Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Sausage, Squash, and Spinach Penne

It's time to start spring cleaning!  In my house this often means finding what I put in the freezer months ago.  Yesterday, I found some frozen butternut squash. (Don't worry if you don't have the frozen squash; you can replace it with canned pumpkin) I started searching for recipes to use my squash and my new Mulay's Italian Sausage.  I settled on a baked pasta dish which would use some fresh herbs.

I have noticed I am a lot more particular about what types of products that I purchase lately. Sometimes I leave stores that don't have the products that I want.  Mulay's Sausage is antibiotic free, supports sustainable farming practices, and is allergen free.  Simply put, it's pork and spices.  I was pleasantly surprised with how nicely it cooked on the skillet, and I had to taste it since it looked so good; it tasted delicious!



INGREDIENTS:

  • Mulay's Mild Italian Sausage
  • 1 pound of penne pasta
  • 2-3 cups of mashed, cooked squash or 1 can solid packed pumpkin (15 oz)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • Fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 2 T Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 t minced garlic
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/4 t red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese 
  • Thyme leaves


DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Cook sausage in skillet.  Remove sausage and set aside.  
  3. Add squash, tomato paste, pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, basil, and Italian seasoning to the skillet.  Mix and allow to cook 5-7 minutes.
  4. While squash mixture is cooking, prepare pasta.  Drain.
  5. Add sausage to squash mixture.  Cook for 2 minutes.  
  6. Add pasta to skillet.  Mix well.
  7. Place half of pasta mixture into baking dish.  Add a layer of  spinach.  Place remaining pasta on top. Cover with foil.  Bake for 12 minutes.
  8. Remove foil.  Cover with cheeses and leaves of thyme.  Cook uncovered for an additional 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.


DIFFICULTY: Medium 
TIME: 45 minutes
SOURCE: Modified from Pinterest




Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Chorizo, Potato, and Roasted Veggies Bowl

With the craziness of life these days, get togethers with my girlfriends feel way too few and far between.  But a few months back, two friends and I managed to carve out some time on a Sunday for brunch.  The menu options at the restaurant were amazing but I finally settled on a dish similar to this one.  I couldn't believe how delicious it was...and how happy I was that the portion size was huge so that I could take some home for lunch the next day.  I raved about it and thought about it for weeks until I decided that I needed to reproduce it somehow.  Right around that same time, we were contacted by Mulay's Sausage to give their products a try.  When I saw that one of their products was a minimally processed chorizo, my immediate reaction was to make this meal, and I couldn't wait.  (Incidentally, I loved every product of theirs that I tried and everything about their company - like their compassionate farming standards and the fact that their products have no artificial ingredients and are minimally processed.)  I tried a couple of variations of this simple recipe until I settled on this one that is pretty similar to my brunch memories.  I cannot express to you how much my family loves this meal.

P.S. When I ordered this at the restaurant, there was a poached egg on top, which was awesome.  I do not include that when I made this for dinner for my family, but it is an option to consider.

INGREDIENTS:
  • Chorizo (Mulay's ground chorizo is awesome if if is sold near you; if you can't find ground chorizo, using links with casings removed works, too)
  • 2 red or orange peppers, chopped
  • red or baby potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 medium to large onion, chopped
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • goat cheese (an absolute must!)
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a large baking sheet with foil sprayed lightly with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, drizzle potato wedges with olive oil.  Add garlic powder, oregano, and a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper; spread on 2/3 of the baking sheet.
  3. In the same bowl, toss the chopped peppers and onions with a drizzle of olive oil and some sea salt and pepper, spread on the remaining 1/3 of the baking sheet (or a second baking sheet if there isn't room).  Roast veggies for 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are golden, checking and gently rearranging veggies after about 15 minutes.  
  4. In the meantime, cook sausage over medium high heat until browned.  
  5. Gently mix the roasted potatoes and veggies; Serve in bowls topped with chorizo and goat cheese.

Time: ~40 minutes total
Difficulty: easy
Source: inspired by a restaurant brunch