Tag Archives: tomato sauce

Mezzi Rigatoni Tossed w/ Sausage, Grape Tomatoes, and Fresh Mozzarella

Leftover ingredients + forced creativity = awesome unexpected dinner. I had sausage from the Scarpariello frozen and fresh mozzarella + sauce leftover from pizza Friday night. Plus, I wanted to use some of the goodies that I made recently like chicken stock and roasted peppers. A little kitchen alchemy and viola a new dish is born!

Prep time: 5mins
Cook time: 15mins

Get yourself:

  • 1lb Sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1lb Mezzi Rigatoni
  • 2C Tomato sauce
  • 2C Fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • 1C Roasted peppers, drained, rinsed, sliced into strips
  • 2C Grape tomatoes
  • 1C Chicken broth
  • 6 Cloves roasted garlic, mashed or 3 cloves fresh minced
  • 1T Olive oil
  • 1T Capers, non-salted
  • 1T Dry oregano
  • 1T Chopped parsley
  • 1t Garlic powder
  • 1t Asian Chili-Garlic sauce
  • 1t Smoked paprika
  • S&cracked pepper

Printable Recipe

Split open the casing and pull out the goodness

Mix it up so there aren’t any big chunks and give this a rough chop

Heat the oil and garlic over medium-high for ~2mins

Toss in the sausage and brown

Once you have some nice caramelization on the sausage…

Sprinkle on your smoked paprika

Toss in the whole grape tomatoes

These little guys are great; they burst in your mouth while eating

A little special effects for the dinner table

Add in the roasted peppers and capers and saute for ~1min

Your pasta should be in the water by now…

For the sauce…

Add in tomato sauce, chicken broth, oregano, and s&p…

…and if you want some heat add in……some chili garlic sauce

Believe me when I tell you a little goes a LONG way

This stuff is badass; you can pick it up at Shop Rite in the ethnic food aisle

Stir it all up

Bring to a boil for ~2mins

Reduce to simmer for ~10mins

Sauce should have thickened a bit

Taste and adjust for seasoning (add in the garlic powder if you feel it needs it)

Drain pasta and add back to pot

Place over medium-low flame

Quickly toss in your fresh mozzarella, parsley, and stir it all up

Mozz will begin to melt

Keep stirring

Scoop some of that oozy, cheesy deliciousness into a bowl

It’s like a festival of goodness happening on the plate and in your mouth…

…little grape tomatoes burst sweet juice that balances out the brine and tang of the capers, as well as the saltiness of the sausage…

…creamy, silky, melty, oozy fresh mozzarella bonds everything together…

…mezzi rigatoni’s large empty cavity is like a basket that fills up with goodness…

…smoked paprika gives the dish a great smokey earthiness and the chili sauce heats it all up…

…you’re gonna have to taste it for yourself…

Enjoy!

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Focaccia 2 Ways

It’s Friday night. You cooked all week and you’re probably looking for something uncomplicated to cook tonight.

[enter stage left] Focaccia

[shocked audience] But Focaccia, you are boring compared to Pepperoni pizza!

[an insulted Foccacia] How dare you say this! I am far better than a greasy slice of pizza. I have depth of flavor, I’m voluminous, I smell fantastic, and I can wear almost anything.

[pondering audience] Well, if you are so much better than why don’t we see more of you?!

[defensive Focaccia] Ah! You see, my dear peoples, you are afraid to embrace me. You say I am hard to understand, “Is he a bread or is he a pizza?!”  You misjudge me as being fickle and cumbersome. You say I’m a bit of a prima donna because I like to be gently massaged with oil then baked in a pan . My friends, these are shameful lies! Please know I am not who you have painted me as. I beg you to see past these misconceptions and accept me for the easy, versatile,  and delicious food that I am.

[confused audience] Ummm…OK, but seriously, what are you a bread or a pizza?!

[fed up focaccia] Simpleton’s!

[audience storms stage; Focaccia makes a run for it; screams heard in the distance]

Before you get started, click here for a refresher on making dough.

Apply the same dough making techniques, except use the slightly modified recipe below.

You can easily halve the recipe

Focaccia Dough
Inspired by ABin5
  • 6C AP flour
  • 2 1/4C lukewarm water
  • 1 1/4T active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 3/4T Sugar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + 2T
  • 8 Cloves roasted garlic mash (optional)

Here’s what you’re going to do:

  • Whip up a batch of this dough and let it proof until it doubles in size
  • Punch it down
  • Cut off 1lb portions (I made two and stored the rest of the dough in the fridge)
  • Form the dough into balls; dust with a little flour
  • Let rest in oiled pan for ~20mins

Caramelized Onion & Rosemary Focaccia

  • 1lb Dough ball
  • .5 Onion sliced into strips
  • 1T Dried Rosemary
  • 2T EVOO
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper

Brush a 9″ nonstick round pan with 1T EVOO

Plop your dough in and roll it around in the oil

Let dough rest for 20mins

Chop half an onion into strips

Add 1T of oil to frying pan, add onions, fry over medium-high heat

Toss…it’s fun

Onions are done when they turn a light golden brown

Don’t over-cook, they will caramelize in the oven

Spread the dough out to fill the pan

Use your fingers to make indentations into the dough

Top with the onions, don’t smother

Sprinkle with rosemary, sea salt, and cracked black pepper

Bake in a 375F oven for ~30mins

Dough will poof up in the oven

Focaccia is ready when it’s golden brown

Fresh Mozzarella Focaccia

  • 1lb Dough ball
  • Pizza sauce
  • 6oz Fresh mozzarella sliced
  • Salt & Pepper

Bake focaccia with a little bit of sauce in a 375F oven

Take it out when it doubles in size, ~20mins

Top with fresh mozz and a little more sauce

Pop in oven for ~5mins

Cheese should be melted

Carefully remove from pan

Let cool a little bit

After you stop staring at this pic…

Go make some and dig in!

Mangia, mangia!!