Ravioli with Sausage & Brussel Sprouts

IMG_3196Hey all– We are finally having a real winter here!  After all the hot days of autumn when we were all longing just to slip on a sweater… It’s cold!  and even rainy!  My drought stricken yard has been gulping down all this water.  There’s fires in the fireplace and big pots of soup and sweaters, layers of sweaters!  I’m loving it.

And when it turns cold, pasta seems to be so warm and filling.  Loved this recipe for how quick it all goes together.  With a kale salad and a little tumbler of wine, it was just fine.

RAVIOLI WITH SAUSAGE & BRUSSELS SPROUTS
1 pound fresh cheese ravioli
3 tab olive oil, divided
1/2 pound mild Italian sausage*
12 oz. Brussel sprouts, end cut off and sliced thinly
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth
Grated parmesan romano

Cook the ravioli according to the instructions on the package.  Drain and rinse.

While that’s cooking, heat a skillet with 1 tab. of the olive oil.  The drop in the sausage, chopping it to small bits as it browns– should cook about 5 minutes.

Then add in the chopped Brussel sprouts, garlic and and salt & pepper.  Cook one minutes more.  Pour in the chicken broth and simmer on low for 2 or 3 minutes.

Layer the ravioli on a pretty plate, topped with the sausage and Brussel sprouts.  Sprinkle on a dusting of parmesan and it’s ready to eat!

*I used mild turkey sausage, but you can go for the hot sausage if you’re braver than I am.

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Pasta e Fagioli

IMG_3793Hi friends– here’s a steamy chunky soup that I had for dinner last weekend and leftovers for lunch all week.  That’s a big pot of soup!  With a sturdy loaf of bread and a bright salad slathered with balsamic vinegar, you can pretend you’re eating in an Italian village (or just sitting in the teacher’s lunchroom at school).

PASTA E PAGIOLI
1 cup macaroni*
1 pound milk Italian sausage
2 tab. olive oil
1 onion, cut fine
2 carrots, cut to small bits
3 cloves garlic
4 cups chicken broth
2 14oz. cans petit cut tomatoes with garlic
1 cup water
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 cup roasted red pepper, chopped
1 can cannellini beans (small while beans)
garnish: basil (or marjoram)** and parmesan

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in your soup pot, heat the olive oil.  Then crumble and cook the Italian sausage til it’s well browned.

Remove the cooked sausage from the pot and drop in the onions and carrots.  Cook 3 minutes, until they soften a bit and add in the garlic.

Next stir in the chicken broth, tomatoes, water and basil.  Cook at a simmer for 10 minutes.  Then add in the white beans, pasta and roasted pepper and cook just a couple minutes more to heat it all through.  Serve it up hot with a sprinkle of grated parmesan and some shredded basil or  marjoram.

*The recipe I worked from called for digitali pasta– but I used the smaller version, macaroni salad pasta because I had it in the cupboard.
**I used marjoram, because it grows like a week in the side yard.

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Potato Soup with Sausage & Swiss Chard

IMG_5586Hi friendsl– I have to admit I’m a little jealous– just read a facebook post from our girl Laurel in Chicago– “It’s snowing.  (I’m listening to Christmas music).  Where my candy canes at?”

Sheesh– it was in the 80’s here today– lovely weather, but we could use a little snow to really truly appreciate this nice hot soup!!  But I guess I can put on a little premature Christmas music and pretend…  In any case, whether is sunny and toasty where you are, or the big chill is rolling in, I think you might just like this homey potato soup.

POTATO SOUP WITH SAUSAGE & SWISS CHARD
2 Italian sausages
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup butter
2  14 oz. cans of chicken broth
4 russet potatoes, peeled and cut in small chunks
2 tab. cornstarch
Salt & freshly ground pepper
1 cup whole milk (or half & half)
3 swiss chard leaves

Take the skin off of the sausages and break them up into small pieces as they cook in the bottom of soup pot.  When the sausage is broken up, add in the onions and butter and cook it all until the sausage and onion are cooked through. Pour in the 2 cans of chicken broth and the chunked up potatoes.  Simmer this all together for about 10 minutes until the potatoes are tender.

In a container with a lit, shake together the cornstarch and 1/3 cup water.  When it’s thoroughly blended stir it into the simmer soup until it thickens.  Add the milk and season to taste with salt & pepper. Cut the stem and center vein out of the chard and chop it to shreds.  Add it into the soup and simmer until it’s hot enough to eat.  Bon apetit!

Garlicky Linguine with Italian Sausage and Basil

IMG_1745Hello friends– Larry’s still washing up the dishes after dinner tonight.  But I’m sitting right down here with my old trusty rusty lap top to send this good & garlicky recipe off to you!  It was a simple, satisfying summer supper.  Just pasta, turkey sausage and lots of flavor.  I think you’d really like it…

GARLICKY LINGUINE WITH ITALIAN SAUSAGE AND BASIL
8 oz. linguine
salt
splash of olive oil
1/2 pound Italian sausage (we used turkey)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
a shake or two of red pepper flakes
3 green onions
1/2 cup basil leaves
1/3 cup romano cheese grated

Put a pot of water on to boil with the salt and a splash of olive oil.  Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box (mine was 9 minutes)  While that’s heating up, take the sausage out of it’s casings and cook it, chopping it to bits until it cooks through.  Then add in the olive oil, garlic, and read pepper flakes to the pan.

When the pasta is cooked, drain off the water and spread it on a platter.  Then quickly cut the basil to shreds* and chop the green onion and throw them in to the pan with the sausage.  Give it a stir and then spoon it all over the pasta.  Sprinkle on the grated cheese and set it on the table!

Makes 3 or 4 servings.  Only takes about 20 minutes to get it ready.

*Don’t cut the basil ahead of time. Wait until you’re ready to throw it into the pan, or the edges will turn dark.

Got this recipe from a beautiful cooking blog–  http://cottagegrovehouse.com
You might like to look it over!