Storm the Cassoulet

Chickpea, Sausage, and Kale Pasta



1/2 pound short pasta orecchiette pasta
3/4 pound Italian sausage meat
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 can (15.5 ounces) rinsed and drained chickpeas
5 cups ribbed and shredded kale
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper
Lemon juice, for drizzling

Optional:  hot pepper flakes


Cook pasta, then drain. In a skillet, cook sausage meat in 1 tablespoon olive oil until opaque, breaking up with a spoon. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add chickpeas and cook 3 minutes. Add kale and wilt. Add pasta and Parmesan; season. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.

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Pepperoni and Cheese Crescents



11(8-oz.) can Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls

24 slices (about 5 oz.) pepperoni (or other meat)

2oz. (1/2 cup) shredded mozzarella cheese

1cup tomato pasta or pizza sauce, heated


Heat oven to 375°F. Separate dough into 8 triangles; pat out each triangle slightly.

Place 3 slices pepperoni, slightly overlapping, on center of each triangle. Top each with about 1 tablespoon cheese.

Roll up, starting at shortest side of triangle and rolling to opposite point. Place rolls, point side down, on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375°F. for 10 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm crescents with warm pasta sauce for dipping.

Shape these crescents up to 2 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate them. Bake them just before they’ll be served.

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World’s Best Lasagna


From the kitchen of John Chandler


1 pound sweet Italian sausage
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 6-ounce cans tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 lasagna noodles
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated


In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

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Sausages with Orange, Olive and Sweet Onion Relish



4 large (about 1 1/2 pounds total) sweet or hot Italian sausage links.
2 tablespoon(s) olive oil
2 oranges
1/4 sweet onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup(s) small pitted green olives, quartered
1/4 cup(s) roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt
4 rolls


Heat a grill, grill pan, or skillet to medium-high heat. Coat the sausages with 1 tablespoon oil and cook, covered, turning occasionally, until just cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut away the peel and white pith of each orange. Working over a bowl, cut the orange into segments, the bowl will catch any juices. Cut the segments into 1/2 inch pieces.

Add the onion, olives, parsley, remaining tablespoon oil, and a pinch each salt and pepper to the bowl and gently toss to combine. Serve the sausages in the rolls and top with the relish.

Optional:  Sausage Switch: Try this tasty topping with andouille or fresh chorizo.

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Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Jalapeños



5 strips of bacon
5-6 Jalapeños
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup cheddar cheese

Option:  add crumbled up cooked sausage to cheese mix!

Or slice cocktail links in half for convenience.


Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Wash and cut the jalapeño into halves, scoop out the ribs and seeds with a spoon (leave some in if you like it spicy).

Mix together the cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Stuff each half of the jalapeño with the cheese mixture.

Cut the bacon strips in half. Wrap a slice of bacon around the jalapeño and secure it with a toothpick.

Place foil on the grill and then put your jalapeños on the foil. Cover the grill. Let the poppers cook for 10-15 minutes, checking every 5 minutes. When the bacon is cooked, take the poppers of the grill. Let them cool for a few minutes before enjoying.

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Homemade Portuguese Linguica



Make in the Spring


20 lbs. of boneless pork butts (blade meat) OR 4-5 pork butts

Hot pepper flakes

10 cloves garlic minced fine or pulverized


kosher salt


sausage casings



You need 3 days to marinate.  Cut the meat on Sunday,

stuff Wed./Thurs. the latest!  Cut the meat into

cubes….leave a little fat.  Sprinkle with hot pepper

seeds & paprika, salt well with kosher salt.  Put in a

clean plastic tub.  Cover with red wine.  Add 10

cloves of fresh garlic (do not stuff garlic).  Add a

handful of dried bayleaf.  Mix the meat every day.

The sausage casings will come salted.  Wash with water and

lemon.  (Turn inside out?)  Cut and tie one end of the

casings.  Leave excess string.  Stuff casings.  Use a

large safety pin to pop air pockets.  Tie casing when

finished….use the excess string to tie both ends

together.  Dry hanging for 5-6 days.  Pack in oil.

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Julia Child’s Cassoulet



For the beans:

2 pounds (5 cups) dry white beans, such as Great Northern

1 pound fat-and-lean salt pork (rind optional)

1 large herb bouquet made up of 8 parsley sprigs, 4 garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon thyme and 2 imported bay leaves, all tied in washed cheesecloth

Salt, to taste

For the cassoulet:

4 pounds bone-in lamb shoulder, sawed into stewing chunks

Rendered goose fat, or cooking oil

2 large onions, sliced

4 or 5 large garlic cloves, minced

4 or 5 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 teaspoon thyme

2 imported bay leaves

2 cups dry white wine

3 cups beef stock or bouillon, or more if needed

Salt and pepper, to taste

5 pounds preserved goose, cut in pieces, plus cracklings

11/2 to 2 pounds sausage, such as kielbasa or chorizo, or sausage meat formed into cakes

3 tablespoons rendered goose fat or melted butter; more if needed

2 cups moderately pressed-down fresh white crumbs from crustless, non-sweet French or Italian bread

1/2 cup moderately pressed-down  minced fresh parsley


To make the beans:

Pick over the beans to remove any debris, wash and drain them, and place in a large pot. Add 41/2 quarts water, cover and bring to a boil. Boil uncovered for exactly 2 minutes. Cover and let sit for exactly 1 hour.

Meanwhile, if you are using the salt pork, remove the rind and cut pork into slices 1/2 inch thick. Simmer rind and pork in 3 quarts water for 15 minutes to remove excess salt. Rinse in cold water, drain and set aside.

When the beans have finished soaking, bring them to a simmer, adding the optional pork and rind, the onion and herb bouquet, and 1 tablespoon salt if you have not used salt pork, 1/2 tablespoon if you have. Simmer slowly, partially covered until the beans are just tender, about 11/2 hours, adding boiling water if needed to keep beans covered at all times, and salt to taste near the end of the cooking. (May be done up to 3 days in advance; refrigerate. Bring just to a simmer before proceeding with the cassoulet.)

To make the lamb:

Dry lamb pieces. Film casserole with fat or oil, heat to very hot, but not smoking, and brown lamb pieces, a few at a time, removing the browned pieces to a dish. Pour out excess fat and brown the onions lightly. Return lamb to casserole, add garlic, tomato paste, herbs, wine and enough stock just to cover lamb. Salt lightly, cover and simmer slowly until lamb is tender, about 11/2 hours. Correct seasoning. When cool, remove and discard bones from lamb. (May be cooked up to 3 days in advance; when cold, cover and refrigerate lamb in its cooking liquid. Discard congealed surface fat before using.)

To assemble the cassoulet:

Remove bones from preserved goose and, if you wish, the skin. Cut goose into serving chunks the same size as the lamb pieces. If using salt pork, cut it into thin slices. If using sausage, cut in half lengthwise, then into chunks, and brown lightly in a frying pan with goose fat or oil. If using sausage meat, form into cakes about 11/2 inches across, and brown in fat or oil.

Using a slotted spoon, remove beans from their liquid, but reserve liquid.  Arrange a third of the beans in the bottom of a 6-quart casserole.  Cover with a layer of lamb, goose, sausage, a handful of goose cracklings and, if using it, half the salt pork.  Repeat with a layer of beans, then meat. End with a layer of beans, coming to within about 1/4 inch of the rim of the casserole. Ladle the lamb cooking liquid plus as much bean cooking liquid as needed just to cover the beans. Spread breadcrumbs and parsley over the top. (Recipe may be prepared to this point up to 2 days in advance, but if the beans and lamb have not been freshly cooked, bring them to a simmer for several minutes before assembling cassoulet, to prevent any chance of spoilage. When cool, cover and refrigerate.)

Cooking the cassoulet:

If you have assembled and refrigerated the cassoulet in advance, place the covered casserole in a 325-degree oven for an hour or more until its contents are bubbling and the center of the cassoulet reaches 212 degrees when tested with an instant-read thermometer, then proceed as directed below. Heating the cassoulet on the stove to this point may cause the beans on the bottom to scorch.)

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Bring casserole to a simmer on top of the stove, then set it in the oven. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until breadcrumb topping has crusted and browned lightly. Break the crust into the beans with the back of a spoon and return casserole to the oven. Lower temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking 15 minutes or more until a second crust has formed. Break it into the beans, and if the cooking liquid seems too thick or the beans dry, add a spoonful or so of the bean-cooking liquid. When the crust forms again, the cassoulet is ready to serve.

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Sausage and White Bean Stew with Kale




1 pound great Northern beans, picked through*, soaked overnight in water, drained, and rinsed

8 – 9 cupshomemade chicken stock, unsalted chicken stock, or reduced-sodium chicken broth

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons PLUS 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups diced onions (2 medium)

½ cupdiced celery (3 stalks)

½ cup peeled and diced carrots

1 ½ teaspoons finely chopped garlic (about 3 cloves); any green shoot removed before chopping

¼ teaspoon dried thyme, crushed

14 ½ ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and crushed

1 bunch black kale or kale, washed and stemmed (about 8 cups)

1 pound smoked sausage, such as kielbasa or andouille, cut in 1/2-inch slices


In a heavy nonreactive 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven combine drained and rinsed beans, 8 cups stock, and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 30 to 45 minutes, until beans are tender, stirring occasionally. Add more stock, if necessary; liquid should fully cover beans for beans to move easily during cooking. Cooking time for beans varies from batch to batch.

Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet heat the 3 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Cook onion in hot oil until translucent, stopping before onions brown. Add celery, carrots, and garlic; sprinkle with a pinch of salt and dried thyme. Stir well. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes; season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes longer. Add to simmering beans in Dutch oven. Rinse and wipe out skillet; set aside.

In a large pot of lightly salted boiling water cook the kale for 5 minutes. Drain; set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, squeeze water from kale, then coarsely chop.

In same 12-inch skillet cook sausage in 1 tsp. olive oil over medium-high heat about 3 minutes, until well browned on each side.

When beans are tender, add kale and sausage to beans and vegetables in Dutch oven. Simmer for 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning. (Stew improves in flavor when allowed to rest for 30 minutes or longer before serving. The stew can be made and chilled up to 2 days, then reheated to serve.)

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Baked Zita with Pumpkin & Sausage

Baked Zita with Pumpkin & Sausage



Nonstick cooking spray

4 cups (12 oz.) dry regular or whole-wheat ziti

1 can (15 oz.) Libby’s Pumpkin

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Pinch cayenne pepper

1 can (12 fl. oz.) Evaporated Fat-Free Milk

4 links (12 oz.) fully-cooked Italian-seasoned chicken sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1 pkg. (6 oz.) or about 4 cups pre-washed baby spinach

1 cup (4 oz.) shredded part-skim or 2% milk reduced-fat mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup (1.5 oz.) shredded Parmesan cheese


PREHEAT oven to 425º F. Spray 4-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

PREPARE pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water and set aside for later use. Drain pasta; return to cooking pot.

MEANWHILE, COMBINE pumpkin, flour, garlic powder, salt, nutmeg and cayenne pepper in medium skillet over medium heat. Slowly add evaporated milk, stirring until smooth. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken slightly. Pour over pasta in pot. Add sausage and reserved pasta cooking water; stir well.

SPREAD half of the pasta mixture into prepared baking dish. Top with spinach. Cover with remaining pasta mixture. Lightly spray piece of foil with nonstick cooking spray. Cover ziti with foil, greased side down.

BAKE for 20 minutes or until heated through. Combine mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses in small bowl. Remove foil; sprinkle with cheese mixture. Bake, uncovered, for an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

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Creole Jambalaya

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 large onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

8 green onions, chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

3  cups cubed cooked ham (1 pound)

1 pound Cajun-flavored or smoked sausage, sliced

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

5 cups cooked rice

Garnishes: fresh parsley sprig, chopped fresh parsley


Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and next 3 ingredients; sauté until tender. Add ham, sausage, and next 4 ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.

Stir in rice, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes over low heat. Garnish, if desired.

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