Dinner, Pasta

Italian Sausage and Shells Dinner

Quick Dinner idea! Do you have pasta, sausage and diced tomatoes on hand? Heavy cream as well? Then this would be a great weeknight dinner that comes together really quickly. This made a really great meal paired with a salad for Eric, Emily and I last week when she was here for dinner between calls.. Emily was going to take the leftovers home for her boyfriend’s dinner but forgot! So lucky me – great lunch today!

  • 8 ounces uncooked medium shells
  • 1 lb. Italian sausages (spicy or mild) crumbled
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 (14 fluid ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
  • 1 (14 fluid ounce) can finely chopped or crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup heavy/whipping cream
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil, torn to taste (optional)
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese to taste
  1. Boil a salted pot of water for the pasta. Cook the shells al dente according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, chop the onion and take the sausages out of their casings and crumble it into a skillet. Sauté the onion and sausage over medium-high heat for 7 minutes, stirring it occasionally.
  3. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Drain the fat from the pan.
  5. Add the canned tomatoes to the pan. Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in the cream, basil, and season the sauce with salt & pepper as needed. Cook for another minute or two and then toss with the drained pasta.

Dinner, Uncategorized

Cheesy Turkey Meatballs

Trying to clean out all the magazines I have stock piled. Cooking Light, Southern Living and Fine Cooking are my favorites and I have quite the stack of issues lying around. I think I have at least 8 years of Fine Cooking, if not more because I love all the information that is given in each issue. But I need to clean these out.

So now as I am Marie Kondo “ing” my life I am pulling out recipes that I want to try. This one rose to the top! Then the magazine heads to the recydle bin or possibly put aside for a big gargage sale this spring. Any one interested in old Fine Cooking magazines?

Looks good over spaghetti!

Ingredients

1 pound 93% lean ground turkey

12 ounces sweet Italian turkey or chicken sausage, casings removed (about 4 sausages)

1/2 cup whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish

2 tablespoons grated pecorino Romano cheese (1/2 oz.)

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 garlic cloves, grated

Cooking Spray

Sauce

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1 (28-oz.) can unsalted crushed tomatoes

Crushed red pepper to taste

3/4 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into pieces

Directions

Prepare the meatballs: Combine turkey, sausage, panko, parsley, pecorino, Italian seasoning, salt, and grated garlic in a large bowl; form into 18 (2-inch) meatballs.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium; coat skillet with cooking spray. Working in batches, add meatballs to skillet, and cook until browned on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove meatballs from skillet, and set aside.

Prepare the sauce: Reduce heat to medium-low. Add oil and smashed garlic to skillet; cook until garlic is golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and crushed red pepper; return meatballs to skillet. Cover and simmer until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Uncover; add mozzarella pieces. Cover and cook until cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. If your skillet doesn’t have a lid, you can put it under the broiler until cheese is melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with additional chopped parsley.

Dinner, one pot meals, Pasta, Uncategorized

Rigatoni with Sausage and Fennel



Just by looking a this picture you can almost taste how delicious this is. My son and I were watching an old Ina Garten episode from the summer of 2017 on pasta dishes and saw her making this recipe.  My mouth was watering by the end of the episode and I knew that I needed to make this.  So off to the store this morning to get the necessary ingredients.  My pasta loving son was pleased and so was my hubby.  I even think this is foodie friends worthy.




3 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 cups chopped fennel (1 large fennel bulb)

1 ½ cups chopped yellow onion

1 ¼ pounds Sweet Italian sausage, casing removed

2 tsp. minced garlic (2 cloves)

½ teaspoon whole fennel seeds, crushed with a mortar and pestle

½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper

1 cup dry white wine

1 cup heavy cream

2/3 cups half-and-half

2 tbsp. tomato paste

1 lb. Rigatoni

½ cup chopped, fresh Italian parsley leaves

1 cup freshly grated Reggiano Parmigiano cheese, divided


Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset, over medium heat. Add the fennel and onion and sauté for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add the sausage and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, crumbling it with a fork, until nicely browned. Add the garlic, crushed fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. black pepper and cook for one minute.

Pour in the wine, bring to a boil and add the heavy cream, half-and-half, and tomato paste. Bring back to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 2 tbsp. salt and cook the rigatoni according to package directions. Drain and add to the sauce, stirring to coat the pasta. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes to allow the pasta to absorb the sauce.

Off the heat, stir in the parsley and ½ cup of the Reggiano Parmigiano. Serve hot in shallow bowls with passing the remaining ½ cup of Parmigiano.


Uncategorized

Skillet Ravioli Lasanga

Ever sit and think about the ingredients you have on hand and wonder “what can I make with this”?  I knew I had sausage and frozen ravioli  in the freezer.  So I added these ingredients into the Yummly app and found this Skillet Ravioli Lasanga.  A quick stop at store for ricotta and within a half hour  we had dinner on the table.  This is a quick and hearty meal for a busy weeknight. Give it a try and tell me what you think. 
1 lb. Hot Italian sausage, casings removed
2 c. marinara
1/2 c. water
1 lb. cheese ravioli
1 1/2 c. ricotta
1 large egg
kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 c. shredded mozzarella
Heat broiler. In a cast-iron or ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, cook sausage until browned and no longer pink, breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon, 6 to 8 minutes. (Drain fat, if desired.) Add marinara and water to pan and bring to a simmer. Add ravioli and let simmer until ravioli is tender and sauce slightly thickens, 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together ricotta and egg and season with salt and pepper. Drop spoonfuls of ricotta mixture all over the ravioli and let cook, 3 minutes.
Sprinkle mozzarella all over, then transfer skillet to oven and broil until cheese is golden, 3 minutes. Let cool, 10 minutes, then serve.

Uncategorized

Crockpot Pizza

Spring has been very busy with late baseball practices or games, and when you get home after 7:30 or so you really don’t want to cook. Takeout or fast food for us is not really on our menu.  And we like to sit down as a family and enjoy a meal together.  So crock pot meals are our go too.  Especially ones that don’t take too long to cook.  this recipe has been around for a few years and we have tweaked it lately with using Italian Sausage and adding green pepper.  This is adapted from Taste of Home Slow Cooker Meals.

Ingredients

1 package (16 ounces) wide egg noodles
1-1/2 pounds ground sausage or ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 jar (26 ounces) spaghetti sauce
1 jar (4-1/2 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained
1-1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 package (3-1/2 ounces) sliced pepperoni, halved
3 cups (12 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
3 cups (12 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

Cook noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef, pepper and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the spaghetti sauce, mushrooms and Italian seasoning. Drain noodles. 

In a 5-qt. slow cooker coated with cooking spray, spread a third of the meat sauce. Cover with a third of the noodles and pepperoni. Sprinkle with a third of the cheese. Repeat layers twice. Press down to compact.
Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours or until heated through and cheese is melted. Yield: 6-8 servings.

    Uncategorized

    Pepperoni Lasanga

     We were at the grocery store this afternoon and I saw a large display of mozzarella, lasagna sheets, ricotta cheese in the dairy case on an end cap.  At first I thought it might be the Italian foods festival , but then I realized that Easter is a week away and Lasagna is a staple dish in many houses for Easter dinner.  So why not share my recent Lasagna creation we made a couple of weeks ago.  This one feature pepperoni that is either fried or baked to a crisp.  Adds a unique flavor, plus you can’t help sampling the pepperoni after you have heated it up!  This makes a ton of Lasagna, so plan on a few meals for the upcoming week.

    Ingredients

    

    Ready for the oven

    Salt
    1 pound lasagna sheets
    8 ounces sliced pepperoni (about 2 cups)
    4 cups Tomato Sauce
    1 pound ricotta
    1 pound shredded mozzarella
    2 pounds bulk Italian sausage, cooked
    3/4 cup grated Parmesan

     

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.        
     
    Boil 6 quarts of water, add a pinch of salt and cook the pasta to almost done, about 7 minutes. Remove from the water and shock in an ice bath. 
               
    In a medium saucepan, add the pepperoni and sauté over medium heat until crispy, about 10 minutes ( or you can place the pepperoni in a single layer on a backing sheet covered with parchment paper and bake about 5 minutes to crisp up.Remove from the heat and drain on a paper towel. 
                
    In a 10- by 14- by 3-inch baking pan or dish, pour 1 cup of the Tomato Sauce in the bottom and around the sides. Layer lasagna sheets on the bottom of the pan, overlapping by 1/2 inch. Add one-third of the ricotta and one-quarter of the mozzarella, sausage, pepperoni and Parmesan. Spoon 1 cup of tomato sauce over the top. Repeat this two more times. 
               
    On the top sheet, finish with the remaining cup of tomato sauce, mozzarella, sausage and pepperoni and dust with Parmesan. Bake until the cheese bubbles around the edges and the top is melted and light golden brown, about 45 minutes. If baking the dish from the freezer, add 15 to 20 minutes to the cook time, or until it’s bubbly. Cover loosely with foil if it’s browning too quickly. Remove from the oven; let sit for 15 minutes. Cut and serve immediately with more sauce, if desired.   
     

    
    Uncategorized

    Penne and Smoked Sausage

    This recipe appeared in a flyer we received from the realtor we used 18 years ago when we bought our house. It was a pretty easy fix on a weeknight that was quite tasty.  The red pepper flakes gives this a kick.  And the pasta and sausage is a kid pleaser. Need a quick and filling recipe?  Then give this a try.  

    Ingredients

    1 Tbsp olive oil
    1 lb smoked sausage (pork or turkey sausage), sliced into 1 inch pieces
    ½ cup diced onion (about 1 medium onion)
    1Tbsp. minced garlic
    2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
    1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes
    ½ cup  milk
    8 oz  dry penne pasta
    ½ tsp salt
    ½ tsp pepper
    1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
    2 cups pepper jack cheese, shredded
    ½ cup thinly sliced green onions

    Directions

    Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium  heat until just smoking. Brown sausage & onions.  Add garlic, salt, pepper and continue cooking for 30 seconds. 
    Add broth, tomatoes, milk, red pepper and penne to the skillet. Bring to a boil, cover & reduce heat to low. Simmer until pasta is tender & liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
    Remove skillet from heat and sprinkle on cheese. Cover  for 3 to 5 minutes until cheese melts.  Top with scallions and serve.