Tag Archives: sausage

Zuppa Toscana 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.

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

 

Sausage Tortellini Soup w/ Garlic Croutons

IMG_5584

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

IMG_4235

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

 

 photo 2-195

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

IMG_4010

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

Tomato & Sausage Skillet Gnocchi

IMG_3392

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 an easy gnocchi meal that is adapted from a Cooking Light recipe. Gnocchi is always a favorite go-to meal for my family but this dish is great since it is a one pot meal. Instead of boiling the gnocchi, which often results in over-cooked and soggy pasta, these gnocchi are pan sauteed in the same skillet as the sausage. The result is firm yet perfectly cooked gnocchi that hold their shape. And of course, only having a single pan to clean up is an added bonus.

TOMATO & SAUSAGE SKILLET GNOCCHI

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 16-ounce package gnocchi

12 ounces spicy Italian sausage (loose)

2 large tomatoes, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth

3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

  • Preheat a broiler to high.
  • Heat the oil in a large, oven proof skillet over medium-heat.
  • When the oil shimmers, swirl it to coat then add the gnocchi, cooking for 7 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the gnocchi from the skillet and set aside.
  • Add the sausage to the skillet and cook for 5 to 6 minutes until browned on all sides. Stir the meat occasionally to crumble it.
  • Return the gnocchi to the skillet along with the tomatoes and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the broth and cook for an additional minute.
  • Sprinkle the mixture with the mozzarella cheese and place under the broiler for 3-4 minutes until the cheese has melted and is beginning to brown.
  • Remove the skillet from the oven, sprinkle with the chopped basil and serve.
Serves 4

 

Pumpkin & Sausage Chili Mac

IMG_3401

Here’s an easy dinner dinner adapted from The Yankee Kitchen Ninja that is sure to please everyone.  I’ve swapped out pumpkin for the butternut squash called for in the original recipe and, catering to the tastes of the youngest family member, used mild Italian sausage instead of the hot version.  Pumpkin and kale are two of my favorite autumn ingredients and when combined with the sausage they create the perfect “sauce” to serve over freshly cooked pasta. And I personally love the use of the pumpkin in this recipe since it creates a creamy and mild tasting sauce that coats the rest of the ingredients making an otherwise simple meal taste quite luxurious.

PUMPKIN & SAUSAGE CHILI MAC

12 ounces fresh pasta

1 tablespoon olive oil

12 ounces loose mild Italian sausage

2 cups pumpkin, cubed

1 small red onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth

4 cups coarsely chopped kale

  • Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  • While the pasta cooks, heat the oil in a large skillet set over medium heat.
  • Add the sausage and cook, stirring to crumble, until the sausage is browned. Remove from the skillet.
  • Add the pumpkin, onion and garlic to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste, flour, salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute, stirring continually.
  • Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil, cooking until the pumpkin is tender when pierced with a fork.
  • Add the kale and cook until it just begins to wilt.
  • Return the sausage to the skillet and stir to heat through.
  • Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.
  • Serve the sausage and pumpkin mixture over the prepared pasta.

Serves 6

Pappardelle w/ Sausages, Fennel & Ricotta

photo 2-306

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

Cassoulet

photo 1-301

Cassoulet is a classic comfort food when it comes to French cooking. Slow cooked beans and meats are combined with a healthy dose of garlic to create the ultimate in comfort food. I’ve seen recipes that use entirely one meat or a combination of several. This recipe is based on one from William Sonoma but I’ve taken the liberty of adding duck to the combination of meat. Duck is commonly used as is pork or lamb and no cassoulet would be complete without the addition of garlicky Toulouse sausage. This may sound complicated but making a cassoulet is more time consuming than difficult. Think of the meats listed as suggestions and keeping the quantities the same, substitute whichever meats you can find. Or reduce the amount of meat you use while increasing the amount of beans.

But as I already mentioned, making a cassoulet takes time but I think of it as the perfect weekend cooking project. I’ll start by soaking and cooking the beans on Saturday then brown the meats on Sunday morning. Then all I have to do that afternoon is assemble the dish and pop it in the oven. Cassoulet is good out of the oven but I think it tastes even better the next day which is perfect since unless you are feeding a crowd, you are sure to have leftovers.

CASSOULET

2 1/2 cups dried Great Northern beans

1 yellow onion pierced with 10 whole cloves

1 lb. thickly sliced bacon, finely diced

3/4 pound boneless leg of lamb

1 duck leg, about 1 pound

1 pound pork loin

1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1 pound Toulouse sausage

8 garlic cloves, minced

8 fresh parsley stems

4 fresh thyme sprigs

2 bay leaves

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 1/2 cups fine dried bread crumbs

  • Pick over the beans and discard any misshapen beans and stones. Rinse, place in a bowl and add water to cover generously. Let stand for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  • Drain and place in a saucepan with the onion and water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, uncovered, until almost tender, 40 to 50 minutes. Drain, discarding the onion and reserving the liquid.
  • Preheat an oven to 350°F.
  • Place the duck leg in a large ovenproof stew pot. Turn the heat to low and cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until the fat has been rendered.
  • Pour off the fat and reserve for another use. Remove the duck from the pot and set aside.
  • Add the bacon to the pot and fry until it begins to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate. Reserve the drippings in the pot.
  • Season the lamb and pork with salt and pepper and add to the stew pot along with the duck leg.
  • Place in the oven and roast, basting occasionally with the bacon drippings, until the meat is tender, about 1 1/4 hours.
  • Remove from the oven, let cool and cut the pork and lamb into 1-inch cubes. Remove the meat from the duck leg, cut into 1 inch cubes and discard the bones. Set all of the meat aside. Do not wash the pot.
  • While the meat is roasting, prick the sausages with a fork. Place in a medium sized frying pan and add enough water to cover the sausages halfway.
  • Simmer gently over medium high heat, turning once, until almost cooked through, about 12 minutes total.
  • Drain the sausages and let cool before slicing on the diagonal.
  • Place one-third of the drained beans in the reserved pot.
  • Sprinkle with half of the bacon, lamb, pork, duck, sausage, garlic, salt and pepper.
  • Using kitchen string, tie the parsley stems, thyme sprigs and bay leaves into a bundle. Add to the pot.
  • Repeat the layers, using half of the remaining beans and all of the remaining meats, sausage and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and top with the remaining beans.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the tomato paste, allspice, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 2 cups of the reserved bean liquid. Pour into the pot just to cover the beans.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour; adding more bean liquid, if necessary, to prevent the beans from drying out.
  • Sprinkle with the bread crumbs and continue to bake until golden, about 1 hour more.
  • Discard the herb bundle and serve directly from the pot.
Serves 8 to 10.

Sausage & Fennel Baked Zucchini

photo 2-273

We are deep into the heart of zucchini season so here is an easy recipe to help you use up your stash of these green squashes. Growing up, baked zucchini was always a summer time staple on our dinner table since year after year my mother’s garden produced baseball bat sized squashes. By the time September rolled around I actually grew to dread seeing another baked zucchini on the table.

But times and tastes have changed and baked zucchini is making a regular appearance on my own family’s dinner table. This version has a Mediterranean flavor with mild Italian sausage and sautéed fennel complimenting the usual breadcrumbs and zucchini filling. I like to use round zucchini since I think they make for a prettier presentation but you can easily substitute any small zucchini that you like. Or if you must, use a baseball bat sized squash and simply cut it into smaller portions before stuffing.

SAUSAGE & FENNEL BAKED ZUCCHINI

6 small zucchini

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, finely minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 fennel bulb, cored and diced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 ppound mild Italian sausage, crumbled

1/2 cup diced tomatoes

1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

  • Scrub the zucchini, trim the ends and pierce with a fork on all sides. Place the zucchini in a steamer basket.
  • Fill a large saucepan (larger enough to hold your steamer basket) with one inch of water and bring to a boil. When the water boils, add the zucchini and steam for 5 minutes. Remove from the water and all to cool.
  • When the zucchini is cool enough to handle, slice in squash in half, or slice off the tops if using round squash, and scoop out the insides leaving 1/4 inch of of flesh. Chop the scooped out filling and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and fennel and saute until soft, 7-9 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper.
  • Place the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in a separate medium-sized skillet set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the sausage and cook until it is no longer pink 5-7 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to crumble up any large pieces. When the sausage is cooked, drain it and add it to the vegetable mixture.
  • Add the tomatoes, breadcrumbs and the zucchini filling to the sausage and vegetables and stir well to combine. Adjust the seasonings if necessary.
  • Scoop the mixture back into the zucchini shells, heaping the filling to fill. (You may have extra filling which can be placed in a buttered casserole dish and baked alongside the zucchini in the oven).
  • Place the zucchini in an ungreased rimmed baking dish and sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top of the zucchini.
  • Bake for 20-25 minute until the cheese has melted and the filling is heated through.

Serves 6

Making Here Home

Expat life, travel...and books

One Real Peach.

reflections on the heartbreak and hilarity of mothering, writing, and living authentically

Wine and Cheese (Doodles)

Salty observations about life, love, and living abroad

Sprouted Kitchen

The food that accompanies my adventures!

Not Without Salt

Delicious Recipes and Food Photography by Ashley Rodriguez.

101 Cookbooks

The food that accompanies my adventures!

Local Milk Blog

The food that accompanies my adventures!

Spoon & Shutter

In and out of the kitchen with Susan and Ted Axelrod

Plating Up

The food that accompanies my adventures!

A Life of Spice

Food, Culture and Lifestyle with Monica Bhide

The Blueberry Files

The food that accompanies my adventures!

Zosia Cooks

The food that accompanies my adventures!

Yummy Supper

The food that accompanies my adventures!

What Julie Ate

It's a delicious life, but somebody has to live it.

United Noshes

The food that accompanies my adventures!

The Bitten Word

The food that accompanies my adventures!

Hip Foodie Mom

The food that accompanies my adventures!

From Away

Cooking and Eating in Maine

Always Order Dessert

The food that accompanies my adventures!

Yankee Kitchen Ninja

The food that accompanies my adventures!

%d bloggers like this: