This is another one-pot, cold weather, comfort food stew. Before our first snow, I rescued some rosemary and thyme from my garden- I was so happy to incorporate both in this dish. 🙂
The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I added parmesan rind to the pot while the beans were simmering. I also modified the method and used an immersion blender to purée some of the beans after they were cooked to add creaminess to the finished dish.
The recipe can also be adapted to make in a slow cooker, noted below. Easy and delicious with rich and deep flavor.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1+ pounds sweet Italian sausage, sliced 3/4-inch thick (I used 5 links)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 medium carrots, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 pound dried great Northern beans, rinsed and picked through
4 cups (1 quart) water
4 cups (1 quart) chicken or turkey stock (I used homemade turkey stock)
2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
2 thyme sprigs
1 large rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
parmesan rind, optional
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, plus more for serving
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
minced parsley, for garnish, optional
Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high. (I used a large enameled cast iron Dutch oven.)
Add the sausage and brown until cooked through, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel.
Add the tomato paste and cumin to the pot. Cook, stirring, until dark golden, about 2 minutes.
Add the carrots, celery, and onion. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and stir for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Stir in the beans, 4 cups water, 4 cups stock, salt, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil.
Then reduce heat to low, add the parmesan rind (highly recommend!), cover the pot, and simmer gently until the beans are tender, about 2 hours, adding more water if needed to make sure the beans remain submerged. (I covered the pot and did not have to add any additional liquid.)
To add creaminess, use an immersion blender to purée some of the stew. (I blended for about 10 seconds.)(Alternatively, 1 or 2 cups of beans can be removed, puréed, and returned to the pot.)
When beans are tender, return the sausage to the pot. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Stir in the vinegar and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. Ladle into warm bowls and serve drizzled with more vinegar and olive oil, if desired. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
To Make the Stew in a Slow Cooker:
Add all of the ingredients, except the sausage and garnishes, and 7 cups water/stock (instead of 8) to the machine.
Cook on low for 8 hours. (It holds well on low for 2 more hours.)
When you’re ready to serve, roast the sausage on a sheet pan at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Slice and add the sausage, as well as any accumulated juices from the pan, to the soup. Warm through and serve.
In New York, today is a day for cheesy snow-day comfort food.
This dish could be made in a single pot but I must confess that I transferred the pasta to a casserole dish prior to browning it in the oven. This was completely unnecessary but I liked the increased surface area exposed for browning.
The recipe was adapted from Cook’s Country. I modified the method and proportions. I also used crushed tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. We ate it with garlic bread and green salad. Great.
Yield: Serves 8
10 to 11 ounces (about 4 links) sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
6 large garlic cloves, minced
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon coarse salt
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 2/3 cups water
16 ounces (1 pound) ziti
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) chopped fresh basil (chiffonade)
2 2/3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1 1/3 cups), divided (I used Parmigiano-Reggiano)
11 ounces whole-milk ricotta cheese
Cook sausage in Dutch oven over medium-high heat, breaking up pieces with spoon, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. (I used a large enameled cast iron Dutch oven.)
Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes and their juice, salt, oregano, sugar, and pepper flakes. Bring mixture to boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.
Stir in water, pasta, and 6 tablespoons chopped basil. Increase heat to high and bring to boil.
Reduce heat to medium and simmer vigorously, uncovered, until pasta is still very firm but just starting to soften, 6 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently.
Adjust oven rack 8 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. (I set my oven to Broil+Max @450 degrees.)
Remove pot from heat and stir in spinach, half of the mozzarella, and 1 cup grated Parmesan. If using a separate casserole dish, transfer the mixture after incorporating the spinach and cheese. (I placed the casserole dish on a rimmed baking sheet and covered the handles with foil to protect them.)
Dollop surface of pasta evenly with spoonfuls of ricotta.
Top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.
Broil ziti until cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking time.
Transfer to wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons basil and serve.
This is a crowd-pleasing and quick summer dish. It was a wonderful meal served with a giant green salad. The original recipe notes that any summer vegetable, or a combination, can be used instead of the fresh corn. Chopped tomatoes, broccoli, summer squash, or even green beans would work.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Chris Morocco. I modified the proportions. Great!
Yield: Serves 6
16 oz rigatoni
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 sprigs basil, plus 1 cup leaves for serving
1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper (or other mild red pepper flakes)
fresh corn kernels from 3 large ears
5 T unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 oz (about 1/2 cup) freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving (I used Parmigiano-Reggiano)
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente; drain, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking water.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high.
Add sausage and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through, 6–8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium and cook sliced garlic in same pot, stirring occasionally, until light golden around edges, about 2 minutes.
Add basil sprigs and Aleppo pepper; cook, stirring, until basil is wilted, about 1 minute.
Place an ear of corn upright in a medium sized bowl. Use a knife to cut off the kernels. (The bowl will prevent the kernels from flying all over the counter.)
Add corn and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water to the pot and cook, stirring often, until corn is mostly tender, about 3 minutes.
Stir in pasta and 1 cup pasta cooking water.
Add butter and cook, stirring, until butter is melted and sauce is smooth and creamy.
Add the Parmesan in several additions, stirring after each addition until sauce is smooth.
Return sausage to pot and cook until flavors meld, about 1 minute. If needed, add additional pasta cooking liquid to loosen the sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Place in a serving bowl or individual shallow bowls. Top with basil leaves and more Parmesan and serve.
This is a variation of one of my favorite Italian restaurant dishes, orecchiette with sausage and broccoli rabe. It was fast to prepare and really full-flavored- incorporating anchovies, freshly ground fennel seeds, and lots of garlic. Great.
This recipe was adapted from 177milkstreet.com, contributed by Jeanne Maguire. I substituted jarred fire-roasted red peppers and brine for Peppadew peppers. I used a combination of sweet and hot Italian sausage as well.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
12 ounces orecchiette pasta
2 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound (about 6) sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed (I used 2/3 sweet (4) and 1/3 hot sausage (2))
3 anchovy fillets, minced
2 tsp fennel seeds, ground
1/4 cup finely chopped mild Peppadew peppers or fire-roasted red peppers, plus 1 T brine (I used Trader Joe’s)
8 to 10 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 pound Swiss chard, stems and leaves separated
3/4 cup chicken broth or stock, divided
3 T freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
Remove the stems from the chard leaves and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Soak in a bowl of water, drain, and set aside.
Cut the leaves into 3-inch wide ribbons; wash and drain. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.
Drain, return to the pot and toss with 1 tablespoon of oil. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet (with a lid available) over medium-high, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering. (I used a large enameled cast iron pan.)
Add the sausage and cook, breaking it into small chunks, until well browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from pan and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Discard all but 1 T of the drippings from the pan.
Add the anchovies, ground fennel seed, and peppers to the skillet and cook over medium, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
Stir in the garlic and chard stems, then cook until the garlic is aromatic, about 30 seconds.
Add 1/4 cup of the stock and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until most of the liquid evaporates, 1 to 2 minutes.
Stir in the chard leaves and the remaining 1/2 cup broth. Cover, reduce to medium-low and cook until the leaves are wilted, about 2 to 4 minutes.
Scrape the chard mixture into the pot with the pasta. (I added the pasta to the pot with the chard instead!)
Add the sausage and 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir over medium-low until the pasta is heated through, about 1 minute.
Gradually stir in the Parmesan, then the Peppadew or roasted red pepper brine.
Taste and season with salt. Serve sprinkled with more Parmesan.
We have a new favorite chili in our house! It may double as a new favorite Super Bowl meal too. 😉 I was a little concerned about using sausage as such a primary ingredient but the end result was very balanced. It was hearty, full-flavored, and a perfect compliment to our mandatory guacamole appetizer. I also loved that it could be prepared in advance.
I was initially drawn to the recipe because it was titled “BLT Chili” which sounded intriguing and delicious. After reading further, I realized that it was not related to a BLT but was created by chef Laurent Tourondel of BLT Burger in Las Vegas. Funny.
The recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Laurent Tourondel. I modified the proportions, used sweet Italian sausage, and served the chili over brown rice. We also had cornbread muffins on the side. Our dessert of After-School Specials completed our festive meal. Perfect.
Yield: Serves 8 to 10
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 1/2 to 3 pounds sweet Italian pork sausage, casings removed
2 medium or large yellow onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
6 to 12 garlic cloves, minced
2 T tomato paste
2 T chili powder
2 T sweet paprika
1 T cumin seeds
1 T dried oregano
Two 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes
Two 16-ounce cans kidney beans, drained
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
4 cups water
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
shredded sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped red onion, pickled jalapeños, cilantro and hot sauce, for serving, as desired
brown Basmati rice, for serving, optional
In a large, enameled cast-iron Dutch oven or casserole, heat the oil.
Add the sausage and cook over high heat, breaking it up, until browned, about 15 minutes.
Add the onions, bell pepper and garlic; cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the onion is translucent, 8 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin and oregano and cook for 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes, beans, corn and water and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 1 hour.
Season with salt and pepper.
Serve the chili over rice, if desired, with shredded sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped red onion, pickled jalapeños, cilantro and hot sauce as optional toppings.
I am in love with kabocha squash- it is just so creamy and sweet. This dish may be the ultimate autumn casserole. It was a little bit involved to prepare but the results were worth every minute.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appetit, contributed by Claire Saffitz. I slightly modified the proportions and method. Fabulous!
4 to 6 servings
1 small to medium kabocha squash
7 large garlic cloves
3 6-inch-long rosemary sprigs
½ cup heavy cream
freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch Tuscan kale (I used a 10 oz bag), ribs removed and torn into 1-2″ pieces (about 8 cups)
2 medium shallots
1 pound fresh pork sausage, such as sweet Italian (about 4 links)
2 cups crumbled cornbread, from a 6×4 inch piece
2 T unsalted butter
1 T olive oil
Bake cornbread. (I used Trader Joe’s Cornbread Mix.) Set aside to cool.
Position a rack in center of oven; preheat to 400°, preferably on convection.
Cut off stem end of kabocha squash and rest on cut side. Cut squash in half. Scoop out seeds and stringy innards with a spoon; discard. Cut squash into 1″-thick slices. Using your knife, slice off the tough peel and layer of light green flesh beneath.
Smash the garlic cloves with the side of the knife and remove peel.
Combine squash, garlic, rosemary sprigs, heavy cream, and ¼ cup water in a medium saucepan. Season generously with salt and pepper and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Cover pot and reduce heat to low. Simmer until squash is tender and easily mashes when pressed with the back of a spoon, 20-25 minutes.
Meanwhile, grasp stem end of each kale leaf. Starting at stem, slide your other hand along length of leaf to strip leaves. Repeat with entire bunch; discard stems. Tear leaves into 1″–2″ pieces (you should have about 8 cups).
Peel 2 shallots and thinly slice crosswise.
Use the tip of your knife to prick the sausages all over in several places.
Crumble cornbread into coarse crumbs (you should have about 2 cups).
When squash is tender, remove saucepan from heat. Uncover and pluck out rosemary sprigs, leaving leaves inside pot. Transfer entire mixture to a medium bowl (reserve saucepan) and mash with the back of a spoon or a potato masher until no distinct pieces of squash remain. Season with salt and pepper.
Wipe out pot with paper towels and heat over medium. Add butter and heat until melted. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 4 minutes.
Add kale to the pot, a couple of handfuls at a time, stirring to wilt between each batch, and cook until leaves are dark green and wilted, about 3 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
Transfer to kale to the bowl with squash, then fold to incorporate.
Heat the olive oil in the same saucepan over medium and add sausage. Cook, turning once, until browned on both sides (they won’t be cooked through), about 6 minutes. Transfer to cutting board and let cool for a few minutes (reserve saucepan again and do not pour out fat from sausages–you’re going to use it one more time).
Meanwhile, using a rubber spatula, scrape squash and kale mixture into a shallow 2-qt. baking dish and smooth top. (I coated the baking dish with cooking oil spray.)
Cut sausages crosswise into 2″ pieces and nestle into top of squash mixture, spacing evenly.
Heat the drippings remaining in the saucepan over medium and add cornbread crumbs. Cook, stirring, just until crumbs are evenly coated in fat. Scatter cornbread crumbs over squash mixture; season with more salt and pepper.
Bake gratin until crumbs are toasty and brown and sausages are cooked through (you can insert an instant-read thermometer into center of sausage to check if registers 140°, or just cut into one with a knife), about 15 minutes.