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Tag: pecorino romano

Sausage and Peas Risotto with Tomato Salad

Sausage and Peas Risotto

Okay, time to change it up- how about some Italian fare? Lets start with some delicious risotto?? Don’t be intimidated, at all.. it is not as hard as it looks- definitely try it.. especially with all the lovely tomatoes in the farmers market…

Tomato Salad

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

Add the tomatoes to a medium bowl. Add the olive oil, salt and garlic. Mix well and let sit while the risotto cooks.

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pack chicken sausage, casings off and crumbled
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • ½ cup white wine (Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 4 cups chicken broth, heated
  • Salt
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup half and half
  • ½ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Heat a heavy saucepan with the olive oil. Add the crumbled sausage and sauté on high heat, stirring constantly for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the shallot, garlic and thyme. Saute for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice and white wine. Stir and cook for a minute. Start adding the hot broth a ladle at a time while stirring. Add more broth as the liquid cooks off. Continue to cook until the rice is al dente- about 20 minutes. Add salt, frozen peas, half and half and the cheese. Continue to stir on low heat until the peas are heated through. Check for seasonings and serve hot with tomato salad.

Linguini with Sausage Ragu

Linguini with Sausage Ragu I love using chicken sausage. It is hard to tell the links are made with chicken instead of pork or beef. They are healthier and honestly, more delicious. I love using them for all sorts of things including in pasta.

For this dish I bought fresh linguini from Whole Foods. My plan was to make the sausage ragu with pappardelle but while ordering it, the lady behind the counter got confused and gave me linguini instead. I didn’t have the heart to correct her and decided to go with it. Somehow when I make ragu I always envision it with the wide, pappardelle like pasta.. but linguine works really well.

I served this delicious pasta with a big green salad and some red wine… it was a great week night meal…
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Pasta with Swiss Chard, Corn and Pancetta

Swiss Chard Pasta This pasta came about after my daughter brought a bunch of vegetables home from the farmer’s market at their school. It is a great program to introduce kids to different fruits and vegetables. Kids are more likely to eat the vegetables when they make the choice themselves.

They will also be more interested in maybe helping at home to cook the veggies for dinner.

In my case I had a bunch of lovely swiss chard and some corn. I decided to make a pasta dish. I had a stuffed pasta in the freezer I purchased at Eataly in NYC.

I sauteed some pancetta and added shallots and garlic. I then added the fresh corn, some fresh tomato sauce and the swiss chard. It was super simple and very delicious. I cooked the tiny pasta and added some pasta water into the sauce. A few minutes later I had a delicious, healthy- farm to table food.
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Pasta with Mushrooms and Spinach

Pasta with Mushrooms and Spinach This is a super healthy, quick and delicious dish. Did I mention it is a one pot meal as well? Yes it is. It has cremini mushrooms sauteed with whole wheat penne. I add ready made or homemade pesto to boost the flavor and keep the cooking down to a minimum. I start off with prosciutto and shallots. I then add the mushrooms and pesto. All the flavors are very bold. There are a few ingredients in this pasta but all of them add a great punch of flavor- that is the key to a successful dish.

Once the pasta is cooked al dente, I add it to the mix including some of the pasta water. The starchy water creates a delicious sauce and thickens the pasta.

I then add loads of fresh baby spinach. I love using baby spinach in my salads and pastas. I always have it in the fridge. My daughter doesn’t like salad dressing- so when I make a salad for my husband and I, I give her a hand full of baby spinach as her ‘salad’. She eats it up and claims it to be her favorite vegetable.

The pasta is delicious and so healthy…. make it for the family through the week…
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Roasted Broccoli Rabe and Sausage Pasta

Roast Broccoli Rabe and Sausage If I had to describe this dish in one word- yum comes to mind. I have mentioned before how I love this combination of flavors- especially in a pasta. I love, love broccoli rabe- it is one of my favorite vegetables.

The problem is my daughter and husband don’t care for it as much- the pasta dish I mean. They like pasta with red sauce and the one I normally make has no sauce. They don’t like it- but I love it.

This is a compromise since it has a fresh ricotta sauce. I was watching Rachel Ray and she made something similar- where she roasted the broccoli rabe and the garlic and mixed everything with ricotta. I thought it was a fantastic idea and decided to add sausage in there as well and make it a one pot meal. I made a special trip to Whole Foods and bought fresh ricotta- if you can do purchase it for this recipe. It makes a big difference in taste- a lot creamier and fresher.

The dish is super simple and quick to make- ideal for a weekday plus I got a thumbs up from the rest of the family!
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Sweet Pepper Meatballs

Sweet Pepper Meatballs1This is a fabulous recipe for meatballs. I make them all the time. We all love them, especially my daughter. My goal is to incorporate some kind of vegetable into the meat and make the dish more healthy.

In this case, I took a jar of fire roasted peppers and processed them. I added the puree into the meat. It gave the meatballs a delicious, sweet flavor and a soft texture.

A typical meatball recipe usually includes white bread soaked in milk. I have added breadcrumbs to bind the meat in the past. This time I decided to soak the breadcrumbs in milk and added it to the meat. It made the meatballs extremely soft and delicious.

I cooked the meatballs in homemade marinara sauce and the result was amazing. We had my daughter’s friend over for dinner and everyone enjoyed the meal.

Try these next time you feel like eating meatballs…
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Mushroom and Truffle Ragu Lasagna

Mushroom and Truffles and Ragu2 We were entertaining a few weekends ago and yet again, I was at a loss- what should I make?? My brain is usually all stressed out until something comes to mind and then I am at peace.

As I have mentioned many times before, our favorite restaurant is Arturos here in Maplewood. My favorite thing to eat there is a wild boar and mushroom ragu. I love that dish- I actually dream about it. It is consistently good and I can’t get enough of it.

I decided to make something similar but in a lasagna form. I had recently bought some dried mushrooms from Trader Joes. I reconstituted them and added them to some delicious cremini mushrooms. I used ground turkey meat instead of wild boar- well where was I supposed to get that?? Anyway, I am more comfortable using turkey meat for health reasons. The lasagna was layered with a simple bechamel sauce. I also used a truffle paste I picked up from Spello, Italy. I finished the ragu with a drizzle of truffle oil (thanks to Trader Joes).

I served the lasagna with a garlic cheese bread and a citrus salad. I of course had to serve a side of fresh tomato sauce- since my husband loves his red sauce.

It turned out to be a very successful dinner. Everything was delicious- I was very happy. Next time you have a few minutes- try the mushroom and truffle ragu- you won’t regret it.
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