- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta, and set aside.
- Add olive oil to a large skillet and cook sausage over medium high heat, stirring to crumble. When sausage is browned add onion, cook until translucent, add the garlic and cook for an addition 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine and scrape up the browned bit from the bottom of the pan. Cook for 2 minutes to cook off the alcohol. Add the tomato paste, salt, pepper, and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in fresh spinach.
- Combine cooked pasta, sausage mixture, and basil. Place half of the pasta mixture in a small (2 quart) casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Top with the half of the mozzarella and Italian cheese blend. Cover with remaining pasta and top with the remaining cheeses. Bake at 350° for 25 minute.
Pour the olive oil into a preheated 8-inch cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Allow the oil to heat up, and then add the turkey sausage, salt and pepper. Press the meat into the pan and cook until caramelized, about 5 minutes, and then flip and caramelize the other side.
Bake until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool 10 minutes. Top with chopped parsley leaves if desired.
Shared at The Lady 8 Home
Last night was a very labor intensive meal, it took about 3 hours from start to finish. Ok, I will be honest, a lot of that was inactive cooking, but it sounded good didn’t it? I was just proud of myself that I actually planned a head and we weren’t eating dinner at 9 PM!
One part of the meal called for pesto. I love pesto, but have been disappointed in the store bought pesto that I have tried. I have wanted to make homemade pesto for quite some time but since Kevin has expressed a dislike for the green stuff I haven’t given it a shot. I finally decided I was going to make it anyway since I knew it freezes well. I figured I would just put some in my ice cube tray and that way when I wanted some pesto for a recipe I could just pop one and and be ready to go.
I have seen several different versions of pesto. I mean you can seriously make it with any herb you want depending on the flavor profile you want for your meal, but I wanted to make the classic pesto right down to the toasted pine nuts so that’s what I did.
The thing that takes the longest in this recipe is toasting the pine nuts, seriously! I was nervous about burning them because I have seen and heard so many stories about burning nuts when trying to toast them, and that it can happen in a split second. Nobody likes burned nuts so I hovered over them like my life depended on them coming out perfectly. Well maybe not my life but the recipe for sure since I only bought enough for one batch. I guess subconsciously I have a lot of faith in myself.
I was shocked when I finished the pesto and Kevin came out to taste it. Just that he tasted it was a shock, but the big shock was that he liked it! He said that it was way better than any other pesto he had tried and I have to agree with him. I will never buy store bought pesto again when it is so easy to make, tastes so much better, and you can freeze the leftovers for later use. A total win win recipe in my book!
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Hello and happy Friday everyone! I know it has been quite a while since I posted. I have been under the weather for the last week and didn’t do any cooking, so I was so happy to finally cook!! I have been wanting to make this soup for so long but for some reason I just never got around to it. But since I have been under the weather soup sounded soooo good!!
Trust me I was so glad I made that decision. This soup is so good and is going to become one of my favorite comfort foods now. If you like soup and/or Italian flavors you have got to make this. I put crushed red pepper flakes in mine and it just gives it a little heat, but if you don’t like that you can omit them and it would be just as good.
Make sure to have some nice crusty bread to sop up all of that tasty broth, and have your appetite with you too!!
- 2 tablespoons (2 turns around the pan) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/8 pound (about 3 slices) pancetta, chopped
- 2 (4 to 6-inch) sprigs rosemary, left intact
- 1 (4 to 6-inch) sprig thyme with several sprigs on it, left intact
- 1 large fresh bay leaf or 2 dried bay leaves
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 small carrot, finely chopped
- 1 rib celery, finely chopped
- 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
- Coarse salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans
- 1 cup canned tomato sauce or canned crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups water
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups ditalini
- 1 generous handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
- Grated Parmigiano or Romano, for the table
- Crusty bread, for mopping
Last week was Kevin’s daughter’s 18th birthday. Ever since my kids were young they knew that on their birthday they got to request anything they wanted for dinner. What is funny (or somewhat annoying) is that with all of the meals I cook and the variety of food I work with doesn’t seem to matter to them. You would think they would request something extravagant or gourmet. Nope, not my kids, you know what they request more often than not? Chili Mac! Yup good old chili with some mac and cheese thrown in. They can’t get enough of it! When they were little, before I started this culinary voyage of mine, I would actually make a box of mac and cheese and throw in a can of chili and BOOM that was dinner. Once I started experimenting and trying to make things healthier I decided to change it up by making my own cheese sauce and chili. Ummm that was a mistake. They took one look at it and asked me what it was. I told them it was what they had requested. Their reply? No it’s not. *sigh* I give up!!
So you can imagine my surprise when I asked Dakota what she wanted for her birthday dinner and her reply was “I don’t know, something with broccoli in it”. WOW you mean I actually get to cook something? Her only other request was no mushrooms. OK, I can work with that. So I set my mind to work thinking of what she might enjoy. I though about making my Chicken Divan but was afraid it wouldn’t be enough for everyone. Then I remembered she liked Italian food. Hhhmmm something with pasta. I already had chicken and broccoli on the brain so it seemed a logical choice to add my garlic Alfredo sauce to it and put it over some fettuccine. The original Alfredo recipe I came up with included mushrooms so of course I omitted those. I also doubled the sauce recipe because I was making a whole pound of pasta and the last time I made it I used it as a sauce to just cover my Chicken Lasagna Roll Ups.
I was a bit nervous because I rarely get to cook for her. She doesn’t live with us, so pretty much the only time I get to cook for her is at the holidays. I really wanted her meal to be something special and memorable. I guess I was silly to worry because she, along with the rest of us, loved this dish! I would suggest a small side salad to go along with it but that wasn’t on the requested menu plan so we had some garlic bread on the side.
This recipe is super simple and full of flavor. I hope you will give it a try. Maybe for a special family meal?
I love pasta almost as much as I love Mexican food. Any shape or size, give me a sauce and some Parmesan cheese and I will have at it! Unfortunately not all of my family shares in my love. However, since I do the cooking I am able to pop it on the menu as much as I want. One of the perks I enjoy about being in charge of the kitchen. Plus I can just say “Hey I am a food blogger. I have to give the people what they want”. That seems to quiet them down.
This recipe is one that I have used for a few different things. It was actually one of the first recipes I ever wrote to my own liking. I combined 3 different recipes to get it. It was kind of confusing. No wait……did I already list that?…..no I need to double that?……how many people will this feed?…..holy crap what was I thinking??? Ya, that is pretty much how it went. When I first started out I got confused very easily. HA who am I kidding? I STILL get confused, it is just part of my charm.
I was really excited to dust this bad boy off. I have never made it for Kevin and it is a nice comfort food kind of home cooked meal. Lately I have been more about trying to cook healthier and eating more fish and chicken. Don’t get me wrong, you can make this healthier, and I probably should have off the bat. But I wanted Kevin to taste the original before I started changing it up on him I guess.
This was also a recipe that I knew everyone would eat. My Dad is not a big fish lover, well actually he just flat out doesn’t like fish. But remember I got him to TRY the Crabby Mac so at least he gives a bit or rather a bite once in a while. HE was very happy to see this meal. I mean Italian right? You know he was a happy camper!
Like I said, you can “healthify” this meal fairly easily. Substitute lean turkey for the ground beef and low fat or fat free ricotta. Also if you can find the shredded mozzarella in low fat that will help too.