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

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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

Tomato & Sausage Skillet Gnocchi

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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 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

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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

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