Pork Main Dishes


Pork Maindishes

“Pork Fat Rules!!!!” -Emeril Lagasse

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Cassoulet

When you’re in the mood for chili, but want something a little more exotic, this simple french stew is hearty and GOOD.

5 to 6 slices bacon
1 to 2 chicken breasts
3 mild, sweet Italian sausages
1 large onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
2 cans beans (white, kidney, etc.)
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup chicken broth

Place chicken breasts and sausages in a large stockpot and brown. Do not drain the fat. Shred the chicken and chop the sausages. Cook the bacon, then dice. (You can cook bacon in same pan as other meat, but for us, this was too much fat. So we cooked it separately then got rid of the drippings.)

Saute the onion and garlic in chicken/sausage fat. Add tomatoes, beans, wine, salt, thyme, bay leaf and chicken broth. Add meat back into this mixture and simmer for an hour or two.


Peasant Pasta
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

Yield: 6 servings

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
1/2 pound hot Italian sausage, available in bulk at butcher counter or, 2 links, casings removed
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, available in bulk at butcher counter or, 4 links, casings removed
3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped, optional
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen green peas
24 leaves fresh basil, torn or thinly sliced
1 pound penne rigate pasta, cooked to al dente
Grated Italian cheese, for passing

Heat a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan. Add sausage meat. Crumble sausage meat as it browns. Add chopped garlic to the pan. When all of the crumbles have browned evenly, deglaze the pan drippings using chicken or vegetable broth. Stir in crushed tomatoes and bring the sauce up to a bubble, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir cream into your sauce, this will blush the color and cut the acidity of the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir peas and basil into your sauce to combine. Toss hot drained penne rigate in pan with the sauce, then transfer pasta to serving bowl.


Sausage, Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna

This lasagna is yummy. If you make it, you’ll like it.

 

 

Sauce:

8 oz light Italian sausage

8 oz extra-lean ground beef

1 c chopped onions

2 t minced garlic

1 t dried oregano

1 t dried basil

1/4 t dried red pepper flakes

1 jar (700 mL) pasta sauce

1 can (540mL) tomatoes with Italian herbs, undrained, cut up (I use kitchen scissors in the open can)

1 T. balsamic vinegar

1/2 t pepper

 

12 uncooked whole wheat lasagna noodles

2 c light ricotta cheese

1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1/3 c grated parmesan cheese

1 egg

1/3 c chopped FRESH basil

1/2 t salt

2 c packed shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

 

1. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and set aside.

 

2. To make the sauce, remove casing from the sausage and break into small pieces in a large deep skillet (my 6 qt sauté pan was able to hold a double batch). Add ground beef, onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink. Stir in oregano, red pepper flakes and dried basil.

 

Cook 1 more minute. Add pasta sauce, tomatoes, vinegar and pepper. Bring to a boil, and then simmer until you’re ready to use it (at least 20 minutes).

 

3. While the sauce is simmering, cook the lasagna noodles until they are BARELY done (about 8-9 minutes). They’ll absorb some of the sauce liquid, so you want to make sure they still have a little texture to them. Rinse them REALLY REALLY well with cold water (or else they will stick together).

 

4. In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta, spinach, basil, parmesan, egg and salt.

 

5. To assemble the lasagna, start with 1 cup of the meat sauce on the bottom of the 9×13 pan. Top with 4 lasagna noodles. Spread 1/3 of the remaining sauce over the noodles. Top with 4 more noodles. Add 1/3 of the sauce again, then add ALL of the ricotta spinach mixture. Top with 4 more noodles. Add the rest of the sauce and spread evenly.

 

6. Top it all off with the grated mozzarella. I like to grate a little more parmesan on top of mine too.

 

7. Spray some oil on a piece of foil and cover your lasagna. Bake at 375F for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes. (I like to broil my lasagna for 2-3 minutes at the end so the cheese gets nice and brown). Let stand for about 10-15 minutes before serving (or it will be a soggy mess).


Pepperoni, Macaroni and Cheese “Lasagna Style”
Recipe courtesy Michael Chiarello

Yield: 8 servings

Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound lasagna
Olive oil
4 tablespoons butter, plus 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
2 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, or other good-quality Parmesan
4 ounces grated Cheddar
8 ounces grated mozzarella
1 pound pepperoni, sliced thin
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt carefully add the lasagna noodles. Return to a boil, reduce the heat to a low boil and cook for about 5 minutes, or until pasta is very al dente (slightly undercooked). Drain in a colander, rinse slightly and drizzle with olive oil to prevent sticking.

In a heavy, medium saucepan melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over low heat. Add the garlic and then the flour and stir to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and whisk in the half-and-half little by little. Cook until thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat; add 2 cups of the grated Parmesan. Season with the salt, pepper and stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Cover and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl combine 1/4 cup Parmesan, Cheddar, and mozzarella. Toss to combine.

Grease a 3-quart baking dish or casserole with 1 tablespoon of butter. Spread a ladle full of sauce on the bottom of the pan. Cover the sauce with a single layer of cooked lasagna noodles. Spread another ladle full of sauce on top of noodles. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese mixture. Top with 1/3 of the sliced pepperoni. Repeat with remaining ingredients for 2 more layers.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup bread crumbs onto top of lasagna and top with remaining grated Parmesan, 1/4 cup. Bake, uncovered, for 40 to 45 minutes or until the lasagna is bubbly and hot and the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.


Dirty Rice
8 side-dish servings

1/2 pound ground pork
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded, cored and chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 1/2 cups parboiled rice, such as Uncle Ben’s
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 scallions, light-green parts only, thinly sliced, for garnish

In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the ground pork until all the pink is gone. Drain the excess fat and set aside.

In two or three batches, place the giblets, onion, bell pepper and celery in a food processor and process until finely chopped.

In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the giblet-vegetable mixture and cook, stirring, until the onions are translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, crushed red pepper flakes, Creole seasoning and marjoram. Stir, reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed (but don’t let the mixture dry out), about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the rice and the chicken stock to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for about 25 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Fluff the rice with a fork and add it to the pan containing the giblet-vegetable mixture. Add the ground pork and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Transfer the mixture to a medium-large ovenproof skillet and bake for about 5 minutes, longer if the rice is very damp. It’s done when the rice is a little dry but not hard. Garnish with scallions


Steamed Pork Wonton Dumplings
Recipe courtesy Sandra Lee

Yield: 33 dumplings

1 pound ground pork
1 (5-ounce) can water chestnuts, strained and finely chopped
1/2 cup scallions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon jarred minced ginger
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 egg, beaten
1 pack oriental sesame dressing mix
2 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 (16-ounce) pack wonton wrappers
Savoy or Napa cabbage
Bamboo steamer

In a large bowl mix pork, water chestnuts, scallions, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, egg, sesame dressing mix, and oyster sauce. Fill center of each wonton wrapper with 1 teaspoon of meat filling. Gather wrapper up and twist to secure sides. Brush the edges of the wontons with water to help seal. Arrange cabbage leaves on the bottom of a bamboo steamer. Place dumplings about 1-inch apart and steam until the filling is cooked through, about 20 minutes.


Simple Bacon Breakfast Pie

6 med. Eggs
1/2 milk
salt and pepper to taste
3 cups frozen shredded hash browns, thawed
1 cup grated cheese (suggested Swiss but you can use your favorite)
8 slices of crisp bacon crumbled (or real bacon bits if in a pinch)

Preheat oven to 400º

In a 2 qt. Mixing bowl, whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper together. Stir in hash browns, cheese and bacon. Pour mixture into a greased pie pan or 8X8 cake pan. Bake 30 minutes or until center is set and pie has turned golden brown. Cut into wedges. Make 6-8 servings.


Italian-American Meatballs

Yield: 4 servings

2 slices white sandwich bread, stale
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground veal
1/2 pound ground beef chuck
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 medium onion, grated (about 1/4 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large egg, beaten
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil, divided
Quick Marinara Sauce, recipe follows

Serving suggestions: 1 pound cooked spaghetti or linquini

Grate the bread or pulse into crumbs in a food processor. In a small bowl toss the bread crumbs with 1/3 cup cold milk to re-hydrate.

In a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs, pork, veal, beef, Parmesan, parsley, salt, onion, garlic, and egg and mix until combined. Season the meat mixture with pepper.
Using your hands, gently form the meat mixture into 18 slightly larger than golf ball-sized balls. (Packing the meat mixture too tightly together will result in tough meatballs). Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

Heat half the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until well browned on all sides, about 6 minutes. Transfer the meatballs to a plate. Drain the oil and wipe out the skillet, return to the heat, and repeat with the remaining oil and meatballs.

Drain and wipe out the skillet again. Return all the meatballs to the skillet and pour in the marinara sauce. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, covered, swirling the pan occasionally, until the meatballs are cooked through about 15 minutes. The cheese in the meatballs will start to melt when the meatballs are ready. Serve immediately with the Quick Marinara Sauce and spaghetti or on sandwiches. If serving with spaghetti, toss with 1/3 of the sauce.These meatballs can be stored, covered in the refrigerator for 3 days, or frozen for up to 6 weeks.

Quick Marinara Sauce
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 medium onion, diced (about 3 tablespoons)
4 cloves garlic, sliced
3 (28-ounce) cans whole, peeled, tomatoes, roughly chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 small bunch fresh basil, leaves chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and garlic, stirring, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, the herb sprigs and basil and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for about 15 minutes or until thickened

Remove and discard the herb sprigs. Stir in the salt and season with pepper, to taste. Serve or store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.


Baked Rigatoni with Bechamel Sauce
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Yield: 6 servings

Bechamel sauce:
1 stick unsalted butter (4 ounces)
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 quart whole milk, at room temperature
Pinch fresh nutmeg
Sea salt and white pepper
1 cup grated fontina
1/2 pound thinly sliced prosciutto, julienned
1 pound dry rigatoni
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Bechamel sauce:
In a 2 quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Always stirring, gradually add the milk and continue to whisk until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Simmer until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. This will take approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in nutmeg, 1/2 cup fontina, prosciutto and season with salt and white pepper. Set aside.

In a large pot, bring to a boil 6 quarts of salted water. Add the rigatoni and cook for about 5 minutes. Since you will be cooking the pasta a second time in the oven, you want to make sure the inside is still hard. Drain in a colander. Return pasta to the pot and pour in bechamel sauce. Using a wooden spoon, mix well until all the pasta is coated with the sauce.

Into a greased 13 by 9-inch baking dish, pour the pasta with cream sauce. Smooth out top and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup fontina. Dot the top with diced butter and bake in oven for 25 minutes or until


Piggy Pudding
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

Yield: 4 to 5 servings

16 link pork sausages
4 to 5 tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 (7 1/2-ounce) package yellow cornbread mix, batter prepared according to package directions
1 cup maple syrup, for serving
Fresh sage, for garnish

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Cook sausages in a skillet until done, piercing with a fork to let out fat. Drain and then arrange in a 9-inch square baking dish. Layer sliced apples on top. Pour corn bread batter over all and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until corn bread is done. Serve with warm maple syrup and garnish with sage.


Restaurant Style Sausage Gravy

Serving Size: 4

1 LB. Extra Mild Breakfast Sausage
6 Tbsp. Flour
1 1/2 C. Water
2 1/4 C. Whole Milk (little more if gravy is to thick)
3/4 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Paprika

Preparation:
On medium heat crumble sausage in fry pan, stir often. Cook sausage until brown. With slotted spoon remove sausage from fry pan and reserve pan drippings. The oil and drippings should measure 1/4 cup, add a little vegetable oil may be added l if needed. On medium low temperature add flour one table spoon at a time and whisk. Stir constantly until flour thickens. When flour is thick add water slowly and stir. When flour mixture is smooth add milk, paprika, and salt, stir until blended. You want to let gravy simmer, but not boil this will curdle the milk. When blended add sausage, mix and simmer until heated through.


The Original BBQ Nachos

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

2 pounds corn tortilla chips
2 pounds pulled pork shoulder, recipe follows
1 pint BBQ sauce (recommended: Hog Wild Killa Wet Sauce)
1 quart Nacho Cheese/Queso Sauce, recipe follows
3 tablespoons your favorite dry rub (recommended: Hog Wild Special Dry Sauce)

Arrange chips on a large serving platter. Cover with BBQ pork shoulder. Top with BBQ sauce and then smother with the Nacho Cheese/Queso Sauce. Sprinkle generously with rub and then serve immediately.

Hog Wild Style Flour Tortilla Chips:
1 gallon vegetable or canola oil
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons your favorite dry rub (recommended: Hog Wild Special Dry Sauce)
24 (10-inch) flour tortillas

Place oil in a deep fryer or in a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven. Heat oil to 325 degrees F.

Meanwhile, combine salt and dry rub in a small bowl. Cut tortillas into chip-sized triangles.

When oil is 325 degrees F, carefully add cut tortillas and deep fry for about 3 minutes, turning at least once until a light golden brown. Remove chips from oil and dust with salt-dry rub mixture.

Real Memphis BBQ-pulled Pork Shoulder (Boston butt):
1 (8-pound) Boston butt pork roast
16 ounces your favorite wash (recommended: Hog Wild Hog Wash)
5 ounces your favorite dry rub (recommended: Hog Wild Special Dry Sauce)

Preheat a charcoal grill for indirect cooking to 225 to 250 degrees F.

Inject the meat with wash. Alternatively, you can also marinate the pork in Hog Wash overnight in the refrigerator. Season pork generously with dry rub. Place meat on grill and cook until the internal temperature of the meat is consistently 180 degrees F for at least 1 hour; it will take about 8 hours to reach 180 degrees internally. Remove meat from grill and let rest for at least 15 minutes.

Pull the meat with your hands and remove any fat or gristle. Gently sprinkle pulled meat with dry rub and then toss like a salad.

Nacho Cheese/Queso Sauce:
1 pound pasteurized cheese (recommended: Velveeta)
8 ounces shredded Cheddar
8 ounces shredded Monterey jack cheese
1 (14-ounce) can tomatoes with green chilies (recommended: Ro-tel)
1 tomato, diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ancho or chipotle (or other) ground chile pepper
Kosher salt
Combine all ingredients in a double boiler and stir until melted. Season with salt, to taste.


Braised Pork Tacos
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence

Yield: about 24 tacos

2 ancho chiles
2 dried chipotle chiles
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 (3 to 5 pound) bone-in pork shoulder
Salt and pepper
2 onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
4 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and hand crushed
1 orange, halved
1 lime, halved
Corn tortillas, recipe follows
Avocado, sliced thin, for garnish
Radishes, sliced thin, for garnish
Tomatillo Salsa Verde, for garnish, recipe follows

Put the chiles into a small bowl and cover with hot water; set aside. In a large heavy bottomed pan with a tight fitting lid, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil. Generously season the pork with salt and pepper. Brown the meat well on both sides, about 5 minutes per side; remove the meat and set aside. Add the onion, pepper, garlic, cumin, thyme, and bay leaf; fry until softened, about 5 minutes, scraping up the browned bits in the pan. Stem and seed the soaked chiles reserving the soaking liquid; hand tear them into the pot. Return the meat to the pan along with any accumulated juices. Top the meat with the tomatoes. Pour in the chili soaking liquid, straining out any seeds, until it almost covers the meat; add water if you need more liquid. Squeeze the orange and lime juices into the pot and add the rinds. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the pork is very tender. Remove the meat to a platter and cover to keep warm. Strain the braising liquid and reserve.

Shred the pork. Add some of the reserved braising liquid if the meat is dry. Take a tortilla and place about 2 tablespoons of the mixture on top. Garnish with the avocado, radishes, and Salsa Verde; fold the sides up and serve.

Corn Tortillas:
4 cups masa harina
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons honey

Put the masa harina in a bowl and mix in the salt. Add about 1 cup warm water and mix with your hands; add more water as needed until the dough comes together. Knead for a few minutes to smooth the dough out. The dough should be firm and springy and should not stick to your hands. Test by forming a small disk, if it cracks around the edges you need more water.

Place a piece of heavy plastic (like from a garbage bag) onto a tortilla press. Form a 1 1/2-inch ball of dough and place it in the center of the press. Top with another piece of plastic, close the press, and push the lever down to form the tortilla. (Alternately, the dough balls can be rolled between plastic sheets with a rolling pin.) Open the press and remove the top layer of plastic. Carefully peel the tortilla off the bottom plastic and place it onto a hot, ungreased cast iron skillet; cook for about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove the tortilla and place it on a clean tea towel; keep it covered to keep it soft and pliable. Continue until you have used up all the dough.

Tomatillo Salsa Verde:
1 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 jalapeno, stemmed

1 small Spanish onion, quartered
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
1 lime, juiced

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the tomatillos, jalapeno, onion, garlic, and 1 tablespoon salt. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5 to 10 minutes until the tomatillos are soft but have not burst. Add the cooked vegetables to a blender with the cilantro leaves and lime juice. Pour in 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking liquid and process to a coarse puree. Taste and adjust seasoning with more cilantro, lime juice, or salt.

Yield: 2 cups


I love my.. baby-back, baby-back…
Yield: 2 slabs ribs

2 whole slabs pork baby back ribs

Dry Rub:
8 tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon jalapeno seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon rubbed thyme
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Braising Liquid:
1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 cloves garlic, chopped

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well. Place each slab of baby back ribs on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, shiny side down. Sprinkle each side generously with the dry rub. Pat the dry rub into the meat. Refrigerate the ribs for a minimum of 1 hour. In a microwavable container, combine all ingredients for the braising liquid. Microwave on high for 1 minute.

Place the ribs on a baking sheet. Open one end of the foil on each slab and pour half of the braising liquid into each foil packet. Tilt the baking sheet in order to equally distribute the braising liquid. Braise the ribs in the oven for 2 1/2 hours.

Transfer the braising liquid into a medium saucepot. Bring the liquid to a simmer and reduce by half or until of a thick syrup consistency. Brush the glaze onto the ribs. Place under the broiler just until the glaze caramelizes lightly. Slice each slab into 2 rib bone portions. Place the remaining hot glaze into a bowl and toss the rib portions in the glaze.

*This recipe makes several batches of dry rub. If more rub is needed, it can be extended by any amount, as long as the ratio of 8:3:1:1 remains the same.


Quick and Easy Baby Back Ribs
Recipe courtesy Sandra Lee

Yield: 4 servings

2 full racks (quartered) baby back ribs
1-quart beef broth
2 cups barbeque sauce (recommended: Bullseye Original Barbeque Sauce)
1 cup honey

Place ribs and beef broth in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven, and add enough water to fully cover ribs. Simmer over low heat for about 1 hour. Once tender, remove and set aside.

Preheat the grill to medium heat. In a medium bowl, combine barbeque sauce and honey. Baste ribs generously with sauce and grill for about 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.


Fusilli with Sausage, Artichokes, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Yield: 6 servings

3/4 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, sliced, 2 tablespoons of oil reserved
1 pound Italian hot sausages, casings removed
2 (8-ounce) packages frozen artichoke hearts
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
16 ounces fusilli pasta
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, plus additional for garnish
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
8 ounces water-packed fresh mozzarella, drained and cubed, optional
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the oil reserved from the tomatoes in a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausages and cook until brown, breaking up the meat into bite-size pieces with a fork, about 8 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a bowl. Add the artichokes and garlic to the same skillet, and saute over medium heat until the garlic is tender, about 2 minutes. Add the broth, wine, and sun-dried tomatoes. Boil over medium-high heat until the sauce reduces slightly, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the fusilli in boiling water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta (do not rinse). Add the pasta, sausage, 1/2 cup Parmesan, basil, and parsley to the artichoke mixture. Toss until the sauce is almost absorbed by the pasta. Stir in the mozzarella. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve, passing the additional Parmesan cheese alongside.


Simple Bacon Breakfast Pie

6 med. Eggs
1/2 milk
salt and pepper to taste
3 cups frozen shredded hash browns, thawed
1 cup grated cheese (suggested Swiss but you can use your favorite)
8 slices of crisp bacon crumbled (or real bacon bits if in a pinch)

Preheat oven to 400º

In a 2 qt. Mixing bowl, whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper together. Stir in hash browns, cheese and bacon. Pour mixture into a greased pie pan or 8X8 cake pan. Bake 30 minutes or until center is set and pie has turned golden brown. Cut into wedges. Make 6-8 servings.


Cajun Jambalaya Pasta
The Cheesecake Factory/Top Secret Restaurant Recipes
Serving Size :

1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 boneless, skinless, chicken breast — halved
1/2 pound kielbasa sliced
5 quarts water
12 oz box of spinach fettuccini (yellow and green mix)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium tomatoes — chopped
1 small green bell pepper — sliced
1 small red bell pepper — sliced
1 small yellow bell pepper — sliced
1 small medium onion — sliced
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons white wine
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Make a cajun seasoning blend by combining the white pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder in a small bowl. Cut the chicken breasts into bite-size pieces. Use about one- third of the seasoning blend to coat the chicken pieces. In another bowl, sprinkle another one-third of the spice blend over the sausage. Start your pasta cooking by bringing 5 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. Add both fettuccine to the hot water, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 12 to 14 minutes or until the pasta is tender. While the pasta cooks, heat 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil in a large frying pan or skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, saute’ the chicken in the pan for about 2 minutes per side or until the surface of the chicken starts to turn brown. Add the kielbasa to the pan with the chicken and cook another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the sausage from sticking.

When the chicken and kielbasa have been seared, pour the contents of the pan onto a plate or into a bowl. Do not rinse the pan! Put the pan back over high heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the tomatoes, peppers and onions to the oil. Sprinkle the vegetables with the remaining spice blend and saute’ for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables begin to turn brown. Add the chicken and sausage to the vegetables and pour 3/4 cup of the chicken stock in the pan. Cook over high heat until the stock has been reduced to just about nothing. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of stock to the pan. The liquid should become dark as it deglazes the pan of the dark film left by the spices and cooking food. Stir constantly, scraping the blackened stuff on the
bottom of the pan. Reduce the broth a bit more, then turn the heat down to low.
Combine the cornstarch with the wine in a small bowl. Stir until it is
dissolved. Add this to the pan and simmer over low heat until the sauce
thickens slightly. When the pasta is done, drain it and spoon half onto a plate.
Spoon half of the jambalaya over the pasta. Sprinkle half the parsley over the top. Repeat for the second serving.


Potato and Bacon Hash with Bell Peppers

6 slices of bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces or 1 (1-inch) wide piece of slab bacon cut into lardons
1 onion, cut into small dice
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 green bell pepper, cut into small dice
1 red bell pepper, cut into small dice
8 potatoes, peeled, chopped into small dice and blanched
Salt and pepper

In a skillet (cast iron if available) cook bacon to render fat. Strain fat from bacon and set aside. Reserve bacon on paper towels. Use 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings to saute onions, garlic and bell peppers until soft. Add potatoes and cook until tender and crispy. Add reserved bacon and season to taste.


Mean Beans
2 medium onions, chopped
2 tsp. Butter
two 16 oz cans red kidney beans
two 16 oz. Cans barbecued baked beans
2 cups ketchup
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tsp white vinegar
2 tsps prepared yellow mustard
8 strips cooked bacon, cooled and crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350 º In a large skillet, sauté the chopped onion in the butter until softened about 5 to 7 minutes. In a medium to large casserole dish (2-3 quarts) combine the remaining ingredients. Add the sautéed onions and mix well. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes or until piping hot. Serves 4-6.


Stuffed Red Peppers
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

4 large red bell peppers
3/4 pound ground chuck
1/2 pound ground pork
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
2 teaspoons House seasoning, recipe follows
1 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup jarred cheese and salsa
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped green onion tops
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Start by cutting the peppers in half lengthwise, leaving the stems intact, and halving them also. Remove the seeds and ribs inside the peppers.

Using a hot skillet, saute the ground beef, pork, onion, garlic, 1 teaspoon of bouillon granules, and house seasoning together. Saute until onions become translucent. Drain the fat off. Add the rice, cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, green onion tops, and soy sauce. Mix well and stuff the mixture into the peppers. In a small bowl, mix the hot water and the remaining bouillon granules. Pour this mixture into a shallow casserole large enough to hold all of the peppers. Place the stuffed peppers in the dish, cover with foil and bake for 25 to 35 minutes. Remove the foil and spoon the juice from bottom of the casserole over the top of the peppers. Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.


Sausage, Spinach and Potato Lasagna

1 lb bulk Italian sausages
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
4 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 (10 ounces) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1 1/2 cups Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
salt and pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
8 servings

1. In a large skillet, cook sausage and mushrooms over medium heat until meat is browned; drain and set aside.
2. Place potatoes in a saucepan; cover with water.
3. Bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 5 minutes or unitl crisp-tender; drain and set aside.
5. In a bowl, combine the spinach, cottage cheese, Parmesan and egg; set aside.
6. In a saucepan, saute onion and garlic in butter until tender.
7. Stir in flour, salt, papper and the optional nutmeg until blended.
8. Gradually add milk.
9. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes.
10. Remove from heat.
11. Layer half the potatoes in a greased 11×7 inch casserole dish.
12. Top with half of the spinach mixture, sausage mixture, white sauce and mozzarella cheese.
13. Layer with remaining potatoes, spinach, sausage, and white sauce.
14. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
15. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella.
16. Bake, uncovered, 5 minutes more or until cheese is melted.
17. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.


Italian Mac-n-Cheese
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

Yield: 4 servings, plus leftovers

1 pound ziti rigate, penne rigate or cavatappi (ribbed, hollow corkscrews)
1 pound Italian bulk sweet sausage
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 or 4 cloves garlic, chopped
12 crimini mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
1 (10-ounce) sack, 2 1/2 cups, shredded Italian 4 cheese blend, available on dairy aisle
1 can diced tomatoes, drained well
1 teaspoon hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco), optional
1/2 cup Parmesan, a couple of handfuls

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt water and cook pasta to a chewy al dente, about 8 minutes.

In a nonstick skillet, brown and crumble the sausage. Drain cooked crumbles on paper towel lined plate. Return pan to heat and add extra-virgin olive oil, butter, garlic and mushrooms. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Saute 3 to 5 minutes, until mushrooms are lightly golden.

Preheat broiler to high.

To mushrooms, add flour and stir, cooking 2 minutes. Whisk in stock, then stir in cream. Bring cream to a bubble, then stir in 2 cups of 4 cheese blend. When cheese has melted into sauce, add tomatoes. When sauce comes to a bubble, remove from heat and adjust seasonings, adding hot sauce if desired.

Combine cheese sauce with sausage and pasta, transfer to baking dish, casserole or oven safe serving platter. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of 4 cheese blend and the grated Parmesan over the top and brown under hot broiler.


Southwestern Quiche
This recipe is great for breakfast, brunch, or dinner. It can even be mixed up a few hours before and baked before company arrives. Or bake it early in the day and serve it room temperature with a salad.

1/2 pound Italian sausage
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
6 eggs
11/2 cups milk
1/2 cup Tostitos thick and chunky salsa, plus more for serving
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
3 cups Tostitos small rounds tortilla chips
Sour cream, for serving
Oregano sprigs, for serving

Heat a small sauté pan over medium heat. Remove the sausage from the casing and sauté until well browned. Add the corn and cook another 5 minutes. Drain off any excess fat. Stir in the oregano. Set aside to cool.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and salsa. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Spray a deep dish pie plate with cooking spray. Spread half the chips around the bottom of the pie plate in an even layer. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Sprinkle half the sausage and corn mixture over the cheese. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Pour the egg mixture over the chips. Let sit for 15 minutes.
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the eggs are set. Cool for 15 minutes before serving. Run a thin knife around the edges before slicing.
Serve with sour cream and Thick and chunky salsa.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings


Baked Beans with Bacon and Red Onions
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

6 cups prepared barbecued baked beans, any brand — the large can
3 slices bacon, chopped, 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar, a couple of handfuls
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves, optional

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Pour beans into casserole dish and place in oven.

In a small nonstick skillet, cook bacon over medium high heat 2 to 3 minutes. Add onions and cook 3 minutes longer. Slide the beans out of the oven. Scatter the onions and bacon around the beans. Sprinkle the brown sugar and black pepper over the onions.

Bake beans with toppings 10 minutes longer. Garnish the beans with parsley and serve.


Oriental Pork Wrappers
Recipe courtesy Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Cooking

Yield: 24 wrappers
1 (12-ounce) package pork sausage
2 green onions, minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
24 square wonton wrappers
Nonstick vegetable cooking spray
For dipping: soy sauce, hoisin sauce, chili garlic sauce, and hot Chinese-style mustard

In a medium bowl, combine the sausage, green onions, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and garlic. Place 8 wonton wrappers on a clean surface and brush edges with water. Place 1 tablespoon of pork mixture in center of each wrapper. Gather edges of wrapper together over filling. Press edges of wrapper together, enclosing the filling completely. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

Place a collapsible metal steamer rack in a large wide pot. Fill pot with 1/2-inch water. Spray steamer rack with nonstick spray. Bring water to a simmer. Working in batches, arrange dumplings on rack 1-inch apart. Cover pot with lid and steam dumplings until cooked thoroughly, about 8 minutes. Watch the water level and add more as needed. Transfer dumplings to a platter and serve with dipping sauces.


Swiss and Bacon Dip
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

8 slices center cut bacon, chopped
8 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 rounded teaspoons prepared Dijon style mustard
1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese, available on dairy aisle
3 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup smoked almonds, coarsely chopped
Baby carrots and a selection of spiced flat breads, cocktail sized pumpernickel or rye breads, or sliced whole grain baguettes, for dipping

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Brown bacon in nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Drain crisp bacon bits on paper towels.

In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, Dijon, Swiss and scallions with cooked bacon. Transfer to a shallow small casserole or baking dish and bake until golden and bubbly at edges, 15 to 18 minutes. Top with chopped smoked almonds. Place dip on a platter and surround warm casserole with breads and carrots for dipping.

Yield: 6 servings

Variation: Swiss and Bacon Dip with Horseradish – Stir in 2 rounded teaspoons prepared horseradish when combining cheese and bacon.


CROCKPOT BARBECUED PORK ROAST

1 pork roast (or beef)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 small onion, cut up
1 teaspoon sugar
1 bottle barbecue sauce

Cook roast covered in water (start with hot water) in crockpot overnight on low 10-12 hours. Pour off water and pull meat into shredded pieces. Saute onion in a little butter. Combine barbecue sauce, onions, sugar and juice of lemon with meat in crockpot and cook on high for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, or on low for 3 to 6 hours.


Baked Virginia Ham

1 (14 to 16-pound) fully cooked, spiral-cut smoked ham, on the bone
6 garlic cloves
8 1/2 ounces mango chutney
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 orange, zested
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the ham in a heavy roasting pan.
Mince the garlic in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the chutney, mustard, brown sugar, orange zest, and orange juice and process until smooth. Pour the glaze over the ham and bake for 1 hour, until the ham is fully heated and the glaze is well browned. Serve hot or at room temperature.


CROCKPOT ITALIAN SAUSAGES

3-4 lbs. Italian sausages (sweet or hot)
2 medium green peppers, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
28-30 oz jar favorite spaghetti sauce

Cook sausage whole in covered frying pan. Drain and slice. Put all ingredients in crockpot and cook 2-3 hours on high. Turn to low to keep warm.


BAKED HAM WITH SPICED SUGAR RUB

1 Cook’s brand Bone-in Spiral Sliced Ham, Butt or Shank Portion Ham, or Half Ham
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon lime rind, grated
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
22 to 25 pecan halves
Prepare and heat ham according to package directions.
Meanwhile, prepare sugar rub. Combine brown sugar with dry mustard, lime rind, ginger, allspice and cloves in bowl. Mix thoroughly with fork. Stir in lime juice to moisten sugar mixture evenly. Set rub aside.
Remove ham from oven 30 minutes before meat is done. Pat and rub sugar mixture over your Cook’s ham, covering top end first, then smearing mixture down the sides as evenly as possible. Press pecan halves into sugar covering at regular intervals over ham. Secure nuts with toothpick, if desired, to avoid sliding off.
Heat, uncovered, 30 to 45 minutes, basting meat with pan juices every 15 minutes. Remove ham from roasting pan; set onto cutting board face down. Let rest 10 to 15 minutes loosely covered with aluminum foil.

Carve ham and serve.
Yield: Varies depending on size of ham
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 2 to 2 1/2 hours


Heavenly Potatoes and Ham

Makes 12 servings

Ingredients

5 pounds red potatoes, quartered
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
1/2 cup butter
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onion
2 cups cooked, chopped ham
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese flavored bread crumbs
1/4 cup melted butter

Directions

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.

2 Place potatoes in a large pot of water, and bring to a boil. Boil until slightly tender, about 12 minutes. Drain, and transfer to a large bowl.

3 Mix sour cream, butter, cream of chicken soup, Cheddar cheese, green onions, ham, salt and pepper with the potatoes. Spread mixture in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs, and drizzle with butter.

4 Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven.


Toads in the Hole
Makes 4 servings

1 (12 ounce) package pork sausage links
2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

2. Brown sausage in a large skillet; drain and place sausage in a 9×13 inch baking dish.

3. In a small bowl beat eggs; add flour, water and milk and beat all together. Let sit 5 minutes.

4. Pour mixture over sausage and bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until top is browned and crusty.


Maple Mustard Barbecued Pork Chops
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

1/2 cup dark amber maple syrup
4 tablespoons, 1/4 cup, spicy brown mustard
1/4 cup apple cider
1/4 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon allspice, eyeball it in your hand
1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/3 palm full
8 center cut boneless pork loin chops, 1-inch thick
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Grill seasoning blend or salt and pepper (preferred brand McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning)
3 golden delicious apples, sliced across into 1/2-thick inch disks

Preheat grill pan or nonstick griddle pan over medium high heat. Preheat electric table top grills to high. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine maple syrup, mustard, cider, onion, allspice and cumin in a small saucepan and cook together over moderate heat for 5 minutes until sauce begins to thicken a bit.

Coat chops lightly in oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook chops on hot grill pan or indoor grill 3 minutes on each side. Baste chops liberally with sauce, cook 2 or 3 minutes more. Transfer chops to a baking sheet. Baste again with sauce and transfer to a hot oven to finish cooking them. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until your apples are ready to come off the grill pan.

Wash apples but do not core or peel. Coat apple slices with a drizzle of oil. Season with grill seasoning or salt and pepper. Cover grill pan or indoor tabletop grill with as many pieces of apple as possible. As the apples get tender, pull them off and replace with more slices. Apples should cook 3 minutes on each side, you don’t want them too soft, just tender.

Platter chops with apples along side and serve.

Yield: 8 servings


Antipasto Pie
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

1 (12-inch) round or oval, crusty, chewy bread, such as Tuscan-style or a sesame semolina
1 (14 to 16-ounce) jar giardiniera*, drained
1/2 pound thinly sliced sharp provolone
1 (14 to 16-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, or 2 fresh roasted red bell peppers, see note
1 (14-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts in water, drained
1 (12-ounce) bag mixed salad greens, any variety
1/2 cup (a couple of handfuls) fresh Italian flat leaf parsley leaves
15 to 20 leaves fresh basil, torn
1/3 pound sliced Genoa salami
1/3 pound sliced sweet soppressata
1/3 pound sliced cappacola (hot cured pork shoulder)
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1 vine-ripe tomato, thinly sliced
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Coarse salt and pepper
8 hot or sweet pickled cherry peppers
8 (8,10 or 12-inch) bamboo party skewers
Serving suggestions: green and black olives, herb flavored potato chips
* Giardiniera is a Italian pickled salad of cauliflower, hot peppers and carrot found in International Foods aisle of market

Cut the top off of a large round or oval bread and hollow it out leaving a half inch rim and bottom to your bread. The loaf should resemble a bowl or deep pie shell.

Pulse the giardiniera in a food processor into a coarse relish. Spread and press relish into the bottom of your bread shell in an even layer. Top relish with a layer of provolone slices, red pepper pieces, and artichoke hearts. Press ingredients down as you work to make room in your shell for as much antipasto as possible.

Combine mixed greens, parsley, and basil in a bowl. Add a thin layer of greens on top of artichokes, and drizzle with oil. Layer in meats and remaining cheese. Top with a few more greens, onion and tomato slices, and another drizzle of oil. Season the top of filled shell with salt and pepper. Bag up remaining unused greens and herbs for tomorrow night’s salad.

Replace top of bread and wrap your GIANT, drip-less antipasto stuffed pie for travel.

When you are ready to serve, spear hot or sweet cherry peppers on 10 or 12-inch bamboo skewers and space eight skewers equidistant around the bread. Cut bread into wedges, like a pie, and serve with olives and fancy potato chips.

Note: to roast peppers, split each red bell pepper down the center and gut them by scooping out seeds with a tug using your cupped hand. Place peppers skin-side-up under broiler preheated to high. Leave oven door ajar for steam to escape and blacken peppers entirely. Place charred peppers into a paper bag and roll the bag up tightly. Let stand 5 minutes until peppers are cool enough to handle and peel off charred skins.


Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
4 cloves garlic, cracked and chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
4 to 6 sprigs sage leaves, cut into chiffonade, about 2 tablespoons
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock, canned or paper container
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup (3 turns around the pan) heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, ground or freshly grated
Coarse salt and black pepper
1 pound penne rigate, cooked to al dente
Romano or Parmigiano, for grating
Pumpernickel or whole grain bread, as an accompaniment
Spinach Salad with Apple and Red Onion, as an accompaniment, in sidedish page

Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and brown the sausage in it. Transfer sausage to paper towel lined plate. Drain fat from skillet and return pan to the stove. Add the remaining tablespoon oil, and then the garlic and onion. Saute 3 to 5 minutes until the onions are tender.

Add bay leaf, sage, and wine to the pan. Reduce wine by half, about 2 minutes. Add stock and pumpkin and stir to combine, stirring sauce until it comes to a bubble. Return sausage to pan, reduce heat, and stir in cream. Season the sauce with the cinnamon and nutmeg, and salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer mixture 5 to 10 minutes to thicken sauce.

Return drained pasta to the pot you cooked it in. Remove the bay leaf from sauce and pour the sausage pumpkin sauce over pasta. Combine sauce and pasta and toss over low heat for 1 minute. Garnish the pasta with lots of shaved cheese and sage leaves.

Serve pumpkin sausage pasta with pumpernickel or whole grain bread and Spinach Salad with Apple and Red Onion.


Chorizo Taquitos

Yield: 12 pieces

1 (16-ounce, bulk) package beef chorizo sausage, casing removed
1 cup medium chunky salsa, drained
1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
6 fajita-size flour tortillas
1 cup prepared guacamole (refrigerated section)
1/4 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large skillet, saute sausage over medium heat until browned, about 6 minutes. Drain 1/4 cup of oil from cooked sausage. Set sausage aside to cool. Stir salsa and cheese into sausage in skillet. Place 1 tortilla on a clean work surface. Spoon 1/4 cup of the sausage mixture down the center of tortilla. Fold tortilla in half, then roll up. Secure with toothpicks. Place on a foil-covered cookie sheet. Repeat 5 times. Bake until filling is hot and tortilla is crisp and golden brown, about 18 minutes. Cut taquitos in half crosswise. Serve hot with guacamole and sour cream.


Spicy Polish Sausage Dinner

* 1 package Polish sausage links
* 1 green pepper, chopped chunky
* 1 yellow onion, chopped chunky
* 1 medium apple, chopped fine
* 1 cup water
* 1 cup Colonel Grey’s chutney or other similar chutney
* 1/4 cup butter or margarine
* Mashed potatoes or rice

Cut sausage into one inch pieces. Melt butter in a 12″ skillet. Add chopped onion and pepper, simmer until soft then remove from skillet. Spray skillet with Pam and add sausage, brown until slightly crisp. Add peppers, onions and 1 cup of water. Let mixture come to a boil. Stir in chutney and chopped apples and bring to a boil again. Remove from heat and serve over rice or mashed potatoes.

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