Smoked Sausage and Mushroom Alfredo Pasta

Smoked Sausage and Mushroom Alfredo Pasta - Cover Image - Double Knotted Apron

I have had a smoked sausage link in my fridge for the last week gawking at me every time I open the door. I just couldn’t decide when and what I wanted to use it in. Today, my husband asked me if we could make it for lunch and I said “sure, why not”! Instead of the same ole same ole of making a smoked sausage dog or even sausage gumbo I decided I would try something new…Cue the intro of the Smoked Sausage and Mushroom Alfredo (did I mention homemade Alfredo sauce) Pasta.

This is a great recipe that can easily be cooked in less than 30 minutes and satisfy the whole family. Along with the sausage I had in the fridge, I also had mushrooms, green onion, Parmesan and heavy whipping cream. Boy was it my lucky day for ingredients to have lying around. I had everything I needed to make this dish along with some homemade Alfredo sauce! Yum!

What You’ll Need: (The pasta portion of the recipe made enough for 4 servings, while the sauce makes enough for 2 servings so be sure to double accordingly for your family size.)

  • 1 smoked sausage link (I recommend the Hillshire Farm links), cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup fresh white mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh green onion, chopped and divided
  • 3 cups ziti pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup freshly Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley

Cook the pasta according to the package directions and don’t forget to salt the water when it comes to a boil. In a large skillet add about two tablespoons of olive oil and turn on medium heat. Slice the sausage link into bite size pieces and add to the hot skillet. Brown for about five minutes and then add the chopped mushrooms. Let the sausage and mushroom simmer together for about 10 minutes before adding half of the green onion. Reduce the heat to the lowest heat setting until the pasta is cooked.

In a medium sauce pan melt the butter and then add the heavy cream. Simmer for five minutes. Whisk in the crushed garlic and parmesan cheese until melted. Reduce the heat to low and whisk periodically to keep the sauce from scorching. Once the sauce has simmered and thickened add the dried parsley (or fresh if you have it) and stir.

Drain the pasta once completely cooked and add back to the pot. Pour the sauce over the pasta to coat each noodle. Drain the grease from the sausage and mushrooms by using a colander and then pour out on a paper towel to help absorb the remaining oil. Plate the pasta and add the sausage and mushrooms over the top. Garnish with the remaining green onion and freshly grated parmesan. Serve immediately.

Smoked Sausage and Mushroom Alfredo Pasta - Double Knotted Apron

I hope you enjoy this pasta dish as much as we did! Such a hearty meal for lunch or dinner any day of the week!! Enjoy!!

xo-M

Food for Thought: Pumpkins

pumpkin

Ah, the pumpkin – a humble, orangey member of the squash family. You know fall has arrived when the word PUMPKIN is blasted everywhere and is added to everything from lattes to donuts, donuts to patches and patches to carving kits. Fall is by far my favorite time of the year and yes… I openly admit I am one of those girls who LOVES pumpkin-spiced lattes, pumpkin flavored donuts, pumpkin patches and pumpkin carving kits.

I become extremely giddy inside when my lips touch the frothy foam of a warm cup of pumpkin-spiced latte and the smell lingers in my car for the next few hours. In honor of the great pumpkin (It’s the great pumpkin, Charlie Brown… kidding) I am posting my latest research page from my Food for Thought journal. Man oh man was it an interesting topic to look up.

Also, in the spirit of cooking and baking for the upcoming months I am sharing this great article about All of the Things you can Make With a can of Pumpkin! This Huffington Post page lists more than 24 yummy recipes you can whip up with a can of pumpkin as your muse.

Pumpkin - Double Knotted Apron

Enjoy the history lesson and go make something pumpkin-y!

xo-M

Food for Thought: Cloves

Since Fall has officially started, I have researched a few of my favorite fall ingredients to add to my Food for Thought journal. The next few posts will be about these ingredients starting with cloves.

cloves image

 

Did you know that cloves were once used as painkillers for tooth aches and tummy aches? Keep reading to learn even more about this great smelling and tasty stem.

Cloves - Double Knotted Apron

Now that you know all about cloves and where they come from and why they are so aromatic, you will be ready to whip up those pumpkin pies and apple cider over the next few weeks to share with loved ones!

xo – M

Giada’s Winter Minestrone

Mmm Mmm Good! Campbell’s has the slogan right when it comes to a good soup, but they have nothing on Giada De Laurentiis’ Winter Minestrone. I love watching her show and her recipes. I decided it was time to try out one of her fabulous looking, smelling and tasting soups. It’s Fall after all!

I used her entire recipe below except I added ground turkey meat instead of pancetta. Feel free to use either one you like, but that was my preference for this first go around.

Winter Minestrone Ingredients

Giada’s Winter Minestrone

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 oz thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped (or 1lb. lean ground turkey)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb Swiss chard, stems trimmed and leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 (14 1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (14 oz) cans of beef broth, low sodium
  • 1 oz piece Parmesan cheese rind
  • 2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, pancetta (or if using browned turkey add when you add the pureed bean mixture below), and garlic. Saute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and potato; saute for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and rosemary sprigs. Simmer until the chard is wilted and the tomatoes break down, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, blend 3/4 cup of the beans with 1/4 cup of the broth in a processor until almost smooth. Add the pureed bean mixture, remaining broth, and Parmesan cheese rind to the vegetable mixture. Simmer until the potato pieces are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Stir in the whole beans and parsley. Simmer until the beans are heated through and the soup is thick, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Discard the rosemary sprigs (the leaves will have fallen off of the stem). Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

Giada's Winter Minestrone - Simmering - Double Knotted Apron

Giada's Winter Minestrone - Bowl and Serve - Double Knotted Apron

This soup is so warm and lovely. Not only will it smell amazing but it tastes wonderful with all of the fresh ingredients and herbs. I can’t wait to make it again and next time I plan to use pancetta as well as add some mini shell pasta for a little extra texture and depth.
I hope you enjoy Giada’s dish as much as my husband and I did. Thanks Giada!!
xo – M

Buffalo Chicken Dip Pizza

Buffalo Chicken Dip Pizza

Football season is back in full swing and so are the finger foods, dips and game day snacks! One of my husband’s favorite football snacks is Buffalo Chicken Dip (BCD). He loves anything buffalo flavored and all things spicy. This dish makes him one happy camper.

I made a huge batch of BCD this weekend and we munched on it during the Georgia game (Go Dawgs!). The next day this huge bowl of orange colored dip starred me in the face all while taunting me. I thought about taking out a spoon and diving in but instead I thought about how we could turn this dip into lunch! Eureka, we did!

Below you will discover my easy-peezy recipe for BCD and then the additional ingredients and instructions needed to turn your dip into a pizza! Good luck and game on!

What You’ll Need:

Buffalo Chicken Dip Essentials:

  • 1 lb. chicken tenders
  • 1 bottle of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce or equivalent hot/wing sauce
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 oz monterey jack, shredded (or your choice of cheese)
  • 1/2 jalapeño, minced
  • 1 cup ranch dressing

Pizza Essentials:

  • Prepackaged pizza crust
  • olive oil
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion

To prepare the Buffalo Chicken Dip, lightly coat the chicken tenders in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Prepare a non stick skillet with a light coat of olive oil as well and place on medium heat. Add the chicken tenders and cook throughly on both sides until lightly browned. Cut up the chicken with kitchen scissors or shred the meat on a cutting board and add back to the skillet. If there are any pieces that need to continue cooking, do so. Once cooked throughly, add about a 1/2 cup of the hot sauce to the skillet and let the chicken marinate for about five minutes while on a low simmer. Stir occasionally.

Meanwhile in a medium bowl, add the cream cheese, jalapeño, remainder of hot sauce and ranch dressing. Mix well. You will notice it is a chunky soup consistency which is fine. Add the chicken and mix. Pour into a casserole dish or baking dish and cover the top with the cheese you shredded. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 – 25 minutes or until all the cheese has melted and it is bubbling.

Serve immediately with chips, celery sticks or tortilla shells. Enjoy!

Creating the Buffalo Chicken Dip Pizza

Whenever you have had enough dip and you are ready to transform it into a pizza follow the instructions below.

Prepare your smoker grill for the pizza by prepping the coals in advance. You want the grill to be hot and ready! (For more detailed instructions on how to fire grill a pizza, click here.) In the kitchen start preparing the pizza by lightly brushing olive oil on both sides of the pizza crust. Once the grill is ready, place the crust directly on the rack for 3 minutes on each side.

While the crust is on the grill, prepare the dip by adding half of the mozzarella cheese and warming in the microwave for about 2 – 3 minutes. This will help thicken the dip into a nice base for the pizza. Stir to melt the cheese through the dip.

Once the crust has cooked for three minutes on each side, immediately bring inside and ladle on the warm BCD and then sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Lightly pour ranch dressing over the top as well and garnish with fresh green onion if you like.

Smoke the pizza for 10 – 13 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and all the cheese has melted.

Slice and serve with extra ranch for dipping and as always enjoy!!

xo – M