, beans, basil, salt and pepper.
  • Bring the soup to a boil.
  • Add the shell pasta, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, until the pasta is tender, stirring occasionally to make sure the pasta isn’t sticking.
  • Stir in the spinach and simmer for another minute until the spinach is wilted.
  • Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

Serves 6

Sausage Tortellini Soup w/ Garlic Croutons

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It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion.  If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat.  The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes.  Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

Here is another satisfying and delicious soup idea that is adapted from the Noble Pig. The soup includes spicy sausage (substitute sweet or mild Italian sausages if you prefer) and tender tortellini in a herb filled tomato broth. And don’t forget the croutons since they are really the finishing touch for the soup. Feel free to use slightly stale bread or a different combination of herbs if desired.

SAUSAGE TORTELLINI SOUP w/ GARLIC CROUTONS

For the soup:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound spicy Italian sausage links, cut into bite sized pieces

1-1/2 cups chopped onion

cloves garlic, finely minced

4 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves

1 tablespoon dried basil leaves

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon dried red chili peppers

1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

10 ounces fresh spinach and cheese tortellini

4 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves

For the garlic croutons:
1 loaf French bread, cubed
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon paprika
To make the soup:
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat.
  • Add the sausage and cook, stirring frequently until cooked through and browned on all sides. Move to a paper towel lined plate.
  • Add the onions to the pan and saute until soft; about 8 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Meanwhile, add chicken broth, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil, sugar, chili peppers, pepper and salt to a large, heavy bottomed soup pot. Bring to a boil.
  • Add the onion-garlic mixture and simmer, uncovered for about 10 minutes.
  • Add tortellini and cook according to package directions, usually about 7-9 minutes.
  • Stir in the cooked sausage and stir in spinach until just wilted.
  • Serve immediately topped with the garlic croutons.

To make the croutons:

  • While the soup is simmering, melt the butter in a large skillet set over medium-high until foamy.
  • Sprinkle the garlic powder, basil, thyme and paprika to the butter.
  • Add the bread cubes and toss until well coated.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and tossing frequently, cook until the bread is crusty and toasted on all sides, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Serves 4

White Bean & Sausage Stew

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It is still winter in these parts and nothing takes the chill off better than a rich and satisfying stew. And if that stew is easy to make it is even better. So look no further as this bean and sausage stew from King Arthur Flour fits all of these requirements.

You do need to plan ahead and soak your beans overnight but once that is done your actual hands on time is minimal. (Don’t skip and use canned beans since dried beans simply have a better taste and texture). And while this is good eaten immediately I think it tastes even better when reheated the next day. So why not make a pot of this stew and enjoy it for the rest of the week?

WHITE BEAN & SAUSAGE STEW

3 cups white beans, soaked in water overnight, washed and drained

7 cups low sodium chicken broth

2 cups water

1 pound spicy Italian sausage, sliced

1 large onion, diced

4 stalks celery, diced

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 pound kale, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste.

  • Rinse the beans and place them in a large stock pot along with the chicken broth and water. Bring to a simmer and then cook for 50-60 minutes until the beans are soft, adding extra water if needed to prevent them from drying out.
  • While the beans cook, in a separate pan, sauté the sausage until cooked through.
  • Remove the sausage from the pan, drain off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat then add the onions and celery to the pan. Sauté until translucent.
  • When the beans are soft, add the sautéed onions, celery, sausage, diced sweet potato and kale to the pot and cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until the sweet potato is soft.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Serves 8-10

Rice Noodle Bowls w/ Sausage & Kale

 

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It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

This soup from the Yankee Kitchen Ninja has become a staple in my family. It reminds me of the giant noodle bowls I used to live off of in graduate school when money was tight, time was limited and I always seemed to be hungry. There was a noodle shop in the basement of the student union that served the best bowls of noodles and broth. The servings were huge and you could add in whatever ingredients you liked. Because of the variety of options you could eat a noodle bowl every day during the week and it never got boring. (Not that I did or anything………..).

This soup is fast, flavorful and incredibly versatile. I prefer to use chicken broth but if I only have beef on hand that works too. Rice noodles are good but any type of pasta works; spinach, mustard greens or chard can be substituted for the kale. So use whatever you have on hand. And best of all, the soup is fast and easy. What more can you ask for?

RICE NOODLE BOWLS w/ SAUSAGE & KALE

1/2 pound hot Italian sausage
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 of a large bunch of kale, coarsely chopped
5 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces rice noodles

  • Combine the sausage, ginger and cumin in a large bowl making sure the spices are evenly distributed.
  • Heat the oil in a soup pot and add the sausage mixture, stirring to break up the chunks until cooked through .
  • Add the chicken broth to the pot and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the kale, green onions, soy sauce and fish sauce and cook until the greens are just tender, 4-5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • While the broth mixture simmers, cook the rice noodles according to package directions.
  • Drain and add the rice noodles to the soup pot. Stir well then serve.

Serves 4

Oregano Chicken & Sausage w/ Orange-Tomato Salad

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It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

Here is a quick and satisfying dinner option that I adapted from a Cuisine at Home recipe. The combination of sweet Italian sausage and chicken breast dusted with oregano is simple yet flavorful. What makes this dish special though is the salad; orange sections and grape tomatoes make for a refreshing and juicy contrast for the meat. The salad comes together quickly while the meats are cooking so don’t skip them. To complete the meal I serve this alongside brown rice; put a pot of it on to cook before you start the meat and everything will be ready to serve at the same time.

OREGANO CHICKEN & SAUSAGE w/ ORANGE-TOMATO SALAD

For the chicken:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces

8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, cut into bite sized pieces

Juice of 1 lemon

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat.
  • Sprinkle the chicken and sausage with the oregano, salt and red pepper flakes.
  • Add the meat to the pan, cover and saute, stirring occasionally, until the internal temperature of the meat is 165 degrees. This should take a total of 8-10 minutes.
  • Off the heat and squeeze the lemon juice over the meat.

While the meat is cooking, make the salad.

For the salad:

2 seedless oranges, pith removed, sectioned and cut in half

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

1 shallot, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons minced parsley

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Salt & pepper to taste

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Serve alongside the chicken and sausages.

Serves 4

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