Thursday, July 28, 2011

Orechiette with Sausage, Beans, and Mascarpone

I spent my entire day Sunday watching Food Network. I was hooked! From time to time I catch a recipe that I would want to cook, but then as soon as the show is over I forget what it was.

Luckily, I got my pen and paper out today. Giada put together a great Orechiette with Sausage, Beans, and Mascarpone dish. I've never cooked with cannellini beans but love the taste so I was pumped to try this out. While meal is visually one-dimensional with poor photo quality, it tasted delicious! I loved the creaminess of the mascarpone with the sausage and beans. It created a perfect balance.

1 lb orechiette pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb turkey sausage, casing removed
1 small onion, chopped
1 15 oz can of cannellini beans, drained and rinced
2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano leaves
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
2) In a large, heavy skillet warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage and onions. Using a wooden spoon break up the sausage into bite-sized pieces as it browns.
3) Continue cooking until the sausage is golden and the onions are tender. Add the beans and oregano cook for 2 more minutes. Add the cup of pasta cooking liquid and stir, scrapping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the mascarpone cheese and stir until it dissolved into a light sauce. Add the salt, pepper, and hot pasta. Stir until coated and serve.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My First Pass at Homemade Marinara

Up until now, my version of marinara was Ragu, doctored up with some spices. I finally realized that after almost two years of blogging that I should probably learn an easy, but delicious go-to recipe. I've done a Rachel Ray veggie-packed sauce in the past, but it's a little too labor intensive for a quick week night meal.

After a little research, I learned that there are hundreds of marinara recipes so I consulted a friend who has received rave reviews for her sauce. I took some liberties and make some tweaks to make this recipe my own. Then end result: AMAZING!!!

I served this sauce over Trader Joe's Basil and Garlic Linguine, along side spinach stuffed chicken with side salad (dressing recipe below.)


2 28oz cans of crushed tomatoes
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp of sugar
4 to 6 fresh basil leaves, torn
1 sprig of rosemary, finely chopped
1 tbsp of truffle oil (optional)

1) Heat large sauce pan and add evoo. Once heated, saute onion, until translucent. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about one minute.
2) Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower heat and let simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.
3) Serve over your favorite pasta and enjoy!

A new pizza restaurant that opened in my neighborhood recently, had the BEST lemon-oil salad dressing so I did my best to replicate. I combined 1/2 cup evoo with the juice of 1/2 lemon, a little bit of pepper and a sprinkle of parsley then topped it with some fresh parm. I loved it!