Tag Archives: hot Italian sausage

Italian Sausage Spaghetti Squash Casserole

17 Nov
Italian Sausage Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Italian Sausage Spaghetti Squash Casserole

We are in that “it’s hard to find a good vegetable at the store” time of year, so when the hubs asked me to pick up some veggies on my last trip, I settled on a spaghetti squash. After making this, I realized I had forgotten how much I like this beautiful squash! But is sure is a pain in the you-know-what to cut open. Most recipes for this showcase the innards in its lovely yellow shell as the serving container, but after my hack job it getting it open it was best left to throw it in a casserole dish.

Aside from trying not to chop your fingers off cutting the squash in half and getting it baked, this is an easy dinner to prepare. Serve with a salad and garlic bread, and dinner is served!

Italian Sausage Spaghetti Squash Casserole

3-4 pound spaghetti squash
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound hot Italian sausage (mild if preferred)
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dried parsley (or fresh if you have it)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Carefully cut spaghetti squash in half and remove seeds. Brush with olive oil, then salt and pepper it to taste. Place cut-side down on a baking sheet, and bake for one hour. Let cool until you can handle them, then remove the “spaghetti strands” to a bowl, using a fork. Set aside and reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.

About halfway through the squash cooking time, cook the Italian sausage in a large skillet along with the onions and garlic until the sausage is cooked through. Add the can of crushed tomatoes and stir to combine, then reduce heat to simmer for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile mix together the ricotta, Parmesan and parsley in another bowl.

Once all the players are in place, stir the spaghetti squash into tomato sauce, then pour into a 2-quart oil-sprayed casserole dish. Spread the cheese mixture over top, then the mozzarella. Bake in 350-degree oven for about 20-30 minutes until bubbly and cheese is melted. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Italian Sausage Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Italian Sausage Spaghetti Squash Casserole

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One-Pot Lasagna Soup

29 Oct
One-Pot Lasagna Soup

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

This is a soup I’ve wanted to make for ages, and FINALLY got inspired to just do it. Soup? Check. Easy? Check. One pot? Check. One hand? Check, dammit. I get my traction device off in less than two weeks, woohooo! But in this seemingly long entrapment from my injury, I have found that one can be quite resourceful while dealing with a disability. Did you know you can break dried lasagna noodles into even pieces one-handed? Simply place the noodle in a glass bowl then push the edge of the noodle hanging out over the lip of the bowl. Snap! Keep moving it up and snapping off the end. See? Easy-peasy! (Newcomers to this site can read about my injury here.)

My recipe here came from several internet-inspired sources. As always, feel free to adapt, as that is pretty much all I’ve been doing lately. Without further ado…

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground hot Italian sausage
3/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
6 cups homemade or low-sodium beef broth, divided
1 24-ounce jar good-quality meatless spaghetti sauce
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
Ground black pepper and salt, to taste
1 bay leaf
10 uncooked dried lasagna noodles, broken into pieces
Fresh Mozzarella slices
Ricotta cheese scoops
Fresh-grated Parmesan cheese

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, cook the ground beef, sausage, and onion over medium heat until meats are browned and onion is translucent. Add the garlic and stir for a minute more. Drain grease, if necessary.

Add 4 cups of the beef broth and the rest of the ingredients except the cheeses, stirring to separate the noodles. Bring up to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about a half hour until noodles are soft and soup has thickened, about 30 to 45 minutes. Add the remaining two cups of broth, as needed during that time, until soup is desired consistency.

Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup

Discard bay leaf and add Mozzarella and Ricotta cheeses to the pot, then let sit without stirring until starting to melt. Ladle scoops of soup and melty cheese into bowls and garnish with fresh-grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with garlic bread and a side salad.  This is good. Really good. We are talking seconds and thirds good. Trust me.

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

 

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Garden Dump Soup ~ Plus a Wild-Caught Chinook Salmon!

11 Sep
Garden Dump Soup

Garden Dump Soup

Our kindly neighbor in back gifted us with two giant zucchinis and a large summer squash just before we left on our trip to the coast last weekend. I packed the largest zucchini and my mandoline and made a huge pan of Zucchini Lasagna in our RV’s convection oven, so that made use of one.

A couple days after we got back, I discovered the other zucchini and squash in the vegetable bin plus a half bag of baby spinach. AND our tomatoes had gone gangbusters while we were gone!

Garden Fresh Veggies

Garden Fresh Veggies

Soup was the only thing that came to mind where I could use that many veggies at once, so scoured our freezer for a bit of protein to go with it. I found a 1/2 pound of ground turkey, and about a 1/4 pound of homemade ground hot Italian sausage, which I figured needed using up anyways. Last, I grabbed a quart of homemade beef stock out of the freezer, as I had 6 quarts of that and only 2 quarts of chicken broth.

Basically I chopped it all up, sauteed the veggies and meats, then threw the rest of it in a stock-pot with some seasonings and spicy oregano from gardening and voila! Garden Dump Soup. Maybe I should have called it Garden and Freezer Dump Soup? Also at the very end I tossed in a cup of elbow macaroni to thicken it up a bit. Either way, this wowed the hubs, who went back for second and thirds, and he kept asking me what I was going to call it for my blog. I finally came up with this name.

What’s good about a soup like this is you can use any  vegetables you have on hand, your preference of broth, and any kind of ground meat and pasta. So versatile! If you don’t end up using any ground hot Italian sausage I would recommend adding a 1/2 teaspoon or so of dried Italian seasoning and perhaps a pinch of red chile pepper flakes. But that’s just me.

Even better, the next day I made myself a hearty breakfast (it was workout day) by plopping a farm-fresh egg into it and simmered it to perfection. Yay!

Perfectly Poached Egg in Soup

Perfectly Poached Egg in Soup

Garden Dump Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 extra-large zucchini (about 3 cups chopped)
1 large summer squash (about 2 cups chopped)
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3/4 to 1 pound low-fat ground meat or combination of meats
Ground black pepper and Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste
4 cups broth or stock of choice, preferably homemade or low sodium
4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (or canned)
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
4 ounces fresh spinach, chopped (about 4 cups loosely packed)
1 cup dry elbow macaroni
Grated Parmesan cheese, optional for garnish

Chop and mince up everything to prep. Add the oil to a stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Veggies and Ground Meats

Veggies and Ground Meats

Add the ground meat, veggies (except tomatoes, and spinach if using), onion, garlic, and seasonings. Cook for about 15 minutes until the meat is cooked pretty much through.

Add the stock or broth, tomatoes, and oregano plus other herbs/spices if necessary.

Tomatoes and Oregano Added

Tomatoes and Oregano Added

Bring to a simmer, then add the elbow macaroni or other small pasta. Simmer until pasta is done then add the chopped spinach (if using) and cook until wilted.

Wilting the Spinach

Wilting the Spinach

Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Serve in bowls with optional Parmesan cheese. Filling and super yummy!

Garden Dump Soup

Garden Dump Soup

p.s. Never Forget! 9-11-01

 

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

p.p.s. My hubby caught a 40-inch 24-pound Chinook Salmon out of the Siletz Bay last weekend! Woo hoo! Here’s a few photos (or 6 or 7), if you don’t mind me sharing. My turn next. 🙂

Hooked

Hooked

Netted!

Netted!

Paul and his 40-inch Chinook Salmon

Paul and his 40-inch Chinook Salmon

Fresh Chinook from the Ocean

Fresh Chinook from the Ocean

Victory Walk to the Weighing Station

Victory Walk to the Weighing Station

Weighing the Salmon

Weighing the Salmon ~ That’s One Happy Man!

 

Homemade Chorizo Sausage

5 Mar
Sausage Patties

Sausage Patties

My husband bought an electric meat grinder a few months back. He justified his purchase by stating it would be a great use for grinding up a large batch of cheap steaks he bought into burger, as well as for another large batch of cheap pork he also bought into homemade sausage. We made the sausage “healthy” by also grinding in some chicken to the mix.

Grinding the Pork and Chicken

Grinding the Pork and Chicken

We made three types of sausage: Hot Italian Sausage, Breakfast Sausage, and Chorizo Sausage. We use the hot Italian sausage in Paul’s Spicy Spaghetti Sauce.

Mixing the Hot Italian Sausage

Mixing the Hot Italian Sausage

The breakfast sausage came out OK and the recipe could use some tweaking, but it did make a great quick breakfast the next morning stacked on a whole-wheat English muffin topped with a lightly fried egg.

Breakfast Sausage and Egg Stack

Breakfast Sausage and Egg Stack

We decided to make sausage patties with the first two recipes. I rolled the sausage into an even thickness, covering it with plastic wrap first.

Rolling the Sausage

Rolling the Sausage

I then used a pint canning jar to cut out patties.

Cutting Out Breakfast Sausage Patties

Cutting Out Breakfast Sausage Patties

I don’t exactly remember what else I was doing that day, but I never did end up with a photo of my chorizo! But I do plan on posting something I’ve made with it soon.

The chorizo sausage recipe I’m sharing with you today came from one of my dear foodie-blogging friends that passed away unexpectedly last year. I fondly remember him whenever I make anything with this chorizo.

Homemade Chorizo Sausage
Adapted from REMCOOKS Chorizo Sausage

1 pound lean ground pork
4 strips bacon
1 clove peeled garlic
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoon chipotle in adobo sauce
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1/2 tablespoon Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon spicy Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Add the pork to a large mixing bowl. Add everything but the pork into a blender or food processor and pulse until well-combined. Scrape the mixture into the bowl with the pork. With clean hands, incorporate the seasoned mixture well into the pork until thoroughly combined. Divide mixture into even weights and freeze separately in zip-top freezer bags. I made 4-ounce portions, as the chorizo packs a lot of taste so you don’t need a lot of it when using in dishes.

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

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