Italian Style Chicken Sausage with Roast Vegetables

Italian Style Chicken  Sausage with Roast Vegetables and Rigatoni

Italian Style Chicken Sausage with Roast Vegetables and Rigatoni

I wish you could taste how good this dish is!  But since you can’t, you’re going to have to take my word for it.

This baked dinner came about as a result of having roast vegetables left over from when I made the Roast Vegetable Subs.  It’s everything I love in a meal and it’s all ready in about an hour.

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I used spicy chicken sausage to give it a little kick, but if you want it to be milder, simply swap it for sweet Italian sausage. The pasta I used is a large size rigatoni and I chose it so it would be compatible with the chunks of roasted vegetables.  For sauce I used a small jar of prepared pizza sauce mixed with a can of diced tomatoes with garlic and oregano.  Grated Italian blend cheese sprinkled on at the end of baking time gave it a nice melty topping.  We added more grated cheese at the table.  There wasn’t much conversation going on at this meal;  all we kept saying was  “MmmmmMm, Wow, this is So good”!!

If you’d like to Wow your family, here’s the recipe……

ITALIAN STYLE CHICKEN SAUSAGE WITH ROAST VEGETABLES (and Rigatoni)

Yield:   Serves  6

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups roast mixed vegetables (refer to Roast Vegetable Subs for directions)IMG_9390
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 12 ounces uncooked rigatoni
  • 1 jar (15-oz.) pizza sauce
  • 1 can (14.5-oz) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
  • 1 package (12-oz) Italian style Chicken Sausage, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/2 cup shredded Italian blend cheese, plus more for the table

Directions:

1.   Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain and keep warm in the  pot.

2.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil and sauté the chicken sausage just to brown a little;  add the roast vegetables and stir to combine.

Saute sausage with roast vegetables.

Saute sausage with roast vegetables.

Add the pizza sauce and tomatoes with their juice.  Heat the mixture thoroughly.

Add pizza sauce and tomatoes.

Add pizza sauce and tomatoes.

3.  Preheat oven to 350*F.   Spray a large baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

4.  Pour the sausage mixture over the cooked pasta and stir well to combine.  Transfer to the prepared baking dish and cover with foil.

Transfer to baking dish and cover with foil.

Transfer to baking dish and cover with foil.

Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

5.  Uncover and sprinkle with the cheese.

Sprinkle with grated cheese.

Sprinkle with grated cheese.

Bake uncovered, an additional 5 minutes until cheese is melted.

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Comfort food….Yes!

Comfort food….Yes!

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Linguine, with Garlicky Kale and White Beans

 

Linguine with Kale and White Beans

Linguine with Kale and White Beans

This dish gets its flavor from lots of garlic.  Ya gotta love garlic!!  It makes the most bitter greens taste divine.  As it cooks and becomes sweeter, so do the greens lose their bitterness, and become silky and tender.  Pasta, greens and beans—typically an Italian-style meal.  All you need to think you’d “died and gone to heaven” is some Parmesan cheese dusted over the top, some crusty, toasted bread and a glass of white wine.  SIGH!

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Extremely easy to make with only five ingredients, and taking only about 30 minutes to prepare, this is a dish to put on the table when you’re in a hurry, but you want your family to be well fed on a healthy meal.  I used fresh leaf kale in my preparation, but you could speed up the process by using packaged prechopped kale, found in the produce department of most supermarkets.  Other than the kale, you probably have everything else to prepare this dish already in your cupboard.

I like the fact that only 1/2 pound of pasta makes 4 generous servings, because of the addition of the healthy kale and beans.  Calories are low/serving (381);  and the whole nutritional profile of this dish is impressive:  Fat, 11.8 g;  Protein, 13 g;  Carb, 58 g;  Fiber, 5 g; Cholesterol, O g; Iron, 4 mg;  Sodium, 34 mg.;  Calcium, 121 mg.

LINGUINE WITH GARLICKY KALE AND WHITE BEANS

Yield:   Makes 4 servings of about 1 3/4 cups  (calories:  381)IMG_7334

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces uncooked linguine
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh garlic
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 cups chopped kale (about 8 oz.)
  • 1 ( 15-ounce) can unsalted cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • grated Parmesan cheese at the table (optional)

Directions:

1.  Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.  Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

2.  Heat oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat.  When garlic begins to sizzle, add 1/2 cup water and the kale;  cover and cook 5 minutes or until kale is tender, stirring occasionally.

Cook the kale with garlic and a little water.

Cook the kale with garlic and a little water.

3.  Add beans, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and salt; cook 1 minute or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

Add beans and cook to warm through.

Add beans and cook to warm through.

Add drained pasta and 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid to pan;  toss to coat.  Add the remaining cooking liquid if needed to liquify further.  Transfer to serving bowl and sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper over the pasta.  Serve immediately with grated Parmesan if desired.

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SOURCE:   Cooking Light

 

 

Spaghetti Carbonara with Asparagus

Spaghetti Carbonara with Asparagus

Spaghetti Carbonara with Asparagus

Did you ever think you would be eating bacon and eggs with spaghetti?  Carbonara means with bacon in a light egg sauce.  So today we have an entree that includes both bacon and eggs.  Paired up with spaghetti, this is a simple peasant-type meal;  add asparagus for its added nutritional value, green color of spring (you can tell I’m waiting here), and textural crunch.  What results is a dish that is so well balanced with flavor, texture and “dish appeal” that you’ll want to taste it right off this page if you could.

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You probably have all the ingredients in your pantry to make this meal, except the asparagus.  If they are available where you live, I urge you not to waste any time in getting some and making this delectable dish.  You won’t be sorry.

SPAGHETTI CARBONARA WITH ASPARAGUS

Yield:    Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

Just a few ingredients.

Just a few ingredients.

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 pound spaghetti
  • 1 bunch asparagus, , ends trimmed, and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 slices bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

1.  In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and cheese.

Mixing the eggs and cheese together.

Mixing the eggs and cheese together.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until al dente, adding the asparagus during the last 2 minutes of cooking.

2.  Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.  Add the hot pasta and asparagus to the egg mixture;  toss to coat.

3.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the bacon and cook until crisp; stir in the garlic.

Cooking up the bacon.

Cooking up the bacon.

Add the wine and cook until slightly reduced, about 1 minute.  Stir the bacon mixture into the pasta, adding enough of the reserved pasta water to moisten; season with salt and pepper.

This is delectable!

This is delectable!

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Serve with more grated cheese at the table to sprinkle on top.  A tossed green salad completes this meal.

SOURCE:   Everyday with Rachael Ray

Shrimp and Broccoli Scampi

Shrimp and Broccoli Scampi

Shrimp and Broccoli Scampi

Shrimp Scampi is one of my all-time favorite seafood dishes, one that I routinely order in a good seafood restaurant.  However, I frequently make it at home as well.  There is already one such recipe already here on the blog, but I made this variation of it recently and felt that you might be interested in it too.  I cooked the shrimp in a different way, and included broccoli for a more fully rounded dish.

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The idea for cooking the shrimp this way came by way of Pinterest, and I must say they are very tasty.  Using melted butter, sliced lemons, and Good Seasons Salad Dressing Mix for seasoning, these shrimp would be just great dipped in cocktail sauce for a party.  When I saw all that nicely seasoned butter available after cooking the shrimp, that’s when I decided to turn them into Scampi.  The whole deal is really very simple. You can have this dinner on the table in about 30 minutes.

SHRIMP AND BROCCOLI SCAMPI

Yield:   Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

    Shrimp, lemons, salad dressing mix.

    Shrimp, lemons, salad dressing mix.

  • 5 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • 1 lemon,  sliced
  • 1 package Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing Mix
  • 1 medium head of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 8 0z. uncooked thin spaghetti
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Parmesan cheese, shaved or grated (about 1/4 cup)

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  On a baking sheet with sides, melt 4 Tablespoons of butter in the preheating oven.  Remove baking sheet from oven and lay the lemon slices in the butter.  Place all the shrimp on top of the lemon, then sprinkle with dry salad dressing mix.

Lay shrimp on top of lemons and melted butter.

Lay shrimp on top of lemons and melted butter.

Note:  I used about half an envelop for 1 pound of shrimp, and we thought it was adequately seasoned.  Bake for 10 – 15 minutes, till shrimp turn pink and are almost fully cooked.  Remove and set aside.

Shrimp after baking.

Shrimp after baking.

2.  Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the pasta as package directs, omitting salt and oil.  Add the broccoli in the last 2 minutes of cooking.  Drain.

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3.   Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the 1 Tbsp butter and olive oil;  swirl to coat.  Add garlic; sauté 1 minute.  Add the chicken broth; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen any browned bits.  Combine 1 Tbsp. water and cornstarch in a small bowl.  Stir cornstarch mixture into stock mixture;  cook 1 minute.  (Note:  Don’t skip the cornstarch here– it helps the garlicky sauce cling to the pasta.)

Chicken broth, cornstarch mixture and garlic, ready for the pan.

Chicken broth, cornstarch mixture and garlic, ready for the pan.

4.  Stir in the shrimp and all its juices.

Shrimp and its juices added to the skillet.

Shrimp and its juices added to the skillet.

Add pasta, broccoli, parsley and salt. Cook 1-2 minutes, to heat through, tossing to coat well.  Transfer to serving dish, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Serve immediately.

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This rendition of shrimp scampi is about the best I have ever made.  Not a drop of buttery juice goes to waste and the broccoli benefits from the lemon and seasonings.  So good, I hope you try this one!!

SOURCE:   Carolyn’s Originals

Wicked Chicken

Wicked Chicken

Wicked Chicken

Wicked Chicken is wicked good and wicked easy to make.  Seriously!  It’s made with just 3 ingredients plus seasonings, so this chicken dish is a piece of cake to put together.   You can make it as spicy as your taste buds will allow, or go the milder route if you are feeding childen or anyone who cannot tolerate too much heat.

I was in need of a super simple meal to make as we had just come home from our holiday trip, I was faced with unpacking, doing laundry and trying to get over a cold that I picked up somewhere along the way.  Without much effort, I was able to whip up this easy dish.   When you’re faced with the need to get a meal together this recipe  will save you on a busy day.

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This is the easiest meal you will ever make, and your family will love it.

WICKED CHICKEN

Yield:   Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

Roasted Garlic Alfredo Sauce and pasta twists.

Roasted Garlic Alfredo Sauce and pasta twists.

  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts (I used bone-in thighs.)
  • 1/2 box any shaped pasta
  • 1 jar Alfredo sauce ( I used roasted garlic, but if you like spicy, use one with green chiles in it.)
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes to taste.

Instructions:

1.  Cook and drain the pasta.   Lightly spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

2.  Season the chicken pieces with salt, pepper and garlic powder to your liking.  Brown in a hot skillet for 3 minutes on each side.  Sprinkle the chicken with red pepper flakes, if using.

3.  In the baking dish layer the pasta,  spoon on about half of the Alfredo sauce and mix to coat the pasta.  Place chicken pieces on top of the pasta.

Layer pasta, sauce and chicken in the baking dish.

Layer pasta, sauce and chicken in the baking dish.

Pour the remaining Alfredo sauce over the chicken.

Pour remaining sauce over the top.

Pour remaining sauce over the top.

4.  Bake at 350*F for 30 minutes.  If using chicken with bone -like thighs-, bake  until cooked through, about 45 minutes.

Bake till chicken is browned and tender.

Bake till chicken is browned and tender.

Serve with a green vegetable or a salad, and garlic bread sticks.

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SOURCE:   My Casserole Connection

Tuscan Sausage Soup with Shell Pasta and White Beans

Tuscan Sausage Soup  with Shell Pasta and White Beans.

Tuscan Sausage Soup with Shell Pasta and White Beans.

I’ve shared my views previously on the many shapes of pasta and how some shapes are better suited for one kind of dish while other shapes have their own perfect niche in your repertoire of recipes.  One of my absolute favorites to use in soups is shell pasta.  The reason seems obvious–they hold the broth!  Just like a spoon they carry some of the yummy flavor-laden broth to your mouth.

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Anyway, when I first saw this recipe for Tuscan Sausage Soup, packed with “conchiglie”, I was drawn to it.  Conchiglie is the Italian word for shell, so I felt as though it was talking to me.  It also includes white cannellini beans and spinach and is seasoned with garlic, onion and basil.  All the flavors you would expect in a rustic Italian soup such as this one.

The recipe makes a large amount of soup, and can be easily doubled  to feed a hungry crowd, or freeze some for a later date.  I made the recipe as I found it except for using frozen spinach instead of fresh. You could also use kale if you wish.   This is a recipe you need to have in your back pocket for when colder weather arrives and you want something warm and hearty to feed your family.

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TUSCAN SAUSAGE SOUP WITH SHELL PASTA AND WHITE BEANS

YIELD:   6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Italian sausage, bulk or links.  If using links, remove casings.

    Gather together all the ingredients.

    Gather together all the ingredients.

  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups chicken broth, low sodium preferred
  • 1  14.5 oz. can tomatoes, diced with juice
  • 1  15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1  1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 8  oz. shell pasta, whole wheat, preferred
  • 6 oz. fresh spinach, or 1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach, well drained
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated Parmesan cheese for topping

Directions:

1.  Remove casings from sausage if using links.   Brown over medium-high heat in a large stock pot.  Crumble as you brown it.

Brown and crumble the sausage

Brown and crumble the sausage

2.  Add carrots, onion and garlic;  sauté until tender and starting to get a bit golden, about 7 minutes.

Add in the carrots, onion, and garlic.

Add in the carrots, onion, and garlic.

3.  Add chicken broth, tomatoes, beans, pasta and basil.

Add chicken broth, tomatoes, pasta, beans, and basil.

Add chicken broth, tomatoes, pasta, beans, and basil.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Cover and continue cooking until pasta becomes a bit tender, about 7 minutes.

4.  Stir in spinach and cook until it is just wilted.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.

5.  Serve hot garnished with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Here it is.  Looking delicious and tasting just as good as it looks.

Here it is. Looking delicious and tasting just as good as it looks.

SOURCE:   A Couple in the Kitchen

A One-dish Wonder

Sausage, zucchini, and feta casserole.

Sausage, zucchini, and feta casserole.

We had this dish for dinner on a recent evening and once again I am in awe of how such simple ingredients can meld together and produce such an outstanding meal.  It is a pasta casserole that combines pantry items with fresh vegetables for a hearty, family-friendly meal.  Any leftovers are even better the next day as the flavors have time to meld.

The edges of the pasta get brown and crispy with cheese.   Yum!

The edges of the pasta get brown and crispy with cheese. 

The recipe as I originally found it calls for 5 cups of thinly sliced zucchini as the main vegetable, but whenever I see an amount like that for one item I immediately think of it as 5 cups of ANY vegetable or mixture of vegetables.  Given that I had only 1/2 a zucchini on hand, I knew I would need to add other vegetables to make close to the quantity the recipe specified. So I added 6 stalks of asparagus, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces and a medium carrot thinly sliced, plus the onions called for.  These, the pasta,  and 1/2 pound of sweet Italian sausage were the main ingredients that I used to make this casserole.

The recipe makes about 6 servings, so for two of us, there was enough for another meal, and it reheat easily in the oven covered with foil so it remained moist.  My husband commented twice on how good it was and how much he enjoyed it.  With that kind of reception I can’t wait to make it again.

ZUCCHINI, SAUSAGE, AND FETA CASSEROLE

Yield:   6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2  1/2 cups uncooked ziti  (short tube-shaped pasta)
  • 8 ounces chicken sausage
  • cooking spray
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 5 cups thinly sliced zucchini ( about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 cups vertically sliced onion–about 1 large one
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tsp. all purpose flour
  • 1/2  cup ( 2 ounces )crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup ( 2 ounces ) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 400*F

2.  Cook pasta in boiling water 5 minutes, omitting salt and fat;  drain

3.  Remove casings from sausage.  Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add sausage to pan; cook until browned, stirring to crumble.  Remove from pan.

4.  Heat oil in pan.  Add zucchini, ( and any other vegetables you may be using), onion, salt, pepper, and garlic.  Cook 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally,

Sauteing all the vegetables together.

Sauteing all the vegetables together.

5.  Combine broth and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Add broth mixture to pan; cook 1 minute.  Combine zucchini mixture, pasta, sausage, and feta cheese in a large bowl  ( or pan pasta was cooked in );  toss well.  Spoon pasta mixture into an 11 x 7 – inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle evenly with mozzarella cheese.

Mix pasta with vegetables and sausage in a baking dish.

Mix pasta with vegetables and sausage in a baking dish.

6.  Bake at 400*F for 20 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned.

Serve with a salad for a complete meal.

Serve with a salad for a complete meal.

SOURCE:   Cooking Light

Pappardelle with Salmon and Leeks

Every country has its pasta dishes, and we here in the U.S. are fortunate in having an abundance of pasta varieties to incorporate into our cooking.  Pappardelle, native to Italy, is a type of pasta made from eggs and whole wheat flour, then cut into wide ribbons, so it provides a lot of substance and chew-factor.  It you are looking for a healthy pasta dish, you won’t go wrong with this one.

Pappardelle, with salmon and leeks.

Pappardelle, with salmon and leeks.

This dish makes good use of leeks,  a great spring vegetable, and salmon.  If leeks are not available where you live, you could substitute any mild flavored onion.  Another nice addition would be baby spinach that gets just wilted by the heat of the pasta.  When I eat this meal I feel that I’ve indulged my craving for pasta and treated myself to something especially healthful and nutritious.

PAPPARDELLE WITH SALMON AND LEEKS

YIELD:    Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 lb. uncooked pappardelle pasta

    Pappardelle,  wide pasta ribbons.

    Pappardelle, wide pasta ribbons.

  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2  large leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2  teaspoons minced fresh savory, or 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 3/4  teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine  (or chicken broth)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon rind
  • 1  ( 1 lb. salmon fillet ), fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter

1.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid; keep pasta and cooking liquid warm.

2.  Heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add leeks, savory, and 1/2 teaspoon salt;  cook 15 minutes or until leeks are translucent, stirring occasionally.

Saute leeks in olive oil.

Saute leeks in olive oil.

Increase heat to medium-high.  Add wine; cook 1 minute.  Add chicken broth; bring to a simmer.  Remove from heat; stir in pasta, reserved cooking liquid, parsley, and lemon rind.

Cook salmon until golden and browned, but still moist.

Cook salmon until golden and browned, but still moist.

3.  Sprinkle salmon fillet with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add remaining 1 Tablespoon olive oil and the butter;  swirl until butter melts.  Add salmon, and cook for 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.  Break the salmon into large chunks.  Arrange 1 cup of the pasta mixture on each of 6 plates, and top evenly with salmon.  Serve immediately.

I added asparagus to the menu to round out the meal.

I added asparagus to the menu to round out the meal.

SOURCE:   The Glorious Pasta of Italy,   by Domenica Marchetti

Orecchiette with Kale and Breadcrumbs

Orecchiette with kale and breadcrumbs (and sausage).

Orecchiette with kale and breadcrumbs.

In Italian, orecchiette  means “little ears”, and for this dish that pasta is the perfect shape for holding the kale and bread crumbs. I love the fact that there are so many different shapes of pasta and each of them, or similar ones, are meant for a specific type of sauce.  One cannot get bored with pasta when there are so many to choose from.

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I had never cooked with orecchiette before, but on reading the recipe, it looked like something I would like (including my newfound fondness for kale).  This is a hearty dish that is vegetarian, but accepts the addition of meat -in this case, sausage-very well.   I wasn’t sure if a meal consisting of only pasta and kale would be adequate for Mr. D.  so I decided on adding crumbled Italian sausage rather than whole links or slices because of the shape of the pasta.  In the supermarkets that I go to, this pasta shape was hard to find.  The “name brand” pasta companies didn’t seem to have it.  I finally found it in the isle with imported foods.

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The yield of this recipe is large, probably enough to feed 6 people.  I used half a pound of pasta and kept all the other ingredients the same, plus I added half pound of ground Italian sausage (no casings).  This was enough for two of us with enough left over for another meal, or for lunches.  It is very flavorful; we really enjoyed it, and the homemade bread crumbs are a great addition.  Whatever dry bread you may have on hand can be used for the crumbs.  I had a piece of baguette that I used and it worked out well.

ORECCHIETTE WITH KALE AND BREADCRUMBS

YIELD:    about 6 servingsIMG_3559

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large bunch of kale, trimmed of thick stems
  • kosher salt
  • 5 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped, divided
  • 2 tablespoons ( 1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 anchovy fillets, packed in oil, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb. orecchiette pasta
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 pound ground Italian sausage, optional

1.  Working in batches, cook kale in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 4 minutes.  Using tongs or a skimmer, transfer to a rimmed baking sheet;  let cool.  Set aside pot with water.  Squeeze out excess liquid from kale.  Chop leaves and set aside.

Cook, cool and drain kale, then chop.

Cook, cool and drain kale, then chop.

2.  Heat 3 Tablespoons oil in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add breadcrumbs and cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown, about 4 minutes.  Add 1/3 of the chopped garlic and cook, stirring often, until breadcrumbs are golden, about 3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate;  let cool.

Making the breadcrumbs.

Making the breadcrumbs.

3.  If using sausage,  crumble sausage in a large heavy pan, breaking it up with a spoon, and cook until browned.  Drain any fat rendered, and set the sausage aside, then proceed with step #4 using the same pan.

4.  Heat butter and remaining 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium-low heat.  Add anchovies, red pepper flakes, and remaining 2/3 chopped garlic;  mashing anchovies with a spoon, until a paste forms, about 2 minutes.  Add reserved kale and 1/2 cup water.  Cook, stirring often until kale is warmed through, about 4 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Kale with seasonings in the pan.

Kale with seasonings in the pan.

Add in the cooked sausage.

Add in the cooked sausage.

5.  Meanwhile, bring reserved kale cooking liquid to a boil;  add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente.  Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.  Add pasta and 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid to kale mixture and stir to coat.  Increase heat to medium and continue stirring adding more cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta.

Drained pasta added into the mixture.

Drained pasta added into the mixture.

Mix in Parmesan and 1/2 cup breadcrumbs;  toss to combine.

6.  To serve, divide pasta among bowls and sprinkle with remaining bread crumbs.

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SOURCE:   Bon Appetit

Shades of Green

I’m thinking green, people.  I don’t mean environmentally green as in recycle, reduce, reuse or regift.  I mean the color green, as in grass,  spring,  shamrocks, emeralds,  (woo-hoo, my birthstone!).

Penne with Asparagus and Shrimp

Penne with Asparagus and Shrimp

What got me thinking along these lines was a display of fresh asparagus at the supermarket.  This vegetable says spring to me like no other so I had to buy some.  And then the question, ‘what shall I make with it?’  I pondered:  roast asparagus?  steamed asparagus with butter sauce?   asparagus with eggs?  No,  even though I like all those dishes, I wanted something more substantial that would make a whole meal.  So, remembering that I had a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer,  ( remember my resolution not to forget about foods in the freezer?)  I decided on the following recipe for Penne with Asparagus and Shrimp.  This is a healthy, hearty, yet easy recipe that is good enough to serve to guests.  It also makes a great take-along lunch for the next day.

PENNE WITH ASPARAGUS AND SHRIMP

SERVES:   about 4 generously

INGREDIENTS

Beautiful green asparagus, shrimp, onions and garlic.

Beautiful green asparagus, shrimp, onions and garlic.

  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for the table

DIRECTIONS

1.  Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add the penne and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes; drain

2.  Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.   Stir in the garlic and onion, and cook until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes.

Onions doing their thing.

Onions doing their thing.

3.  Pour in the white wine, and simmer for 2 minutes.  Stir in the red pepper flakes, butter, and asparagus;

White wine, butter and asparagus added.

White wine, butter and asparagus added.

Cook until the asparagus is just tender, about 3 minutes.  Add the shrimp and lemon juice, continue cooking until the shrimp have turned pink and are no longer translucent in the center.  Season with salt and pepper.

Shrimp, lemon juice, and then pasta added.

Shrimp, lemon juice, and then pasta added.

4.  Toss the cooked penne pasta with the shrimp and asparagus mixture.  Sprinkle with parsley and Parmesan cheese to garnish.

This just keeps getting better and better!

Sprinkle on more Parmesan cheese.

Sprinkle on more Parmesan cheese.

Serve with more parmesan cheese at the table to sprinkle on each serving.

SOURCE:  AllRecipes.com