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Posts Tagged ‘pasta’

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Bitter Greens!

Who else has been stumped with what to do with the BITTER GREENS in our CSA box? I admit, I had “to google it” and read this: “Bitter Greens: mixed green leaves of a variety of salad vegetables with a bitter taste, such as kale, mustard, collard, endive, chicory, or spinach.”

I was happy to get a HEADS UP email from Farmer Ray with a recipe recommendation from a fellow CSA customer.  Amy said it is a delicious dish, so I had to check it out for myelf.

 WHAT YOU NEED:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 medium onions, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rings

1 teaspoon sugar

4 cups chicken broth (preferably homemade) or water

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 pound fettuccine

1 bunch bitter greens

 WHAT YOU DO:

Prep bitter greens: I washed, removed any brown, wilted leaves, and drained while I was cooking the onions.

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Two bags of greens washed and ready!

Prep onions: peel and thinly slice four onions (I used yellow.) You can slice with knife; I used my Pampered Chef Easy Slicer. I love the handle that protects my fingers!

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slicing onions

Heat oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and sugar and cook, stirring once or twice, until well browned, about 10 minutes. Turn heat to low; continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft, about 10 minutes.

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caramelized onions!

While onions are caramelizing, cook pasta in boiling salted water until a little underdone, and drain. I wanted to use up some pasta in my pantry, so I boiled a combination of rotini and bowtie.

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Pasta!

When onions are caramelized and fully cooked, remove half the onions and set aside. Add broth or water to the pan and bring to a boil. I used chicken broth.

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onions boiling in broth

Cook over high heat, scraping bottom of pan, for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add cooked pasta to broth; simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add greens; cook, covered, until wilted, about 1 minute.

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wilting the greens

I used two packages of bitter greens, and they cooked down to almost nothing, so don’t be afraid to push them down into the pasta and broth.

The recipe calls for an additional tablespoon of butter, if desired. Amy suggested cream, so that’s what I did.

Divide among 4 shallow bowls, garnish with reserved onions.

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Bitter Greens with pasta and caramelized onions

This is a surprisingly tasty dish! The sweetness of the caramelized onions balances out the “bitterness” of the greens, and the cream adds a nice richness to the broth.

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Any recipe using kale always catches my eye! I adapted this magazine recipe to use this week’s kale. I’m glad I did; it provided a yummy lunch for us.

WHAT YOU NEED:

2 cups uncooked pasta

8 oz. uncooked sausage

4 cups uncooked kale, roughly chopped

1 cup chicken broth

¼ tsp. black pepper

¼ tsp. slat

½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

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The stars!

WHAT YOU DO:

Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions; drain. I used whole grain rotini. The original recipe calls for rigatoni.

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Whole grain rotini adds extra nutrients and fiber!

Cook sausage:  The original recipe calls for sweet Italian turkey sausage; I used a pound of Rose Creek Farms pork sausage which made this dish quite meaty (and filling!) IMG_3324

Remove sausage from casing and cook in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, breaking up sausage as it cooks, about 3 minutes. Once it’s cooked, I elevate the skillet and use a paper towel to absorb the fat.

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Elevate to drain off fat.

Prep kale: wash, de-stem and roughly chop.

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chopped kale

Add kale to sausage, stirring frequently, until limp, about 3 to 5 minutes.

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Kale joins sausage!

Add chicken broth to skillet and scrape up browned bits on bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon; season with salt and pepper. I used homemade broth from a chicken I had cooked in the crock pot. I refrigerated the broth which solidifies the fat on top. It is easy to remove and discard, leaving the flavorful broth!

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Homemade chicken broth!

Cover skillet and reduce heat to low; cook until kale is tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in rigatoni; heat through.

Sprinkle each serving with about 2 tablespoons of cheese before serving. (I actually stirred the 1/2 cup of cheese into the hot just-drained pasta, tossing to coat as the cheese melts. I learned this trick from Rachel Ray!)

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Pasta, sausage, kale, and cheese!

Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.

I had some leftover salad in the refrigerator, so I used it as a base for this dish. It was delicious!

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Salad and pasta!

The magazine recipe includes these suggestions: Make this dish vegetarian by swapping cannellini beans for the sausage and vegetable broth for the chicken broth. Try broccoli rabe when kale is not available.

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Sausage balls are always a favorite around our house, and the excellent flavor of this lamb sausage did not disappoint. We used the sausage balls for two meals: first, sausage balls served over a bed of greens with Greek yogurt dip, and the next night lamb meatballs over pasta with sauteed veggies. They also heat up nicely for breakfast! Enjoy!

Lamb Sausage Balls

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lamb sausage
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg

Move the lamb sausage to the refrigerator to thaw the day before. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, beat the egg. Add bread crumbs. You can use store bought bread crumbs, or mash crackers to make the crumbs. Add sausage and mix all the ingredients with a spoon until evenly blended. Roll sausage mixture into 15 balls and put in a roasting pan or baking sheet. Roast balls for 20 – 25 minutes at 400 degrees.

 

Greek Yogurt Dip

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 TBSP chopped fresh mint (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Blend ingredients and chill for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

Don’t forget to try the lamb meatballs over your favorite pasta, as well. With a side salad, of course!

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