Spicy Pasta With Bucatini

img_1730 Mention pasta and you have my attention. This is a spicy and rich sauce and the pasta is perfect, thick and perfectly married to the cream sauce that accompanies it.

Enjoy.

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3/4 Cup Finely Chopped Onion
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 Pound Italian Sausage Links (Mild or Spicy), Casings Removed
1 Cup Dry White Wine
1 (14 Ounce) Can Chopped Tomatoes
1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
Salt & Pepper
1 Finely Chopped Hot Chili Pepper (Optional – See Notes Above)
3/4 to 1 Cup Heavy Cream
6 Tablespoons Chopped Parsley Leaves
Pasta of Choice

INSTRUCTIONS:

Heat oil in heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
Add onion and garlic and sauté until golden brown and tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the sausage and sauté until golden brown and cooked through, breaking up with two forks as it cooks, about 7 minutes.
Drain any excess drippings from skillet, the add wine and boil over high heat until almost all liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes and tomato paste and mix well.
Season with oregano, salt, pepper and hot pepper if using.
Simmer 5 minutes, then add the cream and parsley, and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
Use to top hot cooked pasta.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: Use Italian sausage, hot or mild, or use any pork sausage that you like. Could easily be used with andouille sausage.

SOURCE: Italian Food Forever

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Southern Chicken Cacciatore

2P_P_081015_SouthernStyleChickenCacciatore

2P_P_081015_SouthernStyleChickenCacciatore

This is a bit different from my usual chicken cacciatore, but we really liked it immensely. And so I offer it to you.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • ¾ Cup Yellow Grits
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 Tomato
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 1 Bunch Basil
  • 2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Capers
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Molasses
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Southern Cacciatore Spice Blend (Smoked Sweet Paprika, , Ancho Chile Powder, Garlic Powder,  & Cayenne Pepper) To this add  1 tbsp each of fresh oregano and fresh parsley.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Core and medium dice the tomato. Cut out and discard the stem, ribs and seeds of the bell pepper; medium dice. Peel and small dice the onion. Pick the basil leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Roughly chop the capers.
  2. In a large pot, heat 3 cups of water and a big pinch of salt to boiling on high. Once boiling, slowly whisk in the grits; reduce the heat to low. Cook, whisking frequently to break up any lumps, 10 to 12 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the grits are tender. (If the grits seem dry, gradually add up to ¼ cup of water to achieve your desired consistency.) Remove from heat. Whisk in the butter until thoroughly combined; season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside in a warm place.
  3. While the grits cook, in a large bowl, combine the flour and half the spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Thoroughly coat the seasoned chicken in the flour-spice blend mixture (shaking off any excess). In a large pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the coated chicken. Cook 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a plate, leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan.
  4. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan of reserved fond; heat on medium-high until hot. Add the onion, tomato and bell pepper; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add thetomato paste and remaining spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the tomato paste is dark red. Add themolasses, capers and 1 cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes, or until thickened and saucy.
  5. To the pan of sauce, add the cooked chicken (along with any juices from the plate), ⅔ of the basil (tearing just before adding) and ¼ cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally and spooning the sauce over the chicken, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the chicken is thoroughly coated. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

SERVES: 3

NOTES: You can easily use bone in thighs, or other chicken pieces, or add a fourth and it will serve four..

SOURCE: Blue Apron

Skillet Moussaka

d12f9d29bf86ba8e69c134926eb859b0I worked in downtown Detroit for many years, my office being but two blocks from Greek town. I thus became something of an expert on Greek food.

Moussaka is a favorite of mine and I’ve made several casseroles over the year, but this recipe is a good but quick substitute. It comes together quite fast, and tastes surprisingly good.

Great for a quick meal.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced.
  • 1 1/4 pound ground beef
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • dash pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 ounces shredded Monterey jack or mozzarella cheese, grated
  • chopped parsley (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Peel and cut eggplant into diced chunks about 1/2 inch each.
  2. Brown beef with garlic in skillet; drain.
  3. Add eggplant, tomato paste, water, oregano, salt, onion powder, cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, and pepper.
  4. Cook about 10 minutes or until eggplant is tender.
  5. Combine milk and egg in small bowl. Set aside.
  6. Melt butter in small saucepan. Add milk mixture. Cook over low heat stirring constantly until thickened
  7. Power white sauce over meat mixture. Top with cheese.
  8. Place skillet in oven about 6 inches from broiler and broil on high for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is browned. If you don’t want to turn oven on, you can cover the skillet and just cook until the cheese melts.
  9. Sprinkle chopped parsley on top if desired.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: You can make a traditional roux of flour and butter if you wish instead of the egg, but the carbs will be higher.

SOURCE: Low Carb Yum