Rick Rodgers - cuisine americane

Results tagged “sausage”

Sunday Night Spaghetti and Meatballs

125spaghettimeatballs.jpgWhen the weekend arrives, the "fast and easy" recipes are filed away, and I look forward to a meal that has been leisurely simmered on the stove, filling the house with comforting aromas.  Spaghetti and meatballs is the kind of dish whose excellence seems to be in proportion to the time it spends  bubbling on the stove.  I am planning a dinner party this weekend, and was wracking my brain for a meal that everyone would enjoy.  It didn't take me long to decide on this, my go-to spaghetti, from I LOVE MEATBALLS.  (Photo by Ben Fink.) 

Continue reading Sunday Night Spaghetti and Meatballs.


Farfale with Arugula, Sausage, and Garlic

Makes 4 to 6 servings
Under 30 minutes


Arugula can be spicy in a salad (the older the leaves, the more peppery the leaves), but its heat is reduced by cooking. Like other greens, it wilts dramatically, so make this rustic but sophisticated pasta when the summer crop of arugula is plentiful and reasonably priced. How can pasta be down_home and elegant at the same time? This pasta is moistened with olive oil, and not tomato sauce, and the better the oil the more delicious the final dish. And resist the temptation to use more sausage, as this small amount allows the arugula to shine through.


  • 1 pound arugula
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, preferably estate-quality
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 ounces Italian pork or chicken sausage, casing removed
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound farfale (bow-tied pasta)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • Salt, to taste


1. Discard the tough stems from the arugula. Wash the arugula well in a large sink of cold water. Lift the arugula from the water, shake off the excess water, but do not spin dry.

2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until barely tender, about 9 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until the onion softens, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until it gives off its aroma, about 1 minute. Add the sausage and red pepper flakes and cook, breaking up the meat into small pieces with the side of a spoon, until the meat loses its pink color, about 4 minutes. In four or five additions, add the arugula, stirring until the first batch wilts before adding another. If necessary, remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

4. Drain the pasta. Add the arugula and remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and mix well. Add the Parmesan and toss again. Season with salt.

5. Serve hot, with additional cheese on the side.


Italian Stuffing with Sausage and Parmesan

Yield: about 10 cups


When I asked my Italian-American neighbors how they make their stuffing, they all shared what was essentially the same recipe. There's nothing subtle about this stuffing--Italian sausage, red bell pepper, Parmesan cheese, and lots of herbs give a zesty Mediterranean flavor. Some cooks add 1 cup toasted pine nuts or 1 cup coarsely chopped black Mediterranean olives to pump up the flavor even more. If you are making the Herb-Brined Turkey, bake this on the side instead of inside the bird.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium celery ribs with leaves, chopped
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper
  • 12 ounces day-old crusty Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 7 cups)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups Homemade Turkey Stock, or use canned reduced-sodium chicken broth, as needed


Make the stuffing just before using.


1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, red pepper, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the sausage with a spoon, until the sausage loses its pink color, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the basil, oregano, salt, and crushed red pepper. Transfer to a large bowl.

2. Add the bread and cheese and mix well. Stir in the butter and wine, and enough of the stock to moisten the dressing, about 1 cup. Use as a stuffing. Or place in a buttered baking dish, drizzle with an additional 1/2 cup broth, cover, and bake as a side dish.

Playing Safe with Stuffing

For years, roast turkey meant stuffed turkey. Then, health concerns arose about whether or not stuffed birds were safe. While these concerns are real, they shouldn't affect sensible cooks who are familiar with common food safety practice.

Just follow these simple rules: Stuffing should always be cooked to at least 160° F in order to kill any potentially harmful bacteria. When the turkey is done, insert the meat thermometer deep into the center of the body cavity to check the temperature of the stuffing. If it isn't at least 160° F, scoop the stuffing out of the cavity and transfer to a casserole. Cover and bake at 350° F until the stuffing reaches 160° F.

Always prepare your stuffing just before filling and roasting the bird. Never stuff a bird the night before roasting, as the turkey cavity provides the warm, moist environment that encourages bacterial growth. To save time on Thanksgiving morning, prepared the stuffing ingredients the night before--chop the vegetables, toast the nuts, and so on--and store them in self-sealing plastic bags in the refrigerator. If you are really pressed for time, you can cook, cool, and refrigerate the seasoning meat and vegetables the night before. But, reheat them thoroughly in a large nonstick skillet before adding to the bread or grains.

The stuffing should be warm when placed in the turkey. An ice-cold stuffing may not cook to 160° F by the time the turkey is ready.

Never mix raw meat or vegetables into a stuffing. All meat and vegetables should be thoroughly cooked.

Before serving the stuffing, remove it from the turkey and place in a serving bowl.. Do not allow the turkey or stuffing to stand at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. Refrigerate any leftovers separate from the turkey and use within 2 days. Reheat leftover stuffing thoroughly before serving.


Potato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Sausage

Makes 6 to 8 servings


One of my readers, Lynne Tyler, e-mailed me to suggest this soup, a version of which she had tried in a local restaurant, but needed more oomph. Lots of roasted peppers give my version a warm color and flavor, and a finish of sausage makes it more fitting for a main course. You can use any sausage you like here-- kielbasa, spicy beef links, well-cooked Italian sausage, or even cubes of smoked ham.


  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium celery rib, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium baking potatoes (14 ounces), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 cups canned reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 medium red bell peppers, roasted and peeled (do this while the onions and potatoes simmer)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 8 ounces spicy smoked sausage, such as kielbasa, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large soup over medium heat and add the onion, celery,and garlic. Cover and cook until the onion is golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in the baking potatoes and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered, until the potatoes are very tender, about 30 minutes. During the last 5 minutes, add the red peppers and oregano.

2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Keep warm.

3. In batches, puree the soup in blender or food processor. Season with the salt and pepper. (The soup can be stored, cooled, covered, and refrigerated, for up to 2 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.)

4. Ladle the soup into bowls and add the cooked sausage to each serving. Serve hot.