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Sausage, Tomato, and Arugula Fettuccine

8 Dec

1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated fettuccine

1 tablespoon olive oil

6 ounces Italian turkey sausage

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 cups baby arugula leaves

2 ounces pecorino Romano cheese, shaved

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.  Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 2/3 cup cooking liquid.

2. While pasta cooks, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Remove casings from sausage.  Break sausage into bite-sized pieces and add to pan; cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently to crumble.  Add garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  Add tomatoes, salt and pepper; cover and cook 2 minutes.  Mash tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon to break them up.  Cover pan; reduce heat to low, and cook 3 minutes.  Remove pan from heat.  Add pasta, reserved 2/3 cup cooking liquid, and arugula; toss well.  Sprinkle with pecorino Romano.

Yield: 4 servings

Cooking Light, December 2010

This recipe is incredibly quick and easy.  I made it exactly as-is, adding only a pinch of oregano and basil to the sauce.  It is simple, but tasty.  I have made several similar recipes (see Two-Tomato Toss Spaghetti), but the sausage really adds a ton of flavor.  I think you could sub spinach for arugula if you prefer and it also might be nice with a few mushrooms or olives added.  Personally, I’m just happy to have another recipe using arugula because I always get stuck with half a bag and nothing to use it for.

Potted Spanish Chicken

7 Dec

1 large dried ancho chile, stemmed and seeded

3 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup white rice

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 onions, chopped

2 ribs celery from the heart, chopped

3 cloves garlic, grated or chopped

2 bay leaves

1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinches ground cloves

Salt & Pepper

One 28-ounce can diced or whole fire-roasted tomatoes

4 small pieces bone-in chicken breast, halved crosswise

4 small bone-in chicken drumsticks

1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. In a small saucepan, bring the ancho chile and 1 cup chicken stock to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer until softened, 10 minutes.

2. In a large saucepan, bring the remaining 2 cups stock and the butter to a boil.  Stir in the rice, cover and simmer for 18 minutes.  Remove from the heat; fluff with a fork.

3. In another large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, over medium heat.  Add the onions, celery, garlic, bay leaves, coriander, cumin, cinnamon and cloves; season with salt and pepper.  Cook until softened, 7 or 8 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes and heat for 5 minutes.  Transfer the sauce to a food processor, discarding the bay leaves.  Add the soaked ancho and its liquid and process until smooth.

4. Meanwhile, in a large skillet with a lid, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons, olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat.  Season the chicken with sat and pepper, add to the skillet skin side down and cook until browned, 7 to 8 minutes.  Flip over and add the reserved sauce.  Cove and cook the chicken through, 10 to 12 minutes.

5. Serve the chicken on therice and top with parsley.

Everyday with Rachel Ray, December 2009

This is one of my all-time favorites.  It’s hearty and spicy and boasts complex flavors.  It is fairly quick to make although I recommend cooking everything on lower heat to prevent panic while 4 things are cooking on the stove at once.  The only modification I suggest is using my (favorite kitchen tool) immersion blender rather than the food processor for blending the sauce under Step 3.  That way I don’t have to transfer the sauce twice, which always proves dangerous with my butterfingers.   I recommend serving this dish with a side salad or with roasted asparagus.

Be aware, you will use all of your pots (4) on this recipe (see below – me doing the dishes).

Smoked Mozzarella and Chicken Sandwiches with Italian Barbecue Sauce

27 Nov

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 large cloves garlic, chopped or grated

1 14.5 oz. can diced fire-roasted tomatoes

1/2 cup chicken stock

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Salt & Pepper

4 pieces skinless boneless chicken breast, halved horizontally

12 thin slices smoked mozzarella (1 pound ball)

2 cups loosely packed baby arugula

1/2 cup basil leaves shredded or torn

1 loaf ciabatta bread, split lengthwise and cut into 4 pieces

1. Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat.  In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil, 2 turns of the pan.  Add onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes and chicken stock and heat through, about 5 minutes.  Stir in vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and lots of pepper.  Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 7-8 minutes.

2. Drizzle chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Cook on the grill pan, turning once, for 6 minutes.  Remove from the pan and layer 1 chicken piece with 2 mozzarella slices, another chicken piece and another mozzarella slice.  Repeat 3 more times to make 4 double-decker chicken stacks.  Tenant with foil for 1 minute to soften the mozzarella cheese.

3. Combine the arugula and basil.  Pile one quarter of the greens on each of the 4 bottom pieces of ciabatta.  Pile the chicken stacks on top, then cover with the barbecue sauce and bread tops.

Everyday with Rachel Ray, December 2009

This recipe is great for a quick, hearty dinner.  The size of the sandwich and abundance of sauce makes for a messy meal, but it’s definitely worth the napkin consumption.  I made this last night for my boyfriend and me so I only used two chicken breasts. I skipped the stacking of the chicken and cheese under Step 2 and simply melted the cheese on top of the chicken during the last few minutes of cooking.  The sandwich is messy enough with a single  layer – I’m not sure how one could eat a double-decker version.  I also used the fire-roasted tomatoes with green chiles from Trader Joe’s because they are always out of plain fire-roasted tomatoes, but I thought the chiles added a nice hint of spice to the peppery sauce.  I wouldn’t actually call this meal Italian or barbecue, more a mix of both with a dash of sloppy-joe American, but it certainly satisfies the best of both worlds.