Sausage Bolognese

Cheaters Bolognese

I often call this Cheaters Bolognese, because of it’s shameless use of jared marinara. No apologies! The short-cut from the grocery makes this a speedy weekday favorite that tastes like it was simmered for hours.

Sausage Bolognese

1 lb. (500g) Sweet Italian Sausage
1 lb. (500g) Ground Beef
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 cup (200g) finely chopped Onion
2 cloves grated Garlic
1/4 cup (10g) Assorted Fresh Herbs (parsley, thyme, rosemary, basil…etc.)
or
2 tablespoons Dried Italian Herb Mix
2 16.oz jars of your favorite Marinara Sauce.

Add the olive oil, onion and garlic to a large soup pot with a lid. Saute over medium high heat until the onion is soft.
Add the sausage and ground beef and brown. Break the meat into small crumbles and drain off the grease.
Stir in the herbs.
Add the marinara sauce and stir well to combine with the meat.
Bring the sauce to a boil then reduce the heat and cover with the lid.
Simmer for 30 minutes.

Now that you have your lovely sauce you can use it in your lasagna recipe or tossed with linguine, also, you can freeze it for up to 1 month.

Print this recipe? Sausage Bolognese

Lemon Orzo Salad

Lemon Orzo Salad

It’s a seriously easy, but flavorful, side dish!

Lemon Orzo Salad

1 lb. box Orzo Pasta
1/2 cup (20g) Fresh Parsley (finely chopped)
1/3 cup (13g) Fresh Dill (finely chopped)
10 oz. crumbled Feta Cheese (optional)

Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water for 10-12 minutes or until tender.
Drain and set aside to cool.
Once cooled, add the parsley, dill, feta and dressing.
Stir to combine thoroughly.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Lemon & Garlic Dressing
Zest and Juice of 2 Lemons
1/3 cup (78ml) Red Wine Vinegar
1 cup (236ml) Olive Oil
1 clove Garlic (finely chopped or grated)
Salt & Pepper

Whisk together all the ingredients until emulsified.

Print this recipe? Lemon Orzo Salad

Rice Pilaf

rice pilaf

Classic side for a week night meal or a holiday gathering. Easy and make ahead too!

Rice Pilaf

1 cup Royal Blend or Wild + Basmati Rice Mixed
1 1/2 cups Veggie or Beef Stock
Salt & Pepper
1/4 cup Angel Hair Pasta (broken into 1 inch pieces)
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Dried Sage
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 cup Toasted Nuts (Almonds, Pine Nuts, Cashews etc.)

Combine the rice, pasta, olive oil and the stock and bring to a boil.
Add the salt and pepper to taste. Add the dried sage and garlic powder.
Turn the heat to low and cover with a tight fitting lid.
Simmer for 10-13 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice and pasta is tender. Fluff with a fork and set aside or cool and place into the fridge if making ahead.

In a large fry pan warm the toasted nuts over a medium heat until aromatic but not burned. Add the prepared rice/pasta and toss gently with a fork until warmed through. Add a bit of hot stock if the rice seems to want to stick together.

Serve along side any meat main dish or, add chick peas or cannellini beans for a vegetarian option.

Serves 3-4 as presented above but recipe can be doubled for 6-8 servings.

Mac & Cheese

mac & cheese
I’ll be willing to bet Mac & Cheese is near the top of the list when it comes to comfort food favorites!
You can make it with gourmet cheeses and luxe add-in’s like truffle, or keep it simple and familiar with an “all cheddar” approach.
My offering is a midway point between fancy-pants and kid stuff.

Mac & Cheese

1 lb. box of Rotini Pasta

For the Cheese Sauce:
6 tablespoons Butter
1/2 cup Flour
Salt & Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried Parsley or Basil
1 quart Whole Milk
2 cups grated Swiss Cheese
2 cups grated Gruyere Cheese
1 cup grated Cheddar Cheese

For the Topping:
1 cup Toasted Bread Crumbs
2 tablespoons Butter (melted)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Boil the pasta in lots of salted water until tender, about 10-12 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Grate your cheese and set aside.

Melt the butter over medium low, add the flour and whisk briskly. Add the nutmeg and parsley. Cook for a couple of minutes, whisking constantly.
Tip: I’m using the pot i’ve boiled my pasta in, no need for more dishes, right?
Add the milk slowly, whisking. Make sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan. The sauce will take a few minutes to thicken.
Off the heat, add the cheese a handful at a time, stirring to incorporate between handfuls.
Add the cooked pasta to the cheese sauce and fold gently until well combined.

Pour into a buttered casserole or gratin dish.

To make the crumb topping mix the melted butter and the bread crumbs, stir gently until all the crumbs are saturated with butter. Sprinkle over the top the mac & cheese.
Bake for 40 minutes.
Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Herb and Pea Alfredo

Herb Alfredo

It’s still too warm to crank on the oven. Oh how i’m craving a hot cheesy gratin and roast chicken! I suppose it’ll have to wait a few weeks yet. This cheesy, creamy dish is helping me get over it. No oven required.

Herb and Pea Alfredo
1 lb. Penne Pasta
2 Eggs
2 Egg Yolks
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 cup Peas (fresh or thawed from frozen)
1/2 cup chopped Herbs (chives, parsley, tarragon, basil)
1 tablespoon Butter

Combine the eggs, egg yolks, cream and 1/2 cup of the cheese.
Whisk until well combined then set aside.

Boil the pasta in a large pot with 2 tablespoons of salt added to the water for 10-12 minutes.
Drain, return to the pot and set back on the burner turned to medium low, add the butter.
Add in the cream/egg mixture and stir continuously until the sauce has thickened.
Add in the peas and herbs, stir to combine.
Serve with the remainder of the cheese sprinkled over the top.

Lazy Day Spaghetti & Meatballs

SPAGHETTI

You want a big bowl of something comforting, but it’s too much to handle on a Tuesday with homework waiting and the kids howling for their dinner. Definitely time to whip out your lazy day repertoire.

2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 package Sweet Italian Sausage (I like Johnsonville)
1 32 oz. can of Crushed Tomatoes
1 1/2 cup of Water
1 tablespoon of Italian Seasoning
Salt & Pepper
1 package Dried Spaghetti

With a knife slit the sausage casing open and remove the sausage. Discard the casing.
Roll the sausage into small balls (about the size of a cherry tomato).
Heat a large sauce pan over medium high heat and add the olive oil. Place the meatballs into the pan and brown for about 10 minutes.
Add the crushed tomatoes and water to the pan and stir gently. Add the Italian seasoning and salt and pepper.
Turn the heat to a simmer and allow to cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes.

Cook the pasta in a big pot of salted boiling water for about 12 minutes. Drain and serve in bowls with the meatballs and sauce spooned over the top.

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Mushrooms in Balsamic Cream

Toss with pasta or over steaks or chicken. There are so many applications for this dish.

shrooms 13

1 tablespoon Butter
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
8 oz. Brown Button or mixed Mushrooms (sliced)
Salt & Pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped Rosemary
1/4 cup Cream Sherry or White Wine
1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

In a large pan over medium high heat melt the butter and add the olive oil. Toss in the mushrooms and coat with the butter and oil. Add the salt and pepper to taste and cook uncovered for about 7-10 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft and lightly browned.
Stir in the sherry or wine and cook until the liquid is reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Add in the cream and balsamic vinegar.

Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the cream is thickened and coats the mushrooms in a velvety sauce. About 10 minutes.

Taste for seasoning and serve hot.
This would make a wonderful side dish for the holidays. Just double the ingredients for a crowd.