Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Sausage

Pizza Dough

A chewy pizza crust that can be made quickly with just basic pantry ingredients for when you are in a hurry. Makes 1 lb of pizza dough.

Ingredients

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

Stir in flour, salt, and oil. Beat until smooth. Let rest for 5 minutes.

Place the dough in an oiled pizza pan and press and stretch the dough to the edges of the pan.

Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

Place an oven rack on the bottom shelf of the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

After the dough has rested, add the toppings as indicated below.

Sausage and Peppers Topping

ingredients

8 oz spicy Italian Sausage, cut into thin slices

1 lb small bell peppers, sliced thin

1 large onion sliced thin

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

8 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced thin

Olive oil

Pizza Sauce

Ingredients

26 oz container strained or chopped Italian tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon honey

1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

Combine all the ingredients for the pizza sauce in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 30 minutes.

Preheat a large sauté pan on medium-high and place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the pan, then add sausage and cook until browned about 6 minutes, stirring until no pink remains. Add the remaining ingredients and saute until the vegetables are tender.

Let stand 5 minutes to cool.

Top the rested dough with slices of mozzarella cheese, pizza sauce, peppers, onions, and sausage.

Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven for 20–25 minutes or until the crust is golden, the cheese is melted, and the toppings are thoroughly heated. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.


Sausage Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

1 ½ lbs sweet Italian sausage
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
`/2 cup finely chopped onion
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 containers (2- 26 and 1-14 oz) chopped Italian tomatoes
1 tomato container filled with water

Directions

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven and brown the sausage. Remove the sausage to a plate. Add the onion to the pan and site until tender about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, seasoning, and tomato paste. Stir and cook for 2 minutes, Add the tomatoes and water. Bring to a low boil, reduce the heat, and add the sausage to the sauce. Partially clever the pot and simmer the sauce until thickened for about 2 hours.

Baked Ravioli

Depending on how many ravioli you want to make, you can place the second layer of ravioli over the first layer. This is such an easy way to cook ravioli and makes clean up
easy plus the ravioli don’t come apart in boiling water.

Ingredients

1 lb frozen ravioli
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Sausage Tomato Sauce

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place 1 cup of sauce in an oiled 9 x 13 baking dish.
Make one layer of ravioli, cover completely with sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Continue with the second layer making sure ravioli are completely covered with sauce.
Cover and bake for 30to 40  minutes depending on how many layers are in the dish.
Uncover and sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese.
Bake an additional 15 minutes. Serve the sausage on the side.

Serve with a leaf lettuce salad with added sliced red onion and Kalamata olives.


Easy Sausage and Pepper Stew

Ingredients

Olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
4 links spicy Italian pork sausage, or any style sausage, cut into one-inch pies
1 medium onion, diced
2 large bell peppers, cut into one-inch pieces
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into one-inch pieces
1/2 lb fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into one-inch pieces
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons tomato paste
28 oz container of finely chopped Italian tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Pour enough olive oil into the bottom of a Dutch Oven and heat over medium-low. Add the sausage and cook until brown on all sides, stirring the sausage pieces often. Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, and tomato paste and stir until completely combines. Add the remaining ingredients, stir well, and bring the mixture to a slow boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer the stew for about an hour or until all the vegetables are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon into individual bowls and serve with a slice of Italian beard.


Serve with Sausage and Peppers. Recipe follows.

Ciabatta Rolls

Starter
1 1/2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup room temperature water
1/16 teaspoon instant yeast
Or you can substitute 1 3/4 cups of sourdough starter
To make the biga: Mix all of the ingredients until well blended. Cover the bowl, and let rest at room temperature for 12 to 20 hours, until the mixture is very bubbly.

Dough
All of the starter (from above)
2 teaspoons instant yeast
3 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons Baker’s Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk powder
1 cup lukewarm water
3 tablespoons olive oil

To make the dough: Mix the biga with the remaining ingredients for 2 to 4 minutes, using an electric mixer set on slow speed. Increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix for about 4 minutes; the dough will be soft and slightly sticky.

Let the dough rise in a greased bowl, covered, for 1 to 2 hours, until very puffy.
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, and shape it into a 6″ x 12″ rectangle. Using a bench knife, cut out eight 3″ square rolls. Space the rolls out evenly on the board. Let them rise for about 45 minutes, covered with a thin kitchen towel until they’re puffy.
Place a baking stone in the top third of the oven, and preheat the oven to 450°F. With a wide spatula place the rolls on the hot baking stone.
Bake the rolls for 15-18 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack.
Yield: 8 rolls.

 

Sausage and Peppers

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 lbs hot Italian Sausage, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large onion, diced
2 bags of mini bell peppers, stems sliced off
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups finely chopped Italian tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat the oil in a large skillet with a cover. Add the sausage and cook until lightly browned. Add the onion and peppers and stir fry for about 5 minutes. Cover the pan and let the mixture simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes and seasoning and simmer the mixture covered for 15 minutes more.


Ingredients

1 ½ pounds hot Italian sausage links
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into eighths
1 pound sweet mini peppers, stem end removed but left whole.
1 large onion. sliced
1 teaspoon roasted garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl toss together the oil, sliced potatoes, peppers, onions, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
Spread the mixture in a large roasting pan. Top with the sausage and roast for 60-75 minutes until the sausage is cooked and the vegetables are brown turning the mixture halfway through the baking. Serve with some crusty Italian bread.


This recipe was inspired by a recipe posted on Lana Russo’s site, Friends Who Like Once Upon A Spice. The recipe is from the magazine: LA CUCINA ITALIANA

I adapted the recipe to my taste by broiling the eggplant shell instead of frying it and making the dish hearty enough to serve as an entree with the addition of some Italian sausage in the stuffing. This dish was delicious.

2 servings

Ingredients

3 plum tomatoes total about 6 oz, diced
¼ cup plain panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon capers
1 medium eggplant about 14-15 oz
½ cup (about 6 oz) diced sweet cherry peppers
1 garlic clove, grated
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ teaspoon salt
6 oz cooked Italian sausage, diced
Extra-virgin olive oil
Basil leaves for garnish

Directions

Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and scoop out the pulp using a grapefruit teaspoon leaving a ¼ inch shell. Set the pulp aside.


Spray the eggplant shells with olive oil and place on a foiled lined pan. Broil the shells under high heat for 5-8 minutes until brown.

Chop the eggplant pulp and brown in a saucepan with 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil for 3-4 minutes. Add the cherry peppers, garlic, capers, oregano, diced tomatoes, salt, and tomato paste. Cook for another 3-4 minutes. Stir in the sausage and heat until warm.
Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs and mozzarella cheese.

Divide the mixture between the two eggplant shells. Transfer the stuffed eggplants to a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake the stuffed eggplant at 350°F for about 20 minutes or until hot. Remove to serving plates and garnish with basil leaves.


Serve this pasta with a mixed greens salad and Italian vinaigrette.

Ingredients

4-5 cups cooked (leftover) pasta. I used linguine
3 links of Italian sausage
2 cups Marinara sauce
11/2 cups ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
8 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced thin

Directions

Brown the sausage links in a skillet and add the marinara sauce. Simmer the sausage in the marinara sauce for 30 minutes. Remove the sausage and cut it into thin slices. Set aside.
Mix the marinara sauce with the pasta. Set aside.
Combine the ricotta, egg, parmesan, parsley salt, and pepper. Mix with the pasta. Coat a 12-inch x 8-inch baking dish with olive oil spray.

Spread the pasta out in an even layer in the baking dish. Top with the sliced sausage and cover the top with slices of mozzarella.


Coat the dull side of a sheet of foil with cooking spray. Place on the top of the baking dish. Bake in a 375-degree F oven for 45 minutes, uncover the dish and bake for 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.


This dish is always a big hit when I take it to a potluck dinner.

Meat Sauce

Ingredients

3-26-ounce containers chopped Italian tomatoes
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped fine
1 pound ground beef
1 pound meatloaf mix( pork, veal, beef)
1 lb Italian sausage, casing removed
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
1/4 cup tomato paste
1½ teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

 

To prepare the meat sauce
Heat the olive oil in a heavy 4 to 5-quart pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 8 minutes. Make a little room in the center of the pot, add in the garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the ground beef, meatloaf mix and pork sausage and season lightly with salt. Cook, stirring to break up the meat until the meat changes color and the water it gives off is boiled away, about 10 minutes. Continue cooking until the meat is brown, about 5 minutes. Add the seasonings and bring to a boil and cook, scraping up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pot. Pour in the tomatoes, then stir in the tomato paste until it is dissolved. Bring to a boil, adjust the heat to a lively simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring often, until the sauce thickens and takes on a deep, brick-red color, about 3 hours.

The sauce can be prepared entirely in advance and refrigerated for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

Lasagna

Ingredients

Meat Sauce (recipe above)
12 uncooked fresh lasagna noodles
2 containers (15 oz each) ricotta cheese
1 box (9 oz) frozen spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry
2 teaspoons dried basil leaves or Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg
1 lb sliced mozzarella cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, spinach, basil, garlic, salt, pepper, and egg.
Oil a 9×13 inch baking dish. Spread about 2 cups of sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Place 4 fresh noodles on top of the sauce. Layer half of the mozzarella slices on top of the noodles. Spread half of the ricotta filling over the mozzarella. Add 4 more noodles. Spread with some of the meat sauce. Add remaining mozzarella slices, remaining ricotta filling and cover with 4 more noodles. Cover the noodles with a good amount of sauce. You may not need all of the sauce from the recipe above.

Spray a sheet of foil with cooking spray and place it face down on the lasagna and seal tightly. Heat the oven to 375°F. Bake the lasagna for45 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle the top of the lasagna with Parmesan cheese. Return the baking dish to the oven and cook for 15 minutes more. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

To bring to a potluck-cover the dish again and place it in a thermal carrier.


For 2 servings

Ingredients

1/4 cup quick-cooking Italian farro (available at Whole Foods)
1 cup of water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 medium onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups finely chopped Italian tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, divided
1/4 lb lean ground beef
1/4 lb Italian sausage, casing removed
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 large minced garlic clove
Salt & pepper to taste
1 large green bell peppers halved lengthwise and seeded
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese plus more for topping

Directions

Combine the farro, water, and salt in a microwave bowl. Microwave on high for 9 minutes. Set aside the bowl without draining the farro while you prepare the stuffing.
Mix the Italian tomatoes with the red pepper flakes and ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning. Pour into a baking dish large enough to fit the peppers.
In a large skillet, cook the onion and olive oil over medium heat until softened. Add the beef and sausage. Cook until light brown. Let cool.
Drain the farro.
In a mixing bowl, combine the meat mixture with the farro, mozzarella cheese, ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning, parsley, garlic, salt, black pepper. Use your hands to mix everything together..Stuff the peppers with the meat mixture.


Place stuffed green bell pepper halves in the baking dish over the tomato sauce; cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, and bake at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes.
Remove the foil, top each pepper with additional shredded mozzarella cheese and return the dish to the oven. Bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Sauteed Tuscan Kale

Ingredients

2 bunches Tuscan Kale
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
Sea Salt & Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions

Wash the kale thoroughly. Remove the stems and cut the leaves into smaller pieces. Heat olive oil and red pepper flakes in a deep saute pan over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers, and the red pepper flakes start to sizzle. Add the garlic. Working quickly, so the garlic does not burn, add the kale. (Some splattering and crackling of oil may occur from the water on the kale.) Using tongs, toss the kale in the pan for 2-4 minutes until the kale has wilted and cooked to desired tenderness. Keep the kale moving to avoid scorching any pieces. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese just before serving.


The recipe yields enough sauce and meat for 2 pounds of pasta. Serve this meal, as the Italians do, with a green salad.

Penne with Ricotta Cheese
1 lb whole grain penne pasta
1 lb Italian pork sausage, hot or sweet, cut into links
1 cup ricotta cheese, warmed in the microwave
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Soft and Tender Meatballs
1 cup crushed saltine crackers
1/2 cup milk
1 pound meatloaf mix (ground beef, pork, and veal)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Tomato Sauce
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
3 (26-28-ounce) containers Italian crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

For the meatballs:
Combine the crushed saltines and milk in mixing bowl and let sit for 5 minutes. Mash with a fork until a smooth paste forms. Add the meat, Parmesan, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to the saltine mixture and mix with your hands until thoroughly combined. Use a muffin/ice scoop to form 12 meatballs. Transfer to a plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you make the sauce.

For the sauce:
Combine oil and garlic in a large Dutch oven. Cook over low heat until the garlic is soft about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add onion and red pepper flakes and cook until the onion softens about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and 1 teaspoon salt. Simmer for 15 minutes. Carefully place the meatballs into the sauce. Return the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Cover the pot and place the Dutch Oven in the preheated oven.

Place one tablespoon olive oil il a separate baking pan and place the sausage links in the pan, turning to coat the sausages in oil. Place in the oven with the sauce. Bake until the sausages are brown, turning them over halfway through the baking time about 45 minutes. Add the sausages to the meatball/sauce mixture. Continue to bake the sauce for 15 minutes more.

For the pasta
Remove the Dutch Oven from the oven and place it on the stove, covered, while you cook the pasta. When the pasta is cooked al dente, return it to the pasta pan and add 2 cups of the tomato sauce, stir gently and add the Parmesan cheese. Stir again. Place the pasta in a pasta serving bowl. Drop tablespoons of warm ricotta cheese on top. Place some of the meatballs and sausage around the pasta and serve.



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