White Bean Antipasto Salad

IMG_1998Hello there– It’s summer and if you want a fast, cool, savory summer meal, here it is.  Just a few ingredients and a bit a cooking and chopping and it’s on the table– I like to make it ahead and cool it in the fridge.  Serve it up with a chunk of sturdy bread to dredge up the dressing on the bottom of the plate and it’s dinner.

2 14oz. cans cannellini beans (small white beans)
2 Italian sausages, mild or hot (about 1/2 pound)
1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped fine
1/4 cup green bell pepper, chopped fine
2 tab. basil or marjoram, chopped*
2/3 cup assorted olives
4 small tomatoes, cut in quarters

1/3 cup olive oil
3 tab. white balsamic vinegar**
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Rinse the beans in a sieve and shake dry.

Remove the sausage from it’s casing and crumble it into a pan.  Cook  4 or 5 minutes until it’s well browned.  (If you are not using a nonstick pan, add a few drops of olive oil)

To make the dressing, combine the olive oil, vinegar, garlic and salt & pepper in a small container with a tight fitting lid.  Shake it enthusiastically until it’s thoroughly blended.

Then combine the beans, sausage, red & green pepper, basil and olives.  Toss this with the dressing and spread it on a nice platter.  Top with the cut tomatoes.  That’s it!  So easy.



Kale Pesto Pizza with Sausage & Mushrooms

Hi Pizza Eating Friends–  My Larry is a kale eater.  In fact, he was a kale fan before kale was a “thing.”  We’d go to the soup/salad buffet in town and he’s embarrass the girls by loading the kale garnish onto his plate along with the red lettuce and radishes…

So when I cam across this kale pesto to start off the layers of a pizza, I thought he would really like this one!  It’s a nice gentle flavored pesto– I’m imagining it on ravioli or over a nice piece of baked chicken.  And with pizza it’s just grand.  Hope you try it!!


Crust (makes enough for 2 12″ pizza crusts)
1 package yeast
1 cup warm water*
1 tab. sugar
2 tab olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups flour

Kale Pesto (enough for 2 pizzas):
6 cups kale, chopped finely
1/4 cup pine nuts
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan romano

Toppings (for 2 pizzas):
8 oz. mozzarella (or your favorite pizza cheese), grated
8 oz. Italian sausage (mild or hot)
3 oz. crimini mushrooms, chopped to bits
1/4 cup pine nuts to sprinkle on top

DSC00409Let the yeast dissolve in the water and then stir in the other ingredients.  Knead 3 to 4 minutes (you can add a little more flour if it feels too sticky)  and stretch the dough onto 2  12″ pizza pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray.  Put them in a warm place to rise while you do the rest of the prep.  (I turn the oven on for just 3 minutes, then turn it off to warm it a bit and set the pizza crusts in there to rise).

To make the pesto, drop the kale, 1/4 cup pine nuts, garlic, oil and parmesan romano into a blender and whirl it to a lovely green paste.

Cook the Italian sausage in a skillet, chopping it to fine bits.  Grate the cheese, chop the mushrooms.

Then take the rising crust from the oven and gently spread on the kale pesto.  Then sprinkle on the cheese, cooked sausage bits, mushrooms and pine nuts.

Pop the pizzas into a 375 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until they are browned and the crust is cooked through.  —Eat them while they’re hot with a colorful salad.



Swiss Chard & Sausage Frittata


Hello friends– Here’s a cheerful little plate for breakfast.  Or lunch.  Or Sunday supper. You can cut it up and serve it steaming hot from the oven.  Or set it out cold with good bread for a picnic lunch.  It’s just a versatile little dish savory and satisfying–and pretty on the plate!  I think you’d like to add it to your culinary repertoire.

2 tab. olive oil
1/2 pound mild Italian sauage*
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper
1/2 cup yellow bell pepper
1/2 brown mushrooms, chopped to nice bits
3 large leaves Swiss chard, stems removed, sliced to pieces
8 eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cheddar

Heat the olive oil in a oven proof skillet.  Put in the sausage and onion into the pan.  While it’s cooking chop the sausage to bits– for about 5 minutes until the sausage is browned and cooked through.  Then add in the peppers and mushrooms.  Cook 3 minutes more and finally stir in the Swiss chard, cooking about 1 more minute until it wilts.

While all this cooking is going on in the skillet, beat the eggs until they are frothy.  Stir in the salt and cheddar and pour it evenly over the ingredients in the skillet.  Turn the heat to medium and cook about 3 minutes until the bottom is set.  Then set it into the broiler, about 4 inches from the heat and broil 3 to 4 more minutes until the top is golden and browned around the edges. (Keep at eye on it– it’s easy to burn it in the boiler!)

Serve it up hot with a simple bright salad– breakfast, brunch or a Sunday night dinner…

*1/2 pound of Italian sausage is about 2 links.  Use pork of turkey, mild or hot– it’s up to you…

Pasta with Sausage and Cannellini Beans

Hey there– One of my big favorites is having our kids home at the dinner table.  Since we had our Laurel here for a bit, we sat down to one of her old favorites for dinner. It’s a good mix of proteins with the beans and sausage- over my favorite angel hair pasta– served up with a tomato salad fresh from larry’s garden patch.  Pretty darn good.

8 oz. angel hair pasta (or your favorite pasta!)
2 Italian sausage links (mild or hot)
a splash of olive oil
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
2  14 oz. cans petite cut tomatoes*
1 tab. cornstarch
2 tab. fresh basil

Remove the Italian sausage from it’s casing and brown it in a nonstick pan– chopping it  to bits with a spatula. (Add olive oil if the meat starts to stick)  When it just starts to brown stir in the chopped onion and garlic.  Cook 3 or 4 minutes until the onion is browned.  Then stir in the beans and tomatoes.  When it is at a good simmer, shake the cornstarch and 1/4 cup water in a closed container and stir it into the pan until the sauce is thickened.  Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box.  At the last minute chop the basil to bits and stir into the sauce.  Layer the pasta and sauce on a big platter.

*I like S&W brand petite tomatoes with onion and garlic.