Tuesday, December 24, 2013

New Foods Report

I was on my own for dinner the other day and wanted something quick and easy so I tried this. It wasn't bad. When I heated it up for a second little bowl, I did add some chicken stock I had leftover. It helped. It actually did get better for leftovers though with the chicken stock and some salt and pepper. I notoriously don't salt and pepper anything, but this one needs a little taste. I bet a little crushed red pepper flakes would be good, too.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces sweet Italian sausage
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup vertically sliced onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/4 pounds tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
Preparation
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove casings from sausage. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add sausage and onion to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring to crumble sausage. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in pasta, 2 tablespoons cheese, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and basil.
On Sunday, I made a salad to go along with this dish my friend made.  I think they complimented each other nicely or could be combined if you're creative like that.  It was super easy even if it's weird to cook a salad.
 
  • Roast cubed butternut squash for 45 minutes in 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon maple syrup, salt and pepper.
  • Prepare bed of fresh arugula (I used mixed greens.).
  • Lay roasted squash over arugula.
  • Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of toasted and slivered walnuts over squash and arugula (I used slivered almonds).
  • Drizzle dressing over top and sprinkle fresh grated parmesan or pecorino romano over it.
Recipe for Dressing

  • Good olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice or orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Combine the apple cider/apple juice/orange juice, apple cider vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Take off the heat, whisk in the mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Serve while squash is warm: it will slightly wilt the arugula.

It was a little more mustardy than I care for so I made a quick little vinaigrette with the cider vinegar.  I think any slightly sweet dressing would compliment the squash, but I also think the salad stood on its own.  That said, I could have been happy with just the butternut squash for lunch so I suppose it depends on your preference.

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