Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Whats For Dinner?

This dish was one of the first dinners I made. I found it among my Italian recipes. After 17 years I still use it:

Sausage Broccoli Dish (This is what I call it)

I use turkey or Italian sausage, egg noodles, broccoli, carrots and onion. Cook your sausage first, cut it into bite size pieces set aside with juices. Saute your onions, cook carrots and the broccoli. I cook the broccoli alone in olive oil and season with Italian seasonings. Once that is done I take all the cooked veggies and add them in the pan to keep warm. While your doing that cook your egg noodles. Throw all together and it is fabulous! This dish is quick, easy and great to take to potluck.

Here is another receipe I am trying tonight, similar to above. I saw this on Everyday Italian. I could not find broccoli rabe (or rapini) anywhere and I saw it at Harris Teeter the other day along with the orecchiette (little ears ) pasta.

Broccoli Rabe is a common vegetable in southern Italy or Sicily. It has a bitter, nutty taste.

Orecchiette and Broccoli Rabe Dinner


2 bunches broccoli rabe, stems trimmed
1 pound orecchiette pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound turkey Italian-style sausage, casings removed
3 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch dried crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan


Cook the broccoli rabe in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp tender, about 1 minute. Transfer the broccoli rabe to a large bowl of ice water to cool, saving the cooking water. Bring the reserved cooking water back to a boil.

Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up into pieces with a spoon, until browned and juices form, about 12 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, when the reserved cooking water is boiling, add the orecchiette and cook until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.
Strain the broccoli rabe and add it to the pan with the sausage mixture and toss to coat with the juices. Add the pasta to the skillet. Stir in the Parmesan and serve immediately.

Simple Tomato Sauce:

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
4 to 6 basil leaves
2 dried bay leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional

In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add celery and carrot and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and taste for seasoning. If sauce tastes too acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, to round out the flavor.

Pour half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.
If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and then pour 1 to 2 cup portions into plastic freezer bags. Freeze for up to 6 months.

Yield: 6 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes


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