Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Penne with Sausage, Garlic and Broccoli Rabe (or Broccolini)


This one is a "go-to" in our house. It's fresh, healthy and has a little bit of a kick. It's super easy and basically uses the same ingredients as my previous recipe (the sausage and broccoli rabe soup below). I substitute broccolini for its spicier (and more bitter) cousin broccoli rabe most of the time. I also like to use hot italian turkey sausage, but feel free to use sweet as well. It whips up in no time and it's fabulous with some freshly-grated parm on top!

Source: Cooking Light, November 2009

Ingredients

* 1 pound broccoli rabe (rapini), trimmed (I use broccolini)
* 8 ounces penne (tube-shaped pasta) (I use whole wheat)
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
* 8 ounces turkey Italian sausage (I use hot)
* 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preparation

Cook broccoli rabe in boiling water 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and plunge into ice water; drain well. Coarsely chop. Return water to boil. Add pasta; cook according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove casings from sausage. Add sausage to pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Stir in broccoli rabe; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in pasta, reserved cooking liquid, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Serve immediately.

Serves: 4 (1.5 cups of pasta)
WW Pts: 8 Pin It

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sunday Roast with Red Wine Gravy and Yorkshire Pudding

Ok, I'll be honest here... cooking whole pieces of meat scares me. I should say USED TO scare me. I've conquered something I always left to my mother, but really was the simplest and tastiest thing in the world. It's perfect for Sunday night "wind-down" dinner. What is this, you ask? There is nothing better in the world than putting together a comforting meal andcracking open a bottle of wine to wrap the weekend up on a Sunday night. It erases those Sunday night blues and gives you something look forward to as the weekend ends. Last night, our neighbors joined us for a beef roast and yorkshire puddings. I've never done either, and was a little worried at the outset. It turned out perfect thanks to quick working for the puddings and my handy-dandy meat thermometer to make sure I didn't overdo the roast (big fear there).

Beef Roast

Ingredients
1-boneless rib-eye roast (3-4lbs)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. freshly-ground pepper

Preparation
-Let roast warm up to room temperature on the counter.
-Preheat oven to 375 degrees
-Put roast in roasting pan, rub with olive oil, salt and pepper
-Now cooking time will vary (for a boneless rib-eye, 1.5 hours - 2hrs at 350). I did the following, 15 minutes at 375, 1hr15 at 350, then 10 minutes at 375 (it came out a perfect medium-rare
. Meat thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the roast should register about 135-140 for rare, 155 for medium.
-Take roast out, allow to sit for 30-1hr (remember it keeps cooking when you take it out, tent foil over it to keep it nice and warm)

For a lovely red wine gravy do the following:
-Pour a little fat off the drippings, pour rest into a bowl
-Deglaze your roasting pan-dish by putting on stove-top, cranking the temp up to medium-high
- add red wine to the pan and scrape...
-once you've scraped most of those yummy bits up... pour it all into your drippings.
-whisk in a Tbsp. of flour and serve!

Now - while the roast is going, whip-up the Yorkshire Pudding batter.

Yorkshire Puddings (source: The Best New Recipe from America's Test Kitchen)

Ingredients:
1.5 cups of milk at room temperature
3 eggs at room temperature
1.5 cups of all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon table salt.
3 Tbsp. beef drippings

Preparation:
-Whisk together milk and eggs until combined in one bowl
- Whisk together flour and salt together in another
- Add flour mixture to milk mixture, whisk until just combined (you can let this sit out at room temperature for 1-3 hrs if needed)
- After you take the roast out of the oven, raise temperature of oven to 450, close oven door. Take 1 Tbsp. drippings and whisk quickly into batter.
- divide remaining 2 Tbsp. (1/2 tsp at a time) between 12 regular sized muffin cups
- working quickly fill each cup 2/3 full of batter
- bake at 450 for 20 minutes, 350 for 10 minutes (all without opening the door)
- when done, prick each muffin with a toothpick so they don't fall and serve right away!

I served this all with a lovely Pinot Noir (Angelina, yum yummy!) and the following as a side (as a note, the spinach dish, it doesn't make much, JUST enough for 4 people I would say)

Creamed Spinach au Gratin (source: Cooking Light)
* 1 (10-ounce) bag fresh spinach
* Cooking spray
* 2/3 cup chopped onion
* 1/4 cup tub-style light cream cheese
* 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon pepper
* 1 cup (1/4-inch-thick) sliced tomato
* 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
* 2 tablespoons finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 375°.

Remove large stems from spinach. Tear spinach into 1-inch pieces; place in a colander. Rinse spinach under cold water; drain. Set aside.

Place a large Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium heat until hot. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add spinach; cover and cook 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Add cream cheese, oregano, salt, and pepper. Uncover and cook an additional minute or until cream cheese melts. Spoon spinach mixture into a 1-quart gratin dish or shallow casserole coated with cooking spray. Arrange tomato slices in a single layer on top of spinach,and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Pin It