Archive for the ‘sausage’ Category

Lasagnas for Two

May 8, 2010

I love these. And honestly? I can’t believe I didn’t think to do it.

Making lasagna in a disposable bread pan — it’s just the right amount for two people for one meal!

And even better — it makes 3 loaf pans, so you essentially can make 3 meals and freeze the other 2 for later.

I recently made them for friends who just had a baby — and made some for DH and I as well. Pictures are unbaked — we haven’t eaten one yet! LOL

You can make any flavor/type of lasagna you want with this method. Check out Joelen’s original recipe through the link to see some of the other creative lasagna ideas she lists!

Lasagnas for Two

(Joelen’s Culinary Adventures)

1 package lasagna ‘no boil’ pasta sheets (Barilla makes a good one that fits)
1-2 jars pasta sauce or 4 cups homemade pasta sauce
1-2 packages or 4 cups shredded mozzarella or shredded Italian blend cheese
1 large tub part skim ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley (or dried)
Optional – 1 lb bulk Italian sausage or links (removed from casings)
1 package of disposable foil loaf pans (which usually comes in 3)

Yields 3 foil loaf pans


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees if you’re planning on eating one of these as soon as you make it.

– If you choose to include italian sausage in your lasagna, crumble the bulk Italian sausage or sausage removed from casings into a hot non stick skillet. Cook the sausage completely, drain from any oil and set aside.

– In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese, chopped parsley, and salt & pepper to taste; set aside.

– Prepare your loaf pans by putting a few tablespoons of pasta sauce on the bottom. This helps prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pan and gives the no boil pasta sheets some moisture to cook. As you build your lasagna, be sure to have the pasta sheets surrounded by pasta sauce – on the top and bottom. This helps the dry pasta sheets cook with enough moisture since they are not being cooked beforehand.

– Next, place one no boil pasta sheet in the loaf pan. It won’t sit in perfectly but that’s okay. Continue layering the lasagna because eventually it will settle flat on the bottom as it cooks.

– Top the pasta with another few tablespoons of pasta sauce, followed by a few spoonfuls of the ricotta cheese mixture, a sprinkling of shredded cheese and more pasta sauce. Repeat until you’ve filled the loaf pan to the top, making sure to end with a pasta sheet. Top the pasta sheet with more pasta sauce.

– You also have the option to top the lasagna with shredded cheese before baking, but I tend to hold off so that the cheese doesn’t burn since it’s being baked uncovered. I sprinkle the cheese on top just before serving but do whichever you prefer

At this point, you can:

1) Cover and place in a freezer bag, freezing it to enjoy later.
2) Place it on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 30-45 minutes.


Breakfast Chicken Sausage Patties

May 8, 2010

This chicken sausage patty recipes has made the rounds — but that’s because it’s really that good!

I make a batch of these, cook them, and freeze them with waxed paper between them. Then, if I’m hungry for a breakfast sandwich I just pull one out of the freezer and reheat it in the microwave and add it to my sandwich!

Using all white meat ground chicken also keeps the health stats on this one rather good: 1 (1 oz) patty only has 40.9 calories, 1.2 grams of fat, but still 6.6 grams of protein! Score!

Breakfast Sausage Patties

(elly says opa!)

**Makes 16 1-oz. patties, or 8 2-oz. patties

1 lb. ground chicken
1/2 tsp. dried sage
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
1/2  to 3/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
heaping 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
about 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 garlic clove, finely mincced or pressed
1/2 Tbsp. maple syrup (the real deal folks — not Aunt Jemima!)
2-3 tsp. olive oil


– Lightly mix all ingredients except the oil together until the herbs/spices are well incorporated – make sure you don’t over mix

– Divide the mixture into 4 equal parts, and then make 4 (or 2, for 2-oz. patties) patties from each part.

– Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat and add 1 tsp. of oil.

–  Put 1/3 or 1/2 of the patties (depending how big your pan is and how much space your patties take up) into the pan and cook about 2 minutes per side or until browned and cooked through.

-Repeat with the next 1-2 batches, adding an additional teaspoon of olive oil per batch.

To Freeze:

– Cool patties and wrap in waxed paper, place in a zip top bag and freeze. To eat, remove from freezer and reheat in microwave (it doesn’t take long….30 seconds to a minute?)

*Ground chicken breast will make a leaner patty, but  dark (or a mixture of white and dark) meat will make a tastier patty. Nutritional information for both is as follows:

Using all white meat (per 1 oz. patty, using 3 tsp. oil): Calories: 40.9 / Fat: 1.2g / Saturated Fat: 0.2g / Carbs: 0.6g / Fiber: 0.1g / Protein: 6.6g

Using  dark meat (per 1 oz. patty, using 3 tsp. oil): Calories: 52 / Fat: 3.6g / Saturated Fat: 1.0g / Carbs: 0.6g / Fiber: 0.1g  / Protein: 5.2g

Baked Ziti

November 21, 2009

Annie’s baked ziti is the best.

Hands down.

I’ve tried dozens of recipes, and DH was never quite satisfied with it….until now. He actually told me “Don’t change ANYTHING. Do it exactly this way, again”

That means he liked it. LOL

I did make some changes, and they’re noted below…

I also made this dish completely except for cooking it (I let the sauce mixture cool before assembling) and let my DH pop it in the oven for dinner the following night. The only change is it took about 20 more minutes in the oven, since it was cold from the fridge.

Baked Ziti

(Annie’s Eats)

1 lb. whole milk or 1% cottage cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 oz. grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 cups), divided
Table salt
1 lb. ziti
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
20 oz. turkey Italian sausage (I used 1 lb. regular sweet italian sausage)
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
5 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 (28 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves, divided (I used dried)
1 tsp. sugar
Ground black pepper
3/4 tsp. cornstarch
1 cup heavy cream (or whole milk)
8 oz. low-moisture mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

3 cups baby spinach (I added this to the cheese mixture)

– Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350° F.

– Whisk cottage cheese, eggs, and 1 cup Parmesan together in a medium bowl, gently stir in spinach; set aside.

– Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Stir in 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta; cook until pasta begins to soften but is not yet cooked through, 5-7 minutes.  Drain the pasta and leave in colander.

– Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Crumble in the turkey sausage and cook until nearly browned.

– Add in the onion and garlic and continue to cook until the onion is softened and the sausage is completely browned.

– Stir in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and oregano; simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.  Off the heat, stir in 1/2 cup basil and the sugar, and season with salt and pepper.

– In a small bowl stir together the cornstarch and heavy cream.  Transfer the mixture to the now-empty stockpot over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, 3-4 minutes.

– Remove the pot from the heat and add the cottage cheese mixture, 1 1/2 cups of the tomato sauce and 3/4 cup mozzarella.  Stir to combine.

– Add the pasta and toss to coat thoroughly with the sauce.

– Transfer the pasta to a 9×13″ baking dish and spread the remaining tomato sauce evenly over the top.

– Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan over the top.

– Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

– Remove the foil from the pan and continue to cook until the cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, about 30 minutes longer.

– Cool for 20 minutes.  Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons basil and serve.


Roasted Garlic and Mozzarella Meatballs

August 12, 2009

These meatballs were delicious! And it was fun cutting into them and seeing the mozzarella cheese oozing out 🙂


Roasted Garlic and Mozzarella Meatballs

(Culinary Carrie)

1/2 lb ground beef

1/2 lb ground italian sausage

1 egg, beaten

1/3 cup breadcrumbs

1 head roasted garlic (cut off top of bulb, drizzle olive oil, bake wrapped in foil for 1 hour, 400 degrees F)

1/2 cup cubed mozzarella


– Preheat oven to 350 F

– Squeeze garlic into mixing bowl and add in all other ingredients

– Combine all ingredients with your hands until it looks uniform throughout

– Form mixture into golfball sized balls trying to get all mozzarella covered in meat so that when it melts it doesn’t run out completely (it will probably run out a little bit which is fine) and place in a greased baking dish

– Bake for 30-35 minutes or until done

Weeknight Paella

May 15, 2009

This was tasty! We have leftovers, and I anticipate that after it has been sitting overnight, it’ll be even better!

I doubled the recipe below, because I had a full pound of shrimp and chorizo.

Weeknight Paella

2/3 cups yellow rice (Goya)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2 pound chorizo, sliced
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons chicken broth
1 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 cup frozen peas
– Heat olive oil in large saute pan over medium-high heat
– Add rice and cook until it begins to toast, about 1-2 minutes
– Add shallot and garlic and continue to saute until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute
– Add shrimp, chorizo, and broth
– Cover pan tightly and reduce heat to medium-low
– Cook for 18 minutes
– Remove lid, add parsley and peas and cook until heated through
– Continue cooking uncovered until all liquid is absorbed.

Chicken DaVinci

March 22, 2009
I nabbed this recipe from my friend Chera — she blogs, but since it’s sort of a family blog, I won’t link it here for her privacy.

This was tasty — very much like a sausage sandwich with peppers and onions…except over pasta. with chicken. 🙂

Nice and quick as well!

Chicken DaVinci
16 oz. pasta, cooked according to directions.
Drain and toss in bowl with 2 T. olive oil.

1 lb. Chicken, cubed
3 italian sausage links, cut into 1/2″ pieces (I assume hot or sweet is fine here…)
1 red onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
10-12 mushrooms, quartered
2 cloves garlic, minced

– Saute chicken and sausage in 2 T. olive oil for 5 minutes.
– Remove from pan, drain drippings.
– Add a little more oil and saute veggies.
– Add garlic when veggies are almost done.
– Add chicken and sausage back to pan to mingle flavors.
– Serve with noodles and season with salt, pepper, and Parmesan and/or Romano cheese.
– Enjoy!

(Chera says don’t forgo the Parmesan cheese — it really makes the dish (as evidenced by this picture I took of DH’s plate after he added half a container of parm to it.)

Skillet Noodle Lasagna

February 17, 2009
DH and I LOVED this recipe, and it makes so much food we had it for 2 dinners, and a couple of lunches! It actually re-heats really well — better than regular lasagna!

I made it as a weeknight meal, so it’s pretty quick as well.

Our only complaint is we’d like more spinach — next time I’ll make it with fresh, chopped spinach so I can add as much as I want!

Skillet Noodle Lasagna

1/2 lb pasta, any size/shape you prefer (I used shells)
1 container (1 lb) cottage cheese
1 10 oz package frozen creamed spinach, thawed
1 lb ground meat (I used beef)
Pepper, oregano and garlic powder to taste
1 large 32 ou jar pasta sauce
1 package (8 oz) shredded cheese (I used mozzarella/provolone mix)
1/4 c grated Parmesan

– In a large skillet (12″ and probably somewith with high sides, as this layers up quickly) cook your ground meat, drain any fat and season to taste with black pepper, oregano and garlic powder.
– When done, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
– Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain.
– Meanwhile – combine the cottage cheese and creamed spinach in a bowl.
– In the skillet, spread a layer of pasta sauce, about one cup, over the bottom.
– Top with about 1/3 of the noodles, then layer in your meat, and then top with another 1/3 of your noodles.
– Top those with 1/2 of the remaining pasta sauce, then add your cottage cheese mixture and 1/2 of the package of shredded cheese.
– Finally add on your remaining noodles followed by the remaining sauce.
– Cover skillet and turn to high heat and bring to a rapid simmer.
– Reduce to medium heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
– Sprinkle on your remaining shredded cheese and Parmesan cheese.
– Replace cover and simmer for another 2 minutes.
– Remove from heat and let stand for about 10 minutes.
– Serve.

Zuppa Toscana

November 23, 2008

I’m not a terribly huge Olive Garden fan, but I DO love their Zuppa Toscana soup.

DH had mentioned he was hungry for “soup, salad, and breadsticks” so instead of trying to wrestle our way into the constantly-full-takes-no-reservations Olive Garden in our town, I just made it at home!

This soup was very tasty. I liked it better than the restaurant version since I could control the fat and salt involved.

I pre-cooked the sausage on Sunday, and tossed it in a container in the fridge. Then all I had left to do was the basic ‘soup’ aspect on Tuesday, and while it simmered I chopped up our salad and tossed breadsticks in the oven (since it was a weeknight, Pillsbury saved the day on the breadsticks). Worked out to be a great weeknight meal.

The original recipe only served 3 people. I’m not even going to post that recipe here, because when I make soup, I make way more than that (regardless of the soup). I doubled the recipe, we ate it 2 nights for dinner, with some left over for lunches (or freezing, if that’s your preference).

For the original “serves 3” recipe, click the Recipezaar link below.

Zuppa Toscana

1 lb. spicy sausage — we used turkey sausage (original recipe calls for sausage in cups. who measures sausage in CUPS!?)
4 medium potatoes, cut in half length-wise and cut into 1/4″ slices
1 large (2 small) onion, diced
12 slices bacon (we omitted. i don’t need sausage AND bacon in my soup)
3 teaspoons minced garlic — we used jarred preminced (don’t worry if this smells mega-strong when it’s cooking. the garlic flavor will mellow out)
4 cups kale leaves, cut in half then sliced (I chose about 12 kale leaves at the store, and ended up tossing them all in)
4 tablespoons chicken base(bullion)+2 quarts water (I used 8 cups of chicken broth instead)
2/3 cup heavy cream

– If sausage is in links, remove from casings. Cook sausage until done and set aside.
– Cook bacon and onion over medium heat, and when bacon is crisp, take it out of the pan and leave the onion in. Add the garlic to the onion and cook1 minute (Since I omitted the bacon, and my sausage was already cooked and in the fridge, I just put a little olive oil in the bottom of my stock pot, and sauteed the onion in the olive oil until soft and transparent. Then I added the garlic and proceeded on)
– Add the chicken base, water, and potatoes; simmer 15 minutes
– Crumble bacon and add crumbled bacon, kale, and cream
– Simmer 4 minutes, then serve.

This was DH’s first time with kale, and he’s decided he likes it. Anybody have good recipes that use it??

Gnocchi with Sausage and Spinach

July 30, 2008

When I saw this recipe I knew we had to try it —  DH LOVES gnocchi. And it looked like another fast weeknight meal. I’m ALWAYS up for fast weeknight meals!

And I share the blogger’s agony with a tiny kitchen. 🙂 
Her pictures are much better than mine — it was dark by the time I was done cooking, so no natural light!

This was very tasty. I used the good old parmesan in the green can, because it’s what I had, and it worked just fine. It probably would’ve been better with fresh, though.
DH also requested that I add some tomatoes next time. Works for me!
Gnocchi with Sausage and Spinach
(Two Novice Chefs, One Tiny Kitchen — adapted from “Real Simple”)
2 (9-oz) or 1 (17.5-oz) package gnocchi (you can use fresh or frozen. We used frozen, and ended up adding 2 16 oz. packages. that’s a whole lotta gnocchi!)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 pound italian sausage, casings removed (we used sweet italian sausage)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped (i used 1 tsp. pre-minced)
1 5-oz bag baby spinach
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnishing
– Cook the gnocchi according to the package directions; reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid
– Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium/medium high heat.
– Add the onion and cook until softened
– Add the sausage and cook, crumbling it with a spoon, until browned and cooked through
– Add the garlic, spinach, salt, and pepper and cook, tossing frequently until the spinach wilts
– Add the drained gnocchi, the reserved cooking liquid, and the Parmesan cheese, and toss.
– Divide among bowls and sprinkle with additional Parmesan.

Chef Bradley BBQ Meatloaf

June 11, 2008
About a month ago, I was lucky enough to be chosen by Blake, at Blake Makes, to receive a free bottle of Chef Bradley’s Lean Mean BBQ Sauce.
I wasn’t sure what to make with it — we don’t have a grill, so grilling was out — so I asked my dear hubby what he wanted me to make with it. His responses? (I should’ve known…) meatloaf or pulled pork. Well, okay, we’ll work with that, then!
I made the meatloaf this week, but only used 1/2 bottle of my BBQ sauce – so perhaps I’ll get to make both meatloaf AND pulled pork (I may try beef instead) as well! TWO Chef Bradley recipes!

My cute little loaves, ready for topping and baking

Chef Bradley’s website says the Lean Mean BBQ Sauce is primarily a finishing sauce, but, I used it on my meatloaf while cooking as well. It had a nice, sweet flavor from cooking along with the meatloaf. I added more sauce to my piece of meatloaf, to taste the original flavor as well, and it was delicious — it’s got a little bit of zing to it, is a little peppery, but is very tasty — AND it’s healthy. How awesome is that??

Basic Meatloaf

(Makes 1 large loaf, or two small loaves)

1.5 lbs ground meat (I used ground beef and ground sausage for this — you can use any ground meat)

1 small onion (or 1/2 large onion), finely diced

1-8oz. tomato sauce

salt and pepper to taste

1 egg

1/2-3/4 cup breadcrumbs (however much you need to make it bind)


– Mix all ingredients together, shape into loaves

– Top with BBQ sauce, ketchup, or whatever you enjoy

– Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes, or until loaves are cooked through.

My finished BBQ meatloaf. Okay, so it isn’t the most gorgeous thing you’ve ever seen, but trust me…it was deeeeeeeeeelicious!