Arsip Tag: sausage

pasta with favas, tomatoes and sausage – smitten kitchen

I wish I could tell you that the last meal cooked in the first Smitten Kitchen was a triumph, a fitting coda to four-plus years in a sun-drenched Manhattan kitchen with enough space to put everything away (not that I’m pointing fingers or anything, new kitchen) and space enough for two people (and at least one growing midsection) to settle comfortably within it. Alas, that was not the case.

blanching fresh favas

Instead it was prepared in the evening (when even the skylight couldn’t be taken advantage of), in kind of rushed (as in, “why am I cooking dinner when I should be packing things, or pretending to pack things while actually reading the internet?”) and was less of a “I’ve always wanted to make this” and more of a “if we’re packing up the kitchen tomorrow, let’s get on last meal in tonight.” Ah, the glamor! But isn’t this so often what weekday night cooking is about?

peeled favas

That isn’t to say that it wasn’t tasty. It was actually a delicious compromise of a dinner: Alex will never say no to a dish that involves any format of sausages and I’ve been eagerly awaiting fresh fava beans (get it? Peas in pods, gosh, I’m hilarious). Alas, favas are not around yet (on this coast), but Alex found some politically incorrect ones at a store, to hold me over. Although I know shucking, blanching and peeling favas isn’t the quickest thing, and that frozen ones are readily available (and if not, limas will do), to me, the fresh ones are more than worth the effort, sweet, almost nutty and the embodiment of spring (even when the weather outside begs to differ).

sausage! sausages! sausage!

What felt like by the skin of our teeth, we’ve “landed” in the new place and by golly, do we own a lot of stuff for people who claim to live a uncluttered life. The 60-plus boxes piled in the second bedroom (which buys us at least five months to unpack them, right?) and our poor furniture (heaved relentlessly down three flights of narrow stairs, walked to a truck a block away, then back up another three flights of stairs by Vinnie’s Brawniest) might beg to differ. But we’re here, and I must say, deeply smitten with the new digs. Smitten enough to unpack the kitchen today? Hoo hoo hee. Let’s not get crazy or anything.

fresh pasta sheets

One year ago: Almond Cake with Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote

Fresh Pasta with Favas, Tomatoes and Sausage
Adapted from Bon Appetit

Whether I have time or energy to make my own, I still think that fresh pasta makes a dish. If you buy freshly rolled sheets, often labeled for lasagna, when you take them home you can use them as you wish, cutting them into long strips, odd shapes or even rolling them thinner, for a more delicate pasta dish.

Serves eight, in theory. I’d say it serves four.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/8 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 pound Italian sausages, casings removed
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 3/4 cups chopped plum tomatoes or diced canned tomatoes
1 cup shelled fresh fava beans (from about 1 pound), blanched 3 minutes then peeled, or double-peeled frozen, thawed
3/4 pound fresh pasta sheets (simple recipe here, richer recipe here), cut as desired (maltagliati, or “badly cut” pasta with irregular shapes is suggested), or dried egg fettuccine
2 tablespoons finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese plus additional for passing

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add next onion, garlic and red pepper and sauté until onion is translucent, about six minutes. Add sausages; break up with fork or a flat-ended wooden spoon. Sauté until brown, about three minutes. Add wine; simmer one minute, scraping up browned bits. Add tomatoes and fava beans. Sauté until tomatoes soften, about five minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to same pot.

Add sauce to pasta. Toss over medium heat until sauce coats pasta, adding reserved cooking liquid as needed if dry, about two minutes. Mix in two tablespoons cheese and transfer pasta to bowl. Serve, passing additional cheese.

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lentil soup with sausage, chard and garlic – smitten kitchen

Every year around this time — well into the winter season, but long after we found it charmingly brisk, as it is when you do googly-eyed things like ice skating around a sparkling tree at the holidays — we get some sort of brittle cold snap in the weather that catches me by surprise. Even though we live in New York, a place where a cold snap or two a January is as predictable as being hosed by some unspeakably awful puddle of street juice slush by a car spinning through an intersection; even though I’ve lived in this exact climate for every one of my thirty-I-don’t-want-to-talk-about-it years; and even though I have the audacity to look forward to winter every sticky concrete-steaming summer, when I walk outside on that first 20-degree day and the wind gusts into my face and renders it hard to exhale, the very first thing I do is audibly holler in rage and disbelief, “WHAT THE WHAT?” I am nothing — as we joke when my sweet little son tries to clomp down the hallway in his dad’s massive boots and immediately falls on his tush — if not Harvard Material.

all of this + 24 degrees outside: let's go!

Weeks like the one we’re having on the East Coast require their own bourbon cocktail plane tickets to someplace tropical and child-free, uh, family-friendly elixir and although I’ve previously found comfort in such meal intensities as lasagna bolognese, chili and mushroom and noodles, glorified, I think this year’s pick — a hearty Lentil Soup with Sausage, Chard and Garlic trumps them all. It hails from the new cookbook from the guy behind one of the first food blogs I ever read, and still do, The Amateur Gourmet. I think you should buy it right this very second. Why? Because in it, Adam Roberts does what he does best — schmooze with great chefs and get them to spill the dirt, all in the name of making us better home cooks.

[He’s also good at this with less famous, non-chefs, such as yours truly, when he got me to confess to a packed room last month my top-secret, totally-un-PC method of getting toddlers to occasionally eat what you’d like them to, not that I’d be crazy enough to let that happen twice.]

the easiest simmer

To write this book, Adam travelled all over the country to visit chefs in their work or home kitchens with a reporter’s notebook and jotted down everything. He learned all sorts of goodies such as why Sara Moulton says you should steel your knives before starting to chop things and how you can tell without sniffing or tasting (or crossing your fingers) whether your butter is still good. Oh, and he’s just getting started. Reading this on a lazy Saturday afternoon before my son decided to start his still ongoing nap strike [our household internal dialogue is something like this right now: noooooooo], I was enrapt as I learned the secret of Jonathan Waxman’s technique for tossing salad and how Alice Water’s “crown” of fresh herbs can make even the simplest olive oil-fried eggs heavenly, plus a font of tips he picked up through observation, such as how chefs manage to use their produce before it gets forgotten and goes bad to (still shocking to me) how sparingly most of them used freshly ground black pepper.

rainbow chard

What none of these tips — delightfully, refreshingly — aim to do is intensify the gap between restaurant chefs and home cooks. There’s nobody on a high horse, rolling their eyes at people who prefer to cook from recipes or who benefit from (gasp!) suggested measurements of seasonings. I had very few opportunities to take part in my own eye-rolling-at-chef-recipes pastime, such as when they expect you to use four skillets and eight prep bowls to make a single soup. No, instead this book’s stated goal would, in an ideal world, be the stated goal of every cookbook on the shelves, to be “a prompt, a catalyst for self-reliance in the kitchen.” That it also yielded one of the most delicious, hearty soups that’s ever graced a frigid January day was just the cherry sizzling garlic oil on top.

lentil soup with sausage, chard, garlic

One year ago: Buckwheat Baby with Salted Caramel Syrup
Two years ago: Pizza with Bacon, Onions and Cream and Baked Potato Soup
Three years ago: Poppy Seed Lemon Cake, Black Bean Soup + Toasted Cumin Seed Crema and Cranberry Syrup (+ An Intensely Almond Cake)
Four years ago: Squash and Chickpea Moroccan Stew, Vanilla Almond Rice Pudding, Light Wheat Bread, Clementine Cake, Mushroom Bourguignon, Sugar Puffs and Smashed Chickpea Salad
Five years ago: Crunchy Baked Pork Chops, Pickled Carrot Sticks and Chicken Caesar Salad
Six years ago: World Peace Cookies, Salade Lyonnaise, Artichoke Ravioli and Leek and Mushroom Quiche

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baked pasta with broccoli rabe and sausage – smitten kitchen

Guys, I am in the weeds this month. After a summer of lazy, a summer of two vacations and a husband (eh, unpaid assistant) always around, making life fun and easy, a mess of busy (new job, work travel for him, book touring for me, a spate of solo parenting of each of us, new preschool, new babysitter, and very important birthday party allatonce) has descended on our recently idyllic lifestyle and, no, I am not handling it with the effortless grace you’ve come to expect from me. Quit laughing. Stop it. I could be effortless or graceful! I mean, there was that one time… Okay, fine. I’m handling it as predicted: with equal measures of bourbon and complaining on the internet. I never claimed to be a model human.

pasta + parmesan + sausage + garlic + rabe
still obsessed with this pasta shape

Once in a while, though, once in a sweet savior of a blue moon, I plan ahead and this time, it’s saving this page from flatlining, at least until I get my head back in the game. This dish is, in fact, one of my favorite new dinner recipes this year; we loved it so much that I found it agonizing to wait so long to tell you about it. But it didn’t feel like the right season to post it when I made it (late this past spring). I wanted to save it for what I considered a more chaotic and comfort-demanding time of year, like September (even if the 92 degree weather today mocks my best laid plans).

broccoli rabe

the broccoli rabe cooks with the pasta

It started as a hunt for my own take on a baked ziti. Although I would never, ever turn it away if you brought some by my apartment at about 5:55 this afternoon (I would probably leap into your arms and kiss you, which might be awkward, so consider yourself warned), traditional American-Italian baked ziti has never been my favorite thing because I’ve never much cared for the texture of baked ricotta, which seems to be in every recipe. And, while I love tomato sauce in all formats, it always feels a little clashy against the green vegetables I insist make pasta-for-dinner acceptable any night of the week. No, I realized my dream baked ziti would probably not be ziti at all (I think other chunky pastas pick up sauce better), but a chunky, craggy deconstructed lasagna with all of the important parts played up — browned crunchy edges for miles, hearty chunks of sausage and thick green vegetables.

a drippings + butter bechamel
a mix, plus some wayward pasta wheels
diced mozzarella strings when melted
ready to bake

I made a big old pan of this before the last book tour, to help get the boys through the week. I made another one the week before we went to Rome, when we didn’t want to load up on groceries that would go to waste, and we brought the last portions to the airport, for a so-much-better-than-airplane dinner. I did not, unfortunately, stash some in my freezer before this week began but if you’re having a week or month like we are, or maybe it’s just getting cool enough where you are to consider rib-sticking but not gut-weighing food again, you should make this beast happen.

hello, dinner! baked pasta with rabe and sausage
crunchy, not goopy, baked pasta
baked pasta with broccoli and sausage

Related: This dish has some ingredients in common with Pasta with Garlicky Broccoli Rabe weeknight staple. Previously, in the baked pasta department: Baked Rigatoni with Tiny Meatballs, Lasagna Bolognese, Mushroom Lasagna and last year’s Baked Orzo with Eggplant and Mozzarella

One year ago: Baked Orzo with Eggplant and Mozzarella
Two years ago: Red Wine Chocolate Cake (and my sorta-9/11 story with a happy ending)
Three years ago: Grape Foccacia with Rosemary
Four years ago: Nectarine Galette
Five years ago: Marinated Eggplant with Capers and Mint
Six years ago: Hoisin Barbecue Sauce

Baked Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

Important: This is my dream of a baked pasta dish — not too heavy, not to rich or gooey, tons of crunchy edges. As you might see in the photos above, it’s on the firm side. If you’d like a baked pasta with more sauce, which I expect most of you will, you’ll want to use 1 1/2 times the bechamel and cheese below.

Broccoli rabe (also called raab or rapini) is a leafy green vegetable with buds that somewhat resemble broccoli. It’s slightly bitter and holds up well to cooking. If you can’t find it, regular broccoli or broccolini will work here as well; they will only need 3 and 2 minutes respectively of boiling time with the pasta to keep it semi-crisp. If you’d like to make this without meat, the sausage can definitely be omitted. You could add some lightly sauteed chunky brown mushrooms for extra bulk, as well.

The pasta shape I used here is called toscani and it’s from the brand Seggiano. I have found it at Whole Foods and, if you’re in the East Village, Commodities Natural Market on 1st Ave. (plus I’m sure other stores). When I can’t get, it I use Barilla’s similar campanelle or seriously any chunky pasta you like to bake with.

Pasta and assembly
1 pound chunky pasta of your choice (I love bell shapes; see above for details)
1 bundle broccoli rabe (see above for options), stems and leaves cut into 1-inch segments
1 pound Italian sausage (sweet or spicy pork or chicken), casings removed
2/3 cup grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese
6 ounces mozzarella, cut into small cubes

2 cups milk, full fat is ideal
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
Few gratings fresh nutmeg

Cook the pasta and rabe: Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add pasta and five minutes before its cooking time is up, add the broccoli rabe. It will seem like too much for the water, but with a stir or two, the rabe should wilt and cook alongside the pasta. Drain the broccoli rabe and pasta together and place in a large bowl.

Cook your sausage: Meanwhile, heat 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, wide saucepan (you will use this for the bechamel in a few minutes; you could also use your pasta pot, once it is drained) over medium heat. When hot, add the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until it starts to brown, about five minutes. Remove with slotted spoon or spatula, leaving any fat behind. Eyeball the drippings (pork sausage will leave some; chicken usually does not) — use one tablespoon less butter next if it looks like there’s a tablespoon there. Any less, don’t worry about adjusting the butter.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Make the bechamel: Melt your butter in same saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add your flour and stir it into the butter until smooth. Cook the mixture together for a minute, stirring constantly. Pour in a small drizzle of your milk, whisking constantly into the butter-flour mixture until smooth. Continue to drizzle a very small amount at a time, whisking constantly. Once you’ve added a little over half of your milk, you’ll find that you have more of a thick sauce or batter, and you can start adding the milk in larger splashes, being sure to keep mixing. Once all of the milk is added, add the salt, garlic, nutmeg, and few grinds of black pepper, and bring the mixture to a lower simmer and cook it, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Assemble and bake: Add the sausage and bechamel to the bowl with the pasta and broccoli rabe. Stir in mozzarella and half of grated parmesan or pecorino until combined. Pour into a lasagna pan, deep 9×13-inch baking dish* or 3-quart casserole dish and coat with remaining parmesan or pecorino. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the edges and craggy points are nicely bronzed.

Eat warm. Reheat as needed.

* I love this so much, I’ve bought two, and it’s usually crazy inexpensive.

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cabbage and sausage casserole – smitten kitchen

Let me get the obvious out of the way: you are not going to win friends, neighbors with whom you share airspace or small children over with cabbage casserole. It’s beige and gray with traces of drab green. It’s cooked forever, or until whatever vim and vigor may have initially been in the leaves has departed. At best, it’s akin to unstuffed cabbage, which means that it will be comfort food to some but torture to others.

a very large amount of cabbage
chop, chop

However, if you are of the sort that has not yet been deterred (as you can see, I did my best), I have exactly the right thing for us to fill ourselves with on this face-freezing week of January* This preparation comes from the late, great English food writer Jane Grigson, whose writing and recipes I enjoyed long before I learned that she shares my disdain for beets —

par-cook cabbage

We do not seem to have had much success with the beetroot in this country. Perhaps this is partly the beetroot’s fault. It is not an inspiring vegetable, unless you have a medieval passion for highly coloured food. With all that purple juice bleeding out at the tiniest opportunity, a cook may reasonably feel that beetroot has taken over the kitchen and is far too bossy a vegetable.

— but, I won’t lie, even more so since. It’s in this same book, her Vegetable book, that she writes about Stuffed Cabbage in the Trôo Style, one of the — because I want you to be aptly warned of exactly what you are dealing with here — five stuffed cabbage recipes in the chapter. She speaks of visiting her neighbor who was making chou farci for her grandaughters that were coming to supper and being surprised when she peered under the lid not to find a big round stuffed cabbage but a flat layer of leaves. Madame Glon, the neighbor, insisted that this “quick” method was just as good as the classic one (a whole cabbage, stuffed) and made a convert out of Grigson.

parchment under foil

Grigson then, in the year 1978, answers several questions I anticipate internet commenters to ask in the year 2016, saying that she’s made it with various spicy and aromatic additions such as tomatoes, bits of bacon, herbs and so on, but has rejected them in favor of the “Trôo simplicity cabbage, good sausagemeat and butter,” which I — a dweller of the Lower East Side of Manhattan some 3600 miles away, where simplicity usually means limiting oneself to a single type of chile paste, imported sea salt and heirloom vegetable — hadn’t considered my dinner priorities until that exact second. As my year’s theme so far is seeing something good and making it as soon as humanly possible we had it for dinner that very night, heaped on thick slices of whole wheat sourdough slathered with coarse Dijon mustard and now you can count us among the converts not just to the dish, but the idea that there’s a time and place for unfancy, unpretty, unpopular food too.

before going back into the oven
cabbage and sausage casserole

* when the other three tabs open in my browser are, predictably: 1. out-of-my-budget arctic parkas, 2. clever new ways to add even more cheese, sour cream and butter to baked potatoes, and 3. a friend’s torturous beach vacation photos

Stuffed Cabbage, Previously: Russian-Style and Italian-Style

One year ago: Key Lime Pie and Fried Egg Salad
Two years ago: Chicken Pho and Pear and Hazelnut Muffins
Three years ago: Gnocchi in Tomato Broth and Lentil Soup with Sausage, Chard and Garlic
Four years ago: Buckwheat Baby with Salted Caramel Syrup
Five years ago: Baked Potato Soup
Six years ago: Poppy Seed Lemon Cake and Black Bean Soup with Toasted Cumin Seed Crema
Seven years ago: Almond Vanilla Rice Pudding and Light Wheat Bread
Eight years ago: Pickled Carrot Sticks
Nine years ago: Artichoke Ravioli with Tomatoes and Cauliflower and Brussels Salad

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Look What Else We Baked! 🙂
1.5 Years Ago: Easiest Fridge Dill Pickles and Grilled Peach Splits
2.5 Years Ago: One-Pan Farro with Tomatoes
3.5 Years Ago: Peach Pie
4.5 Years Ago: Whole Wheat Raspberry and Ricotta Scones

Cabbage and Sausage Casserole
Adapted from Jane Grigson, by way of Tamasin Day-Lewis, by way of The New York Times

A few notes: I found the Day-Lewis yield take on recipe to be almost impossible to work with (you’ll need two giant pots to blanche 4 pounds cabbage, and at least 2 lasagna pans to bake it) so I halved it. A few NYT commenters said they found it easier to pour a kettle or two of boiling water over the cabbage in a colander rather than boiling it in a pot of water, but I did not, mostly because there was so much cabbage and my kettle is tiny. And while the ideas you can springboard off the recipe are almost countless — brats and red cabbage, a heap of spices, more vegetables — there’s a lot to be said about a 4-ingredient dish that will keep you warm for a long time. Just don’t skimp on the seasoning. Salt and pepper, confidently applied, will keep this dish from falling asleep.

Serves 6 to 8

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound fresh sweet Italian pork sausages or bulk sausage meat
1 large green or Savoy cabbage (2 pounds), cored and thickly shredded
Freshly ground black pepper
Crusty bread and coarse mustard, for serving

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and butter a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish. If using sausages, remove casings and discard them.

Place cabbage in boiling water, cover, and let water come back to the boil. Uncover and boil for 3 minutes. Drain cabbage in a colander and run cold water over it to stop cooking. Drain well.

Put about 1/3 of the cabbage in buttered dish and cover with 1/2 the meat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and dot with butter. Repeat, ending with a final layer of cabbage, and dot top with butter.

Cover dish tightly with a layer of parchment paper (commenters who skipped the parchment said that their vegetables discolored against the foil), then top with a lid or a layer of aluminum foil. Cook for about 2 1/2 hours, until cabbage is soft and sweet, and top is lightly browned. After 2 hours, uncover the dish; if there is a lot of liquid in the bottom, leave uncovered for the rest of the cooking time. If not, re-cover and finish cooking. In our case, there was not a lot of liquid but I hoped to get a little color on the top so left it uncovered for the remaining time.

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sausage and potato roast with arugula – smitten kitchen

sausage and potato roast with arugula – smitten kitchen

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I realize that if you want to toss some sausages and vegetables on a sheet pan on a weekday night and roast them to crispy, self-seasoned blister, there are innumerable ways to do it. I’ve fiddled around with this broccoli and chunks of sausage; I’d intended to try a version with cherry tomatoes and garlicky croutons before my tomatoes went south. You may not need a recipe.

what you'll needlotsa shallotsready to roastan interruption arrives

But for me, so much of weeknight cooking is a random suggestion that pops into my feed that doesn’t have to be overtly revolutionary, just something I hadn’t considered before and immediately want to make before anything else. In a moment, I go from lethargically considering a bunch of options I’d rejected on previous evenings for various reasons to mentally calculating how long it will be until dinner and wishing it was now now now. Finding these moments is my primary cooking interest.

from the oven

This is also how this sausage and potato roast came about. It’s from Justin Chapple at Food & Wine, the same person who brought us this spaghetti pie, cacio e pepe style, i.e. he’s crazy clever. What called to me about this version were two things: the abundance of shallots that roast until they’re dark and sweet, and the abundance of arugula, meaning that this dish is protein, starch and salad at once, or the dinnertime equivalent of the praise-hands emoji. I also love that you finish it with lemon juice; a burst of acidity goes far to balance all of the flavors. It feels like a meat-and-potato main crossed with a fall salad. (I’ve already told my mother she should make it for dinner tonight, if you needed a bigger endorsement.)

does not want to wait for dinneradding the fresh arugulasausage and potato roast with arugulasausage and potato roast with arugula, mine

But also some Black Bean Soup: I updated one of my favorite vegetarian (vegan without the crema finish) soups in the archives last week with (drumroll) InstantPot directions (in addition to the existing stovetop and slow-cooker ones). It doesn’t matter how you make it, only that you do.

Sausage and Potato Roast with Arugula

I ended up tweaking a few of the amounts — I needed weights for potatoes because I’m exacting and found a 5-ounce clamshell of washed baby arugula to be more than enough for the dish. And I needed more cooking time. Yours, too, will probably vary a little depending on the thickness and of your sausages and potato cuts. I can get shallots easily but I do think if they’re a pain for you to get that red onion wedges (I’d cut up 2 to 3 large ones) would work too.

  • 1 3/4 pounds mixed unpeeled potatoes (red, yukon gold, fingerlings or russet), if small/baby, cut in half, if larger, in 1-inch thick wedges
  • 10 medium (about 1/2 pound) unpeeled shallots, halved
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper or red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage, cut into 3-inch lengths
  • One 5-ounce package of baby arugula or one 8-ounce bundle, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or white wine vinegar

Heat oven to 425°. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss all of the potatoes and shallots with 3 tablespoons olive oil, salt (I use 1 teaspoon kosher), and a lot freshly ground black pepper or red pepper flakes to taste. Roast for 15 minutes, at which they’ll be barely beginning to color. Give them a toss and add sausages. Brush the tops with a little olive oil and return the tray to the oven for another 30 to 40 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and the sausage is cooked through.

To finish: Transfer everything on the tray to a big bowl and add arugula, lemon juice, and more salt and pepper to taste. Serve right away.


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