#FoodieExtravaganza: Mushrooms

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This month’s #FoodieExtravaganza theme is mushrooms. TheFoodie Extravaganza is a monthly party hosted by bloggers who love food! Each month we incorporate one main ingredient or theme into recipes to share with you. Thanks to Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm for hosting this month.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure I was going to participate in today’s event as I’m not a mushroom lover. I didn’t rule it out completely though because my husband and son quite enjoy them.

A couple of weekends ago I had quite a lot on my schedule in preparation for a game night I was hosting (making fresh lemonade, baking this cake, and mixing roasted almonds) so my husband took our son out of the house and went to a grocery store that specializes in fresh, mostly organic foods. They came home with all sorts of great produce, including mushrooms.

I guess it was just meant to be that I participate in today’s Foodie Extravaganza!

I decided to also utilize another fresh produce grab, Brussels sprouts, in a creamy pasta dish that even this mushroom hater could enjoy. At the request of my husband I added Italian sausage to the dish, too. It was this ingredient addition that meant I couldn’t pick around the mushrooms and I ate most of them without worry. So, if you’ve got some picky family members who dislike mushrooms, you can easily hide them in this hearty entree! I’d consider it a success – all three of us enjoyed this for dinner and lunch the next day.

An Original Recipe

Ravioli with Mushrooms and Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:

  • 18 oz cheese ravioli
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided use
  • 2 links Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 C chopped mushrooms (I used baby bellas)
  • 2 C sliced Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/4 C chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 C milk, at room temperature (I used whole)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp flour
  • 3/4 – 1 C shredded Parmesan, to taste

Steps:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook ravioli according to package directions. Strain, reserving some of the cooking liquid.
  2. In a Dutch oven, or other large pot, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook the sausage, breaking it up. When fully cooked remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Add remaining tbsp olive oil and the butter to the pot. Saute mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, and rosemary until tender, about 8 minutes. Season with S+P. Add the garlic and cook another 60 seconds, until fragrant. Deglaze the pot with the chicken stock and cook until the liquid has evaporated.
  4. In a measuring cup whisk together the milk and flour. Slowly add the milk to the pot, stirring to prevent lumps. Bring to a gentle boil and melt in the cheese. Season with addition S+P if needed. Add in the cooked ravioli and sausage. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the reserved pasta water.

Ravioli with Mushrooms and Brussels Sprouts for #FoodieExtravaganza from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out the rest of these mushroom recipes:

Cheesy Mushroom Chicken by Fearlessly Creative Mammas

Chicken and Mushroom Stuffed Crepes by Cooking with Carlee

Crusted Seafood Mushroom Caps by The Freshman Cook

Duxelles by Food Lust People Love

Marinated Mushrooms by Making Miracles

Mushroom and Chorizo Ragu by Cookin’ and Craftin’

Mushroom Bread Pudding by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Mushroom Leek Chinese Dumplings by The Joyful Foodie

Mushroom Stroganoff with Herb Spaetzle by Caroline’s Cooking

Mushroom Zoodles and Cheese;by Brunch with Joy

Portabella and Butternut Squash Crepes by Cherishing A Sweet Life

Rántott Gomba – Hungarian Fried Mushrooms by Tara’s Multicultural Table

Shiitake Bruschetta by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

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Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Sausage

Up until I discovered this pasta recipe, I never knew what to do with leftover ricotta cheese. I actually wasn’t quite sure if I even cared for ricotta outside of ravioli filling and lasagna layers. This quick recipe has changed how I feel about ricotta! I will be more open to other uses of ricotta. I now never worry about if the container I bought is too big because if I can’t find something else to do with it, I can make this pasta. Something I have done four times already (once without the meat, too!)

IMG_2976I chose to use veggie fusilli pasta in an effort to “sneak” veggies into my son’s mouth. (I know it doesn’t yield the best photographs.) He has loved this pasta each and every time. He now doesn’t discriminate against certain colored pasta, but the first time we enjoyed this dish he picked his way around the green spinach noodles. I also added Italian sausage as I knew my husband wouldn’t consider this a real meal. Feel free to omit the sausage (increase the garlic to 1 tbsp and saute very quickly in the oil. Add the entire garlicky oil mix to the ricotta sauce) if you prefer and make this a great side dish.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Sausage

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 links Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 lb fusilli pasta
  • 1 C ricotta cheese
  • 1 C heavy cream
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • juice of 1 lemon

Steps:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.
  2. In a small skillet, brown the sausage over medium-high heat, breaking it up as it cooks. When the sausage is almost cooked through, add the garlic and saute another minute or two. Remove from heat and set aside, draining any extra fat if needed.
  3. In a bowl whisk together ricotta, cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, and season to taste with S+P.
  4. In a large bowl toss together pasta, sausage, and ricotta sauce.

*This recipe is adapted from Cooking from the Farmers’ Market*

Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Sausage | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Zuppa Toscana

I used to not like soup. Really it’s the method of eating soup that I have a problem with. I have a condition. I do NOT like my lips touching my silverware. Just one of my many quirks (another is that I absolutely hate water on my face – I am constantly wiping the water droplets off my face in the shower – seriously, it’s a problem)!

It wasn’t until my discovery of Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup that I really gave soup a chance – but then again I ate it with practically an entire loaf of bread instead of a spoon. I’m much better with eating soups now and manage to eat them with a spoon, although I’ve found a way around my lips touching the utensil.

When we moved to Ohio I ended up making a lot of soups. Almost a soup a month! There’s just something about those cold, grey days. Soups are also a great way to introduce lots of flavor to my little man and so far he’s liked every soup he’s tried (for the record, that’s a grand total of two).

I decided to omit the heavy cream from the recipe and added in a little extra beef broth. Which is surprising. I typically put cream in everything if the option exists. My mom was visiting, though, and in an effort to lighten up the soup I kept an open mind and tasted the soup before adding the cream. We all decided it wasn’t necessary. In fact, I think it would’ve muddled the sausage, potatoes, and bacon.

Zuppa Toscana

Ingredients:

  • 5 slices of center cut bacon, diced
  • 5 links sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 5 C beef broth
  • 2 potatoes, chopped
  • 3 C fresh spinach
  • 1 C parmesan cheese, divided use

Steps:

  1. Cook bacon in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.
  2. Cook sausage in the same dutch oven, breaking it up as it cooks. Remove to the same plate as the bacon. Drain all but 1 tbsp of the fat from the pot.
  3. Cook onion in the dutch oven until tender. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Return bacon and sausage to the pot. Add in the beef broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender.
  4. Add the spinach to the soup and 3/4 C of the cheese. Cook an additional 5 minutes over medium heat until the spinach is completely wilted and incorporated into the soup. Serve with remaining paremsan cheese.

*This recipe is adapted from Aimee at http://www.foodfanatic.com/2014/05/zuppa-toscana-italian-soups-on/*

Zuppa Toscana | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Spinach and Sausage Ravioli

Using won ton wrappers makes making ravioli an acceptable weeknight dinner. This recipe is very similar to the one I shared with you on Valentine’s Day. Except this one includes meat!

Stuart bought some Hot Italian Sausages from Publix for lunch one weekend and instead of relocating the sausages to the freezer he put the uneaten ones in the fridge. I knew I had to find a recipe to use up the meat before it went bad. Yes, I know I could’ve put them in the freezer, but here was thawed out meat ready and waiting!

I was also wanting pasta. But I didn’t want a heavy pasta because Mom was back in town helping me out. Typically when I crave pasta I’m wanting a cream based sauce – but I was trying to be conscious of my dinner choices. (Hence the increase in salad posts!) I chose to do ravioli because the blogger I found this from served hers simply with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mom decided to follow suit and enjoy her ravioli this way. I used my favorite, vodka sauce. And Stuart polished off a traditional jarred marinara.

Mom doesn’t mind cooking, but she hates making decisions on what to make. So her deal was, “I’ll cook it, you just have to tell me what it is.” I actually felt guilty in picking ravioli. Not because it’s difficult, but because it is time consuming. So, I got off the couch and joined her at the dining table to help assemble the ravioli. We went through the entire package of won ton wrappers – we had leftovers for days! If you assemble only what you’ll eat, keep your left over wrappers in a sealed bag in the fridge – you can even wrap them in a damp paper towel to keep them from drying out.

Spinach and Sausage Ravioli

Ingredients:

  • 2 links hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 2 C fresh baby spinach, finely chopped
  • 1 C shredded Asiago cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pkg (12 oz) won ton wrappers (these can be found in the refrigerated area of the produce section)*

Steps:

  1. In a nonstick skillet, brown sausage over medium-high heat. Breaking up into little pieces. Drain any fat.
  2. In a bowl combine sausage, cheese, spinach, and egg. Season with S+P.
  3. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil while assembling the ravioli.
  4. Place about 1/2-1 tsp of filling in the center of each wrapper. Dip your finger in water and run along all four sides of the wrapper. Fold into a triangle and seal.
  5. Boil the ravioli in batches of 8-10 to avoid them breaking apart. Boil 3-4 minutes, or until they float. They will become slightly translucent.
  6. Heat your favorite pasta sauce and serve with ravioli. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese if desired.

*This recipe is adapted from http://www.justputzing.com/2011/10/spinach-and-sausage-raviolis.html*

Sausage Ravioli

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. 

Sausage Pinwheels

I want to provide you with another option for your New Year’s Eve party.

I know this doesn’t qualify as Mexican Monday – but it could if you decided to substitute Mexican chorizo in place of the breakfast sausage. In fact, that actually sounds delicious! My dad felt that the pinwheels were actually missing something, such as a dipping sauce. But we were all stumped as to what that could be. Red pepper jelly seemed to work, but still wasn’t just perfect. Using Mexican chorizo might give that needed something.

A friend of mine brought these sausage pinwheels to a party last year and they were gone in the blink of an eye. Even my cream-cheese-hating husband gobbled them up.

Sausage Pinwheels

Ingredients:

  • 1 roll breakfast sausage
  • 2 tubes refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 2 pkgs cream cheese, softened

Steps:

  1. Brown the sausage and drain any fat.
  2. Mix cream cheese and sausage.
  3. Roll out crescent dough and press together seams. Spread half of the cream cheese mixture. Roll the crescents lengthwise. Repeat with 2nd tube of crescents.
  4. Place rolled up pinwheels in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  5. Slice pinwheels into 1/2″ rolls. Place pinwheels cut side down on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 13 minutes, or until crescents are cooked through.

*This recipe is adapted from Leah at http://abiteofmylife.blogspot.com/2009/02/cream-cheese-sausage-pinwheels.html*

Sausage Pinwheels

Italian Sausage and Red Pepper Pesto Panini

About twice a month I’m met with the “I don’t want to cook” flu. It’s usually accompanied by a strain of the “need to go to the grocery store” virus. There are two popular remedies to this illness: 1) date night out and 2) go to the store on the way home from work.  With this recipe, I’ve discovered a new antibiotic! Take what you have and make a sandwich.

In asking Stuart what he wanted for dinner he actually had an answer other than my favorite “I don’t know”. He wanted a panini. So I hit the web and found one that looked good. I shared the recipe and was given the vote of approval… along with the question, “Do we have what we need?” My answer, “ Um, we have bread.  And maybe cheese?” Instead of getting discouraged I read her blog post and thought, I could do that! (She utilized ingredients from her pantry/fridge to create her masterpiece.)

I used my engineering degree in the kitchen once again and improvised a panini maker. I slathered some butter on the outside of the sandwich and treated it like a grilled cheese. Except instead of using a skillet, I used my indoor grill pan. Taking the flat top of a saucepan, I pressed the sandwich. After achieving those traditional grill marks I flipped it over and repeated the process. The result – a beautiful panini fake out.

Italian Sausage and Red Pepper Pesto Panini

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of bread
  • butter, for spreading
  • 2 tbsp red pepper pesto
  • 2 links hot Italian sausage, sliced into medallions
  • 2 slices white American cheese
  • kale

Steps:

  1. In a small skillet, cook sausage.
  2. Assemble sandwiches: Spread butter on all pieces of bread. On the opposite side of butter spread pesto on 2 of the slices. Top with sausage, kale, and cheese. Top with other slice of bread, butter side out.
  3. Press in panini maker or follow my method described above.

Fake Out Panini

Chorizo Gravy

Once upon a time, in our first year of marriage, Stuart was craving a Southern classic: White Sausage Gravy and Biscuits. But I didn’t have any traditional sausage. I did the best I could with what I had – chorizo. It wasn’t technically a white gravy anymore, but it was pretty awesome!

Last week’s Mexican Monday (tomorrow’s post) involved chorizo so I had some leftover and decided to remake this gravy.

The seasonings in the chorizo give the gravy a light orange color and adds tons of extra flavor. Most sausage gravies have a lot of pepper in them, but I don’t add any additional seasonings – the pork takes care of that for me.

Chorizo Gravy

Ingredients:

  • 3 links Mexican chorizo, casings removed
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 C 2% milk

Steps

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, brown chorizo, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Once cooked through, use a slotted spoon to remove the chorizo and put on a paper towel lined plate.
  2. Using the fat in the pot, make a rue with 2 tbsp flour. Whisk.
  3. Whisk in milk. Continue to stir over medium-low heat until milk thickens into a gravy – about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in cooked chorizo and serve atop biscuits.

Chroizo Gravy 3

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