Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

Ingredients

    • 3 Italian sausage links, removed from casings
    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 2/3 cup of fresh baby spinach, torn by hand (or a rustic chop)
    • 1/4 cup room temperature water
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Grated Romano Pecorino cheese
    • 1 lb of your favorite pasta

 

Instructions

1. Before starting, bring a large pot of water to a boil for your pasta. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs.

2. Remove casings from sausage, crumble by hand onto a dish.  Set aside.

3. In a stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, let heat through. Add crumbled sausage.  Cook sausage, crumbling it more with a wooden spoon, until it is cooked through. Turn heat down to a simmer. (at this point you should be close to an al dente cook to your pasta)

4. Add water, simmer until you see a yellowish hue to the sauce.

5. Add spinach, salt and pepper to taste.

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6. Add pasta to mixture; mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes, until pasta is tender, and sauce is absorbed.  Toss with cheese, then top for presentation.

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Done!

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage
1.5 lbs broccoli rabe, trimmed, then chopped and boiled to remove bitterness
3/4 lbs (4 links) Sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 lbs cooked orecchiette pasta
1/4 cup room temperature water
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

The pasta can be made in concert with the following instructions. Start boiling water now, then once it comes to a rolling boil add in the pasta and cook according to package.

In a large stock pot, bring 2 quarts of salted water to a rolling boil and add in the broccoli rabe. Cook until the stems are tender, about 3-5 minutes.

Boil the broccoli rabe to remove the bitterness.

Boil the broccoli rabe to remove the bitterness.

Drain and set aside.

Sausage removed from casing

Sausage removed from casing

Over medium-high heat, in a high walled pan or low walled stock pot, heat up the pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Add in garlic and saute till transparent.

Then quickly add in the sausage.  Cook, and break up the sausage with a wooden spoon.

Break up the sausage with a wooden spoon to make the pieces smaller.

Break up the sausage with a wooden spoon to make the pieces smaller.

Add in the water, and cook sausage through.
Add in the broccoli rabe.
Stir to combine with the sausage.

Add in the broccoli and mix well.

Add in the broccoli and mix well.

Cook until the broccoli rabe is hot throughout.

Season with salt and pepper.

In the same pan/pot, lower heat, then add the pasta to the sausage mixture.

Everything in the pan incorporated.

Everything in the pan incorporated.

Then add in the cheese and toss well over low heat to combine.

Serve with more cheese grated on top.

Done!

Done!

Enjoy!

Oven Baked Chicken Tenders

Chicken Tenders
8 pieces of chicken tenders, washed and dried
1 cup wheat bread crumbs (unflavored)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp dried parsley
dash of salt and pepper to taste

2 eggs, whisked for egg wash
spray of olive oil

Need: a  baking sheet covered in tin foil then topped with a metal rack, like a cooling rack.

On baking sheet, cover with tin foil and top with cookie sheet (lightly sprayed with olive oil).

On baking sheet, cover with tin foil and top with cookie sheet (lightly sprayed with olive oil).

Heat oven 450 degrees.

In a flat dish, crack two eggs and whisk briskly to incorporate.

In another flat dish, add in the crumbs, salt, pepper, parsley and garlic.  Mix well.

Egg wash and Bread Crumbs.

Egg wash and Bread Crumbs.

Dip each piece of tender in the egg wash first, then into the bread crumbs and cover completely.   Then place on top of the rack.  Spray lightly with olive oil.

Placed on top of rack.

Placed on top of rack.

Place in oven, and let cook for 6 minutes.

Then take them out, flip, and place back in the oven for another 6-7 minutes until golden brown.

DONE!

Done! Chicken Tenders!

Done! Chicken Tenders! Shown here with homemade fries and roasted brussels sprouts.

Pasta with Asparagus

Pasta with Asparagus
2 cups chopped Asparagus (about 17 spears)
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup tepid water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 lb pasta cooked and drained- use a dense pasta like rigatoni or penne. Here I used celentani, which is a corkscrew type pasta

Asparagus

Asparagus

2 cups chopped asparagus, 1 medium onion chopped and 2 large cloves of garlic minced

2 cups chopped asparagus, 1 medium onion chopped and 2 large cloves of garlic minced

In a large skillet, over medium high heat, add in the oil.  Once heated add in the onion and garlic, saute until translucent.

Saute onion and garlic till translucent

Saute onion and garlic till translucent

Add in the asparagus, and toss in the oil.

Add asparagus and toss in oil

Add asparagus and toss in oil

Once the asparagus is coated well in the hot oil add in the water and continue to cook for 6 minutes, until the asparagus is tender.

Add water and cook for 6 minutes.

Add water and cook for 6 minutes.

Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, add in the pasta along with the asparagus mixture.

Toss and coat the pasta completely, then add in the grated cheese.

Mix well.

Done!

Done!

Done. Ready to serve!

Gallery

Easy Eggplant, Zucchini and Summer Squash Panini– without a press!

This is my favorite sandwich all year round. The crunch of the bread with the warm, melted, cheesy filling… so yummy!  The combinations are endless, too.  Which I am saying there will definitely be other variations of this sandwich to come from me.

This recipe yields 4 large sandwiches using a baguette, or, one large muffaletta that can be sliced for up to 6 people.

Simple Vegetarian Panini
1 large eggplant, washed then cut lengthwise into 1/4″ thick slices
1 large zucchini, washed then cut lengthwise into 1/4″ thick slices
1 large summer squash, washed then cut lengthwise into 1/4″ thick slices
4 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into long pieces (you can also use shredded, but the fresh cheese is prefered)
4 tbsp grated Romano cheese
3 tsp salt
1 tsp of fresh cracked pepper
approx 3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil- drizzled to coat vegetables for cooking
2 tbsp tepid water
1 loaf of crusty bread not sliced. *I used a French baguette, but an Italian scali, ciabatta or muffaletta works great and is what I like too.

You will need:
– parchment to cover baking sheets
– tin foil to wrap the sandwiches
– a sturdy all metal stock pan to weigh down the sandwiches
– an extra baking sheet to hold the pan on top of the sandwiches

* If you have access to cook the vegetables on a grill, use it.  It makes this dish even tastier, which is why I make this at least once a week during the Summer. Cook and eat outside with the family, that is my all time favorite pass time!

Preheat oven to 375.
Prep the vegetables.

1 Large eggplant, 1 Large Zucchini, and 1 Large Summer Squash

1 Large eggplant, 1 Large Zucchini, and 1 Large Summer Squash

Wash and cut lengthwise into 1/4″ slices.

Drizzle some oil over the baking sheets, then lay the vegetables on top.

Season with the salt and pepper, add more if you feel needed, but the Romano cheese adds a lot of salty flavor. Then drizzle oil over the top.

All the veg prepped with s&p and olive oil

All the veg prepped with s&p and olive oil

Place into oven.

After 20 minutes flip each slice over.  Add water along the eggplant pan only.

Then all back in the oven to let roast for 15-20 more minutes until browned on both sides.

The summer squash and zucchini done

The summer squash and zucchini done

Once the veg is cooked remove from oven.  But, leave the oven on.

Let the vegetables cool a minute so they can be handled easier for the sandwiches. Once cooled cut the zucchini and summer squash slices in half to fit in the sandwich. The eggplant size is fine as is.

Now it’s time to assemble the sandwich.

This night we used French Bread, but any hearty crusty fresh bread will work.  Grated Romano and fresh mozzarella

This night we used French Bread, but any hearty crusty fresh bread will work. Grated Romano and fresh mozzarella

If you use a baguette cut into the sized sandwiches you prefer, about 5″-6″ long shown.
If you use a larger bread that you plan to cut for everyone later, like a muffaletta, same instruction applies below except your bread isn’t cut, you are just going to use the ingredients as is all over.

With your hands, remove the interior crumb of the bread.

Take a large piece of foil, enough to cover one sandwich, and lay down on work surface.

On top of the foil, start to assemble the sandwich by sprinkling a little grated cheese on the top and on the bottom halves of the sandwich.

Add two slices of the mozzarella over each half of bread atop the sprinkled cheese. This will help keep the sandwich open so you can move to the next step.

Lay the vegetables to cover the tops and bottom, adding a sprinkle of grated cheese between slices. You will use about 1 tablespoon of grated cheese per sandwich.

The sandwich will contain three slices of each vegetable. For the zucchini/summer squash since you sliced them in half after they were cooked, this means three of the half pieces each, so it would equal 1.5 slices of each if whole.

Shown: the bread with crumb removed and with a sprinkle of grated cheese and two slices of the mozzarella

Shown: the bread with crumb removed and with a sprinkle of grated cheese and two slices of the mozzarella

The panini assembled being wrapped

Panini assembled being wrapped

Once you have assemble the sandwich wrap it in the foil, and follow the same to complete all the sandwiches.

All wrapped in the tin foil

All wrapped in the tin foil

On a baking sheet, add the sandwiches in a row with a bit of space between.

Then set a baking sheet on top, press down on the sandwiches a touch.  Then set the stock pot on top to keep that flat shape.   *I can’t stress enough, the pot has to be all metal, no rubber or plastic handles.

Place in oven for 10 minutes, until all the cheese is melted.

Remove from oven. Make sure you place the heated metal items in a safe place where nothing can melt.

Then unwrap the sandwiches.  Slice in half to display the delicious filling before you serve.

So delicious!

ENJOY!

Finished dish!

Finished dish!