Posts tagged sausage

Spinach & Sausage Lasagna

Wow! I’ve made lasagna many times in the past but this one takes the cake, for sure. I guess, using really good quality marinara sauce makes a big difference. I used a store bought bottle made of san marzano tomatoes. Man, that stuff is expensive but so worth it! And the quality of the cheese is so pronounced. Be sure to use good artisan quality cheeses.

So, leave the Prego on the shelf already… and suck it up. You won’t regret it!

Ingredients (6-8 Servings)
12 sheets No-Boil Lasagna
1 5oz package Organic Baby Spinach
4 Italian Sausage Links, cooked and thinly sliced diagonally
2 24oz bottles All-Natural Marinara Sauce
2 cups Ricotta
2 cups Fresh Mozzarella, sliced into thin pieces
2 cups Provolone, Shredded
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan
1 cup EVOO

Soak the no-boil lasagna sheets in tap water and set aside. Preheat oven to 375F. Meanwhile, lightly coat a 9″x13″ baking dish with a little EVOO. Pour half a bottle of marinara sauce and spread to cover entire bottom of dish evenly.

Slather 1 cup of ricotta cheese on one side of four lasagna sheets and layer on the bottom of dish, cheese side up (may overlap a little). Pour half a bottle of marinara sauce and spread evenly with a spatula. Spread evenly half of the sausage slices and half the spinach, then a third of the mozzarella, provolone and parmesan. Repeat the process for a second layer.

Top with a final layer of lasagna sheets and the remaining sauce and cheese. Drizzle evenly with a little EVOO.

Cover with foil and pop in the oven for an hour. Remove foil and keep in the oven for another 10 minutes. Let rest for a few minutes before digging in.

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Shrimp & Sausage Étouffée

Here’s another NOLA staple that I’ve come to love through the years, since my last visit. It’s pretty intimidating when you riffle through étouffée recipes for the first time. But you simply must give it a try. It’s not that difficult, really, and your sophisticated palate will definitely be rewarded.

My version here may not be as rich and decadent as what they would normally serve in the bayou, but if you don’t mind living longer either, you’d be happy to know this one doesn’t skimp on flavor one bit, nonetheless!

Oh, and one last thing… just like many other dishes, this one will develop a much better flavor the night after.

I say… Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Ingredients (serves 6):
1 lb. Raw Large Shrimp, peeled and seasoned
1 lb. Turkey Sausage, sliced
2 tbs. Unsalted Butter
1/2 cup Unbleached Flour
1 Onion, finely diced
3 Celery Ribs, finely diced
1 Green Bell Pepper, finely diced
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
4 cups low-sodium Chicken Stock
Salt & Pepper
Parsley, finely chopped
Scallions, finely chopped
Cajun Seasoning Mix (2 Bay Leaves and 1 tsp. each Natural Sea Salt, Paprika, Cayenne, Dried Thyme, Dried Basil and Fresh Black Pepper)

Prep everything beforehand. Mix seasonings, dice the trinity (onion, celery, bell pepper), mince garlic, season shrimp, etc.

In a medium-heated heavy pot or dutch oven, fry sliced sausage with a little EVOO and set aside. In the same pot, add butter and about 1/4 cup of EVOO. When butter melts, quickly whisk in flour until fully incorporated. Using a wooden spatula, stir continuously (to prevent flour from scorching) until roux is brown, about 10 minutes. Add trinity and garlic to the mix and cook for another 5 minutes or so. Make sure the roux doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, so add more EVOO if you need to.

Now, add the stock to deglaze the pot for a couple of minutes. Then, sprinkle in the Cajun seasoning mix and bring to a boil. Let reduce uncovered, still in medium heat, for about 40 minutes or until liquid reaches a gravy-like consistency. In the end, stir in the sausage slices and raw shrimp for a couple more minutes. When it returns to boil, turn off heat and re-season accordingly. Let simmer for another 5 minutes before serving.

To serve, plate a bed of rice and smother with étouffée. Garnish liberally with parsley and scallions.

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