Friday, November 9, 2018

CANNELLINI BEANS WITH SWISS CHARD

Cannellini beans are popular in Central and Southern Italy, especially in Tuscany. They are an excellent source of iron, magnesium, folate, and a good source of protein. You can also serve this over pasta, rice, or polenta.


1 t extra-light olive oil
2 oz pancetta, finely diced
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
¼ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely diced (optional)
½ t red pepper flakes
2 large bunches Swiss chard or baby kale, stems removed and chopped
½ cup chicken stock or broth
2 (14 oz) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil, for finishing
Grated Pecorino Romano cheese

In a large skillet, sauté the pancetta in the oil until crisp. 
Add the onion and sauté another 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, sun dried tomatoes, and red pepper flakes.
Sauté a couple more minutes. 
Add the chard and chicken stock or broth and simmer about 5 minutes.
Add the beans and season with salt and pepper.
Simmer another few minutes, to heat through.

Transfer to a serving platter or 4 warmed plates.
Drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil and add a little grated Pecorino Romano cheese.

Serves 4 as an entrée or 6 as a side dish (contorno).



Wednesday, November 7, 2018

ROMAINE SALAD WITH ROMAN CACIO E PEPE VINAIGRETTE

This is one of our favorite weeknight salads, especially with an Italian meal.


Dressing
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 T freshly ground black pepper
1 small shallot, minced
2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 T white wine vinegar
½ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Place the above ingredients in a mason jar fitted with a tight lid and shake vigorously to combine.

Salad
2 bunches Romaine lettuce, chopped
A few red onion slices
A few English cucumber slices, cut in half

Place the lettuce, onion slices, and cucumber slices in a salad bowl. Toss to combine.
Drizzle with some of the vinaigrette and toss again.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

E-BOOK AVAILABLE ON KOBO.COM


A $5.00 credit for your first purchase. That makes your e-book purchase $1.33!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

CHICKEN CACCIATORE WITH ITALIAN SAUSAGES & OLIVES

Chicken Cacciatore is a hunter's stew. This is definitely one of my Go-To recipes. It is perfect for cold autumn or winter nights. It is definitely a heartier dish with the addition of Italian sausages. We had it one night and had it again for leftovers another weeknight.



4 Italian sausages, hot or sweet
1 T avocado oil
1 T unsalted butter
4 bone-in chicken pieces of your choice (I cut large chicken breasts in half)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup small white or cremini mushrooms, wiped clean, trimmed and cut in half
1 yellow onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
½ cup dry red wine
1 28-oz can whole peeled Italian tomatoes, hand crushed
1 T tomato paste
1 T minced fresh rosemary leaves
½ t freeze-dried oregano or chopped fresh oregano
1 bay leaf
½ cup green olives, (I use regular Manzanilla olives stuffed with pimentos)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Basil leaves, chopped, for garnish
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

In a large skillet fitted with a lid, cook the sausages for 5 to 7 minutes, per side over medium heat.
While sausages are cooking, dry chicken pieces with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
Remove sausages from skillet and set aside on a large plastic cutting board.
Drain off most of the fat and add oil and butter.
Add the chicken pieces in two batches, skin side down. Cook chicken until golden brown on both sides, about 5 to 7 minutes per side. Set aside with sausages.

Add the mushrooms, onion, and bell pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and sauté another minute.
Deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove the browned flavor bits.
Cook for another minute to reduce the wine slightly.
Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, rosemary, oregano, and bay leaf.
Tuck the chicken pieces into the pan.
Cut the sausages into 3 pieces and tuck in the pan.

Cover and simmer slowly for 30 minutes.
Uncover, add the olives and simmer another 15 minutes to thicken the sauce.

Garnish with basil and serve with polenta, grated Parmigiano and a green salad. 

Serves 4 

Polenta for 4
3 cups water
3 cups chicken stock
1 t sea salt
1 ½ cups polenta or coarse yellow cornmeal
2 T unsalted butter
3 T freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan, bring the water and chicken stock to a boil, then add the salt.

Add the polenta in a gentle stream, whisking as you pour.
Reduce heat and let the polenta simmer, whisking constantly for about one minute.
Reduce heat o the lowest setting and let simmer for about 15 minutes. stirring often to prevent from sticking
Remove from heat, add the butter and grated Parmigiano cheese.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, if needed.
Set aside to keep warm.

Serves 4

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

FARFELLE WITH ITALIAN SAUSAGES, SUN-DRIED TOMATOES, & FENNEL

Here is a recipe that includes Italian sausages, fennel, and sun-dried tomatoes. Farfalle (pronounced far-fa-lay) translates to "butterflies". Get the onion, fennel, peppers, and garlic chopped up on a cutting board ready to toss into the skillet. Dinner in under 40 minutes!


2 T extra-light olive oil or avocado oil, divided
1 lb mild or hot Italian sausages

1 T sea or kosher salt, for the pasta water
1 lb farfalle (butterfly) pasta

1 large sweet onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
1 medium bulb fennel, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 t freeze-dried or fresh basil, chopped
½ t red pepper flakes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup red or white wine
1 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, sliced into bitesize pieces

1 bunch Italian parsley, trimmed and chopped
½ cup grated Pecorino-Romano cheese

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and fry the sausages for about 20 minutes over medium-low heat until brown on all sides. I put a splatter screen over my skillet to keep most of the grease from popping out on the stove.
Remove to a cutting board and discard grease and carefully wipe out or wash out skillet.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the salt.  Boil the farfalle pasta for 10 minutes.
Save 1 cup of the pasta water and set aside.  Drain pasta and set aside.

In the same large clean skillet add the rest of the oil and cook the onion, fennel, and peppers over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring as needed.  
Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the wine and cook another minute.

Cut the sausages into ¼ inch circles and add to the skillet along with the sun-dried tomatoes.  Add 1 cup of the pasta water and cook another 3-4 minutes.
Spoon in the pasta and add the basil, red pepper flakes and parsley.  
Toss to combine and add more pasta water, if needed.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the grated cheese and spoon pasta into 4 heated pasta bowls.
Serve with extra grated Pecorino Romano cheese at the table and a green salad...and of course a glass of vino rosso or vino bianco!

Serves 4








Sunday, October 28, 2018

FUSILLI WITH ITALIAN SAUSAGES, EGGPLANT & TOMATOES

If you like Italian sausage and eggplant, you will love this sauce over pasta. Dinner ready in 30 minutes!


1 medium firm eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 T sea salt
¼ cup avocado oil
1 lb Italian sweet sausage, casings removed
1 large shallot, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 t red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 t dried oregano
2 14-oz cans cherry tomatoes
1 cup red wine
½ cup finely diced fontina cheese
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Fresh basil leave, chiffonade for garnish

Toss the eggplant with the tablespoon of salt in a colander.
Let colander sit for in sink 15 minutes, then rinse with cold water and let drain again and then blot dry between paper towels.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a wide skillet over medium heat.  Add the sausage, breaking up with a wooden spoon and cook until brown, about 8 minutes.
Removed with a slotted spoon to a large bowl and set aside.

Add the eggplant and cook for 5 minutes or until golden brown.
Add the shallot and cook another 2 minutes, then add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and oregano and cook another minute.

Return the sausage to the pan and stir to combine.
Add the two cans of cherry tomatoes, breaking up with a spoon as they cook.
Add the red wine and simmer another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add 1 lb fusilli pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.

Drain pasta, saving some of the pasta cooking water in a cup.
Add pasta to pan and add a little pasta water as needed.

Add the grated cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon into individual bowls and sprinkle with basil.

Serves 4