Veggie Packed Meat Sauce over Linguine

 “Doing what you love is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness”

Veggie Packed Meat Sauce over Linguine

I am so excited to share this recipe with you largely because I feel very clever. I snuck many veggies into this dish then tested it on a 7 year old and a 40 year old and guess what?….

It was a smashing hit!

They had no idea what hit them. They knew nothing about the eggplant, the zucchini, the bell pepper and the onion lurking in the rich sauce made with both spicy and sweet italian sausages. They both licked their plates clean while I smirked happily. And that is how I measure success of a dish.

Veggie Packed Meat Sauce over Linguine

I was looking through my blog’s recipes and came to a realization that there aren’t that many pasta recipes. What a nuisance!  That must be changed… immediately. It must be done while I am in the  pasta adoration phase, which can pass as fast as it came.

I’m not going to lie I’m also in the “I don’t have much to write about” stage and just going to leave you alone with this incredible sauce.

Hoping writer’s block is gone by the next post.

Veggie Packed Meat Sauce over Linguine

Veggie Packed Meat Sauce over Linguine

 Enjoy Superbowl!!!

Veggie Packed Meat Sauce over Linguine

Rating 

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

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Serves: 5

Ingredients
  • 1 small zucchini (about 1 cup) diced
  • ½ medium eggplant (about 1 cup) diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 italian sweet sausages
  • 2 italian hot sausages
  • 1 24oz jar your favorite pasta sauce (I used Bertolli Organic Olive Oil, Basil and Garlic)
  • 1 lb pasta, such as linguine, spaghetti or penne
  • grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a deep skillet or a Dutch.
  2. Remove casings off the sausage, crumble and brown until no longer pink. Using a slotted spoon transfer cooked sausage to a plate.
  3. To the same pot add eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper and onion. Saute over medium heat until the vegetables begin to soften. Stir in sausage and cook another 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in the pasta sauce, stir, reduce heat to medium low and simmer gently for about 10 more minutes.
  5. Meanwhile cook pasta according to package directions. Serve topped generously with the sauce, parmesan cheese and a piece of garlic toast. Enjoy

 

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Bone Broth Soup with Beans & Lentils

Bone Broth Soup with Beans

A big pork shoulder bone gave life to a new recipe simply because I couldn’t stand to throw away a treasure like that. Just looking at it made me think of a big pot of broth and since I was on vacation a big pot of broth led to a big pot of delicious bean soup. There is so much flavor in a homemade broth. I can drink it straight topped with sliced scallions and herbs anytime. But freezing it for future recipes makes me the happiest. Making a big pot of soup makes me pretty happy too.

Bone Broth Soup with Beans

Pork shoulder is a fantastic cut of meat. It’s huge too, which only means one thing, lots of delicious recipes. I buy it to make Roasted Pork, Pork & Poblano Stew and one of my favorite citrus pork recipes for tacos from the Truly Mexican Cookbook by Roberto Santibanez.  I also save the bone to make a pot of broth, freeze it and use it in other dishes.

Bone Broth Soup with Beans

Bone broth is a good source of minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and your body can easily absorb it. It contains chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, which help reduce inflammation and joint pain. Properly prepared bone broth aids digestion, and muscle repair. On top of all that it tastes delicious, adds flavor to your dishes and is so much better than the MSG loaded kind you get at the store.

Bone Broth Soup with Beans

I realize that preparing a broth like this is time consuming. I have two solutions for you. The first, good for the weekend,  is to throw all the ingredients in the pot and let the magic happen while you clean the house, do your chores or relax on the couch.  The second is to use that trusted slow cooker. Yes, the slow cooker is one of the greatest tools for making broth. I suggest boiling the bone first in a pot of water for 5 minutes to remove the scum and then transferring the bone with fresh clean water to the slow cooker.

After that cooking those beans in the broth is a peace of cake. Just leave the beans to soak in water while the broth is in the slow cooker.

Bone Broth Soup with Beans

Happy Almost Weekend!!!

Bone Broth

Rating 

Ingredients
  • 1 pork shoulder bone
  • ½ lb pork shoulder meat, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 carrots, peeled, cut in half
  • 1 large onion, peeled, cut into quarters
  • 2 celery stalks, cut in half
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • ½ tbsp dry rosemary
  • 8 cups fresh water
  • salt to taste ( if using broth for the Bone Broth Soup with Beans, omit the salt)
Instructions
  1. Stove top method: Add all ingredients to a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil skimming the surface of scum before it begins to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 hours.
  2. Slow cooker: Bring a pot of water with the shoulder bone and meat to a boil. Allow to cook for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse the bone. Add the bone, meat and the rest of the ingredients to a slow cooker and cook for 8 hours.

Bone Broth Soup with Beans & Lentils

Rating 

Ingredients
  • ½ lb beans, preferably soaked overnight or for at least 4 hours
  • ⅓ cup yellow lentils
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 tsp dry thyme
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Broth from the Bone Broth Recipe Above
  • Meat chunks from the Bone Broth Recipe Above (discard the bone)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. In a large soup pot or the Dutch Oven heat olive oil add carrots, onion, celery and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes then stir thyme, beans, lentils and meat chunks.
  2. Pour in all of the bone broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the beans are tender, about 1 hour.
  3. Season with salt, pepper and fresh parsley. (It's important not to add salt while the beans cook, otherwise they will be tough and take much longer to become tender)
  4. Enjoy.

 

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One Roast Two Delicious Recipes: Roast Pork & Cuban Panini

One Roast Two Delicious Recipes: Roast Pork & Cuban Panini

I like cooking in bulk for obvious reasons… full freezer with dinner options in a jiffy. Cook once and eat a bunch of times. Lots of recipes can be made using the same ingredient. Pork is one of them, especially pork shoulder or Boston butt. It can be cooked in bulk, frozen and used many times in a variety of dishes. This cut of meat has both dark and white meat. The dark meat is perfect for pulled pork, tacos and hash. The white meat goes great on sandwiches and paninis.

One Roast Two Delicious Recipes: Roast Pork & Cuban Panini

Roasting a pork shoulder is easy. It does not require a lot of work just some time commitment, perfect for a day like Sunday when you are most likely to spend more hours at home. This is one of my favorite ways to prepare pork. It’s gets lots of great flavor from braising in garlic, herbs and orange juice. I promise you’ll have a hard time keeping fingers away and the smell…. Oh the smell is so appetizing you’ll find your belly rumbling with hunger.

One Roast Two Delicious Recipes: Roast Pork & Cuban Panini

One of my favorite pressed sandwiches is the Cuban Panini. The gooey cheese, the juicy pork and the sour pickles grilled in between crusty bread is a combination that pleases the senses every step of the way. And it is one of the quickest dinners to make using all that great meat you prepared on Sunday.

One Roast Two Delicious Recipes: Roast Pork & Cuban Panini

One Roast Two Delicious Recipes: Roast Pork & Cuban Panini

I am off for three days starting tomorrow and looking forward to it very much.

Have a great weekend friends.

Versatile Roast Pork

Rating 

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Ingredients
  • 9 lb Boston Butt
  • 10-15 garlic cloves
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 1 orange, quartered
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1½ cups water
  • Salt and pepper
  • Bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1 tsp dry thyme
  • 1 tsp dry rosemary
  • canola oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Using a pairing knife make small holes in the pork and insert a garlic clove. Repeat with the rest of the garlic all over the meat.
  3. Generously rub canola oil all over the pork and season with salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary. Place into a roasting pan.
  4. Add orange juice, water, sliced onion, quartered orange, bay leaf and generous sprinkle of salt to the same roasting pan. Please note that pork should not be submerged and the liquid should only come up about ⅓ of the way. I used a large roasting pan.
  5. Roast in the oven for 1½ hours, flipping the pork every 45 minutes. Bring the oven temperature to 375 degrees and cook another 30-45 minutes until the top is golden.
  6. After its done cooking, allow to cool a little. The dark meat can be used for pulled pork. The white meat for sandwiches, etc.

Cuban Panini

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Serves: 2

Ingredients
  • 4 slices deli ham
  • 5-6 slices roast pork (recipe above) warmed up
  • 4 pickle slices
  • 6 slices swiss cheese
  • mayo
  • french baguette (2 hoagie size pieces) or any panini type bread, sliced lengthwise
Instructions
  1. Preheat a griddle or a panini press.
  2. Spread mayo on one side of the bread. Top each with equal amounts of pork, ham, swiss cheese and pickles then top with the second piece of bread.
  3. Grill until the cheese is melted. If using a griddle place a heavy pot or a kitchen brick on top of the sandwich.
  4. Enjoy!

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