When the temp starts heating up I automatically think about grilling foods though, anything that doesn’t use the oven works for this season. I always see this pasta dish on restaurant menus and figured it would be nice even on a warm night since the sauce is pretty light.
I don’t cook broccoli rabe often. I find it somewhat bitter but it was a good contrast in this one and anything that makes for a different dinner is nice.
1/2 pound of orecchiette pasta
3 sausage links, casting removed (sweet Italian or spicy)
1 bunch broccoli rabe, outer leaves discarded
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Bring salted water to a boil for the pasta.
In a large pan over medium high heat, cook the sausage all the way through, breaking it into smaller pieces with the back of a wooden spoon.
Chop the broccoli rabe into chunks, discarding the ends.
Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon to drain on a paper towel.
Add the pasta to the water and cook according to the package.
In the same pan as the sausage, in the oil, saute the broccoli rabe for about 10 minutes, until mostly cooked through.
Add in the broth and sausage and cook for about 3 minutes on medium high heat, then reduce to low heat.
Ladle out a cup of the starchy pasta water and set aside. Drain the rest of the pasta and add the pasta into the pan with the sausage, broccoli rabe, and broth. Stir well and sprinkle in some parmesan and ground black pepper. (Taste before adding any salt since the broth, cheese, and sausage might be salty enough.) Add in a splash of pasta water if it is too dry.
Sprinkle with more parmesan and enjoy!
This shape pasta is so cute. I liked the really light touch of a sauce on here full of sausage flavor and some broth.
It is officially time for maternity leave. “I’ll be back”. In the meantime, I have a few goodies to share out here in the blog-o-sphere until I come back. Enjoy!
‘What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.
This is seriously so easy it is ridiculous but it was just what I was after for a really quick dinner plan, conducive to leftovers, and only needing a few ingredients. Rice, turkey kielbasa, red onion, green peppers, ready-made sauce, brown sugar. Poof! Dinner!
You could always get your own sauce in there and throw in other veggies. Whatever floats your boat.
Ingredients: (serves 3)
1 link turkey kielbasa (or regular, or brats, or chicken sausage, or you get the gist)
1 green bell pepper
1/2 red onion
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
Start cooking the rice according to that you’re using. (I used instant brown rice that needed 10 minutes once the water boiled)
Slice the kielbasa, pepper, and onion into chunks.
Heat a large pan and start cooking the onion & kielbasa over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes, until the onion starts to soften.
Add in the brown sugar and teriyaki sauce mixing well.
Add in the green pepper and cook for 5 minutes to combine well and for the sugar to melt.
Optional: taste and add in a splash of water if it is too strong flavored.
Reduce heat to low.
Serve over rice and enjoy!
This is so easy but I think the real trick is not to over cook the peppers while not undercooking the onion. The onion needs to soften and the peppers need to still have a crunch…they don’t cook the same amount of time. The kielbasa has good flavor and is fully cooked, so it really is just absorbing flavor and heating through. Mr. J would choose white rice, but with a sticky, tangy, and sweet sauce on it, he’ll accept brown rice.
After apple picking, I knew some dinners should include apples…as well as snacks, breakfasts, and any other occasion this fall. Seriously, the orchard only did big bags so we have a LOT of apples. I hadn’t made a calzone in awhile so that was the winner.
Apples are easily served with brie or baked into some dessert. Well, no brie or soft cheeses for me for another 3 months, and I’m not a big baker.
1 onion, sliced
2 apples, sliced
2-3 chicken sausage links
2 cups mozzarella, shredded
Preheat the oven and a pizza stone if using one, to 400-degrees.
In a large skillet over medium low heat, gently cook the onion until lightly browned and cooked through.
Slice the sausage and add them to the pan to warm through.
Roll out or spread the dough out. Then drape it onto the pizza stone or pan, off-centered so the toppings will go on the bottom and the excess will fold over.
Layer on the cheese, sausage and onions, and the apple slices.
Keep layering the toppings, even if it seems like it is over filled.
Pull the rest of the dough over the top and pinch to close.
Cut a few slices in the top of the calzone to vent it.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden browned and cooked through.
Let sit 5 minutes before slicing.
I loved this one. I’ll definitely make it again. The apples being raw added a soft crunch to go with the sweet onions and the mild chicken sausage. This is such a fantastic combination. I’d love these flavors as a sub or panini, or as a pizza, or an app of some sort.
Like most calzones, this could easily be a pizza but I was feelin’ a calzone. I also wanted to play around with using different cheeses so I went with Monterey Jack. Pepper Jack, cheddar, mozzarella, or a mix would work well with these flavors. This calzone feels very ballpark-ish which is appropriate right about now. A million years ago I made a sausage and pepper calzone but I didn’t really blog it. It was time to highlight the good stuff.
I went really heavy on the Italian Seasoning but would tone it down a bit for anyone who doesn’t like bold flavor. I used the color peppers that were on sale but really any would be good. I also think it’s an easy time to lighten up the calorie count with some chicken sausage or turkey smoked sausage. This is a crowd-pleaser that could easily be prepped in advance and baked for only 10 minutes. Then it can be refrigerated or frozen and baked for another 20-30 when it is time to eat.
1 ball pizza dough
3 sausage links, scored with a few shallow slices
1/2 yellow pepper
1/2 red pepper
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
a few drips of liquid smoke (optional)
8 oz Monterey Jack cheese
Preheat the oven to 400-degrees (and pizza stone if using one).
In a medium skillet, over medium heat, cook the sausage until crisped and cooked through. Or grill them!
Slice the peppers and onion into strips and then into chunks.
In a large pan, over medium heat, cook the onions in 1 tsp olive oil. After 3-4 minutes, add the peppers, garlic, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, adding liquid smoke if desired.
Spread the pizza dough out, stretching it out evenly.
Spread it out onto the pizza stone/pan off center, so the filling gets added to what will become the bottom. The top will cover it and meet the bottom without having to move the calzone.
Layer cheese, sausage slices, peppers, and repeat. Spread all the filling out to the edges. Layer, layer, layer…it seems like less when it bakes.
Pull the top over and pinch it to close the seam.
Cut a few slices in the top of the calzone. Brush the top with eggwash or olive oil (optional).
Bake 30 minutes.
Let sit 5 minutes before slicing.
The calzone is a great way to reduce the meat and up the veggies. With just 3 links of sausage I had 4 servings of calzone. The ratio is off here, being heavy on the peppers and light on the sausage which I love. I think there was plenty of sausage (2 links might have been just fine) and I’d rather us filling it up with peppers and onions.
My mom makes some seriously awesome stuffing. It works like a side dish but I figured holding strong on 2 food groups meant I’d make it the main dish! I love this and would eat it far too often if it were at all good for me. It’s a fantastic wintry food and makes a great dinner or side dish. There’s a secret ingredient that is the trick.
My sous chef wanted to help #kitchendogs #fluffybailee
4-6 sausage links, removed from the casing (I used turkey sausage this time)
1 loaf of sourdough bread or something crusty
1 can golden mushroom soup (even mushroom-haters will not notice this is in here)
1/2 cup white wine
1/3 cup water
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Heat a large skillet to medium heat while you chop the onion and remove the casing from the sausage links.
Brown the sausage, breaking it into smaller chunks with the back of a wooden spoon.
In a medium pot, warm the soup, wine, water, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic over medium heat.
Cut the bread into chunks.
When the sausage is mostly cooked through, drain any excess grease and add the onions into the pan with the sausage. Cook a few minutes until the onion gets soft and a bit translucent, about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, toss the cooked sausage and onions and bread together.
Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl and mix well.
Empty the whole bowl into a large baking dish, sprayed with non-stick spray.
Bake uncovered for 40 minutes. Broil the last 3 minutes if the top hasn’t crisped enough
Yum. I love this one. The golden mushroom soup is so flavorful – just don’t confuse it with cream of mushroom soup.
I served this with some roasted asparagus for a quick dinner. The leftovers are great and it is just an inviting unfussy meal.
I found a loaf of artisan bread with garlic in it. It was pricey but I only used 4 sausage links and the bread. Other ingredients were super cheap and this was about 5 servings for us.
Shhhh. I nibbled on some leftovers for breakfast one morning when all I wanted was a non-sweet breakfast. What? A touch of maple and this is the ideal salty breakfast…just call it savory bread pudding and nobody will think twice.
some suggested adaptations:
this recipe + celery/kale/portobello/peppers = more veggie-ful stuffing
this recipe – golden mushroom soup + low sodium chicken broth = less salty/lower sodium meal (or reduce the soup to half a can and increase the water to 3/4 cups
this recipe + muffin tins = easily servable stuffing cups
this recipe – turkey sausage + soy sausage crumbles = vegetarian stuffing
this recipe + dried cranberries + sage = super seasonal flavors
A while ago I was at the grocery store and I asked a guy working the produce area if they had any tomatillos. He pointed me towards squash and said the “weird vegetables” are over there. By weird he pointed me to acorn and spaghetti squash. Not weird at all to me, but I decided to take his answer as “I don’t know”.
Anywho, I’ve been thinking about acorn squash lately and thought it would actually make a super simple weeknight dinner. It has some really great flavors and was so easy. I didn’t know if it would seem like too much of one thing but we liked it. It was like hitting all the food groups in one meal.
Ingredients (for 2 people):
1 acorn squash
2 sausage links
1 cup brown rice
1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 tbs garlic, chopped
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup wheat germ/breadcrumbs
1/3 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cut squash in half and scoop out the middle (I saved the seeds).
Roast face down in a baking dish for 20-30 minutes (or until tender when pricked with a fork).
While squash is roasting, remove the sausage from the casing and brown over medium heat with the onions.
Spoon out any grease/fat.
After 5 minutes or when the sausage is almost fully cooked, add in the rice, garlic, salt, pepper, and wheatgerm/breadcrumbs.
When fully cooked, add in the dried cranberries and stir well to incorporate the cranberries.
Remove the squash from the oven and flip the squash halves onto their skin. Spoon the filling into them.
Return to the oven for 10 minutes.
Optional: while squash are cooking rinse any seeds you saved away from the stringy part and toast in the oven.
Serve squash halves with some toasted seeds on top.
I loved this. It is so easy and quick. It felt very fall to me. The cranberries honestly make it. I think it needs the sweet/tart to contrast the savory sausage and the soft squash. I used a cup of single-serve brown rice that just needed to be microwaved. This would also be a good use for any leftover rice you wanted to use up.