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Sausage & Tortellini Soup

It’s that time of the year… turkey, ham, cake, pie and trying to figure out what to get the wife for Christmas. I think this year’s presents will be a home run. I mean after last year’s fiasco which included gifts such as a book she already read, a hair dryer and Toe Tunes I can only go up from there. If you can keep a secret I will let you all in on what she is getting this year. Are you sitting down? Great it’s a… you know after thinking about it I’m going to take it back and start over. I’m fairly sure she already has a snow shovel and a Bacon Bath Kit.

This recipe for sausage and tortellini soup is so much easier than trying to figure out what to get your significant other for the holidays. I used dry tortellini for this soup but you can (and should) use frozen or fresh if you have the time. I don’t because I’m too busy returning gifts that I thought at the time were a good idea such as the Chatty Patty and the Potty Putter for Landon.

Sausage & Tortellini Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 celery rib diced
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 1 tsp crushed red chilis
  • 8 oz tortellini
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • S&P to taste

Instructions

  1. In a Dutch oven brown sausage. Remove sausage once browned and drain.

  2. Heat Dutch oven to medium and add olive oil. Once oil is heated add carrots, onions and celery for 5 minutes

  3. Add garlic and crushed red chilis and cook for another minute

  4. Add Italian seasoning, chicken broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and sausage and bring to a boil

  5. Reduce and simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on

  6. Add tortellini and cook for another 10 minutes. Once tortellini is cooked turn off the heat and add spinach and mix.

  7. Sprinkle with Parmesan 

This is a hearty soup that will please any of the pickiest eaters. As for me…I’m off to the store to try to figure out this gift issue I have. Thanks for stopping by Life44…Live, laugh, love & learn.

This is a must have for your kitchen

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If you liked this post, take a look at this recipe for Bacon Cannoli

 

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Spaghetti and Meatball Bake

Growing up as a kid spaghetti and meatballs was served about once a week. Along with meatloaf, oh my mother’s meatloaf. Half ground beef, half bread crumbs. Anyways my mother’s spaghetti and meatballs tasted like mushy pasta with ketchup sauce along with partially frozen meatball like substances. It really wasn’t that much different than the schools’ spaghetti. Most of us kids had some form of a surprise sickness on spaghetti day.

Spaghetti and meatballs do not have to be a mushy ketchup tasting mess like my school years. In fact, spaghetti and meatballs can be an easy enjoyable meal with just a few simple changes from those 70’s recipes.

To up the taste, we make our own sauce and meatballs with a ground beef and ground pork mixture. We also will not fully cook the pasta allowing it to finish in the sauce absorbing that wonderful homemade taste.

The sauce is from the must have Italian cook book “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking” by Marcella Hazan. If there is any cookbook that covers Italian cooking this is the book. I use her basic tomato sauce using an onion and butter and add a little bit of the flavors I enjoy.

This is a great recipe that combines great sauce and pasta baked with some handmade meatballs and covered in cheese. Enjoy, the teenagers did and then some. This may be our new number one comfort food.

Thanks for stopping by Life44… Live, laugh, love & learn.



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Spaghetti Sauce

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Spaghetti Sauce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 People

Ingredients

  • 1 can 29oz tomato sauce
  • 1 medium onion cut in half
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tsp red chilis
  • salt to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic minced

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a pot and bring to a simmer and maintain the simmer for 30 minutes

Meatballs

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Meatballs
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 People

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup parmasean cheese
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp red chilis
  • nutmeg pinch
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. In a skillet heated to medium add the olive oil

  2. Mix the remains ingredients together by hand

  3. Roll the meat mixture into one inch balls

  4. Place the meatballs in the heated skillet and brown on each side. Cook in batches

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Red Beans & Rice

A few years ago I was able to go to New Orleans for a quick visit. My goal… taste as many iconic New Orleans foods. I had it all or at least as much as I could eat. Po Boys, beignets, oysters, jambalaya, gumbo and red beans and rice were on my list and I was not disappointed. If you ever have the chance to visit, I highly recommend it. Not just for the food but the sites. There really is something for everyone there.

I was going through some old photos on my phone and I saw the pictures from New Orleans and immediately I began craving red beans and rice. Such a simple dish but so difficult to truly replicate. I am not going to say I nailed down the best red beans and rice dinner, but this is pretty darn good.

Holy Trinity

The French have mirepoix which is a base of onion, celery and carrots. The Cajuns have the holy trinity which includes onion, celery and bell peppers. The holy trinity is the base for a lot of Cajun cooking and a key component in red beans and rice.

One thing you need to do towards the end of cooking the red beans is mash/blend a cup of the beans to help thicken it. You can use a fork to mash them or an immersion blender. I love the one below. It cleans up quickly and works like a charm.

Red Beans & Rice

Ingredients

  • 16
    oz
    dried red beans
    presoaked overnight
  • 1
    lb
    Andouille sausage
    sliced in 1/4 inch slices
  • 1
    onion
    diced
  • 2
    celery stalks
    diced
  • 1
    green bell pepper
    diced
  • 4
    cloves
    garlic
    minced
  • 1
    tbsp
    bacon fat or vegetable oil
  • 1
    tbsp
    cayenne pepper
  • 1
    tsp
    pepper
  • 1
    tsp
    rubbed sage
  • 2
    tsp
    salt
  • 1
    tsp
    crushed red pepper
  • 4
    bay leaves
  • 6
    cups
    water
  • cooked white rice

Instructions

  1. Heat bacon fat (or oil) over medium heat in a dutch oven. Brown the sausage until crispy then add onions and cook for about 5 minutes. Add celery, bell pepper and garlic and cook for 3 minutes.

  2. Add cayenne, pepper, sage, salt, red pepper and bay leaves. Add presoaked beans and cover with about 2 inches of water (approximately 6 cups). Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and cover for about 2 hours

  3. A few minutes before serving remove 1 cup of beans and mash with a fork. Return beans to pot and simmer for 10 minutes adjusting seasoning to your preference. Before serving remove bay leaves

  4. Serve over rice and enjoy.

This red beans and rice recipe can be tailored to your tastes. I really like it spicy and I added a dash or five of Tabasco sauce. Just remember to taste, taste and taste. Adjust to how you like it. Other than that bone apple t. Hey that’s how my son loves to pronounce Bon Appetit. I actually like it.

I hope you enjoyed this classic New Orleans Monday dinner. I know my family did. There wasn’t a bean to be found after the teenagers got to it. Thanks for stopping by Life44…Live, laugh, love & learn.



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