Friday, June 7, 2013

Chicken Sausage-Kale Pasta & Meatball Zucchini Boats

Chicken Sausage-Kale Pasta

I know I missed my Tuesday’s weekly menu post, but it’s been hectic around here.  I have now started cooking for another couple, so that brings my weekly menu total to 4 including ours.  This is a big feat out of my little kitchen!  I also have another catering gig for a local small business mixer next week, which I’ve stupidly bravely decided to work on my own.  Did I mention we also bought a house and will be moving in 2 weeks!!!  Uggh…I’m getting anxious just thinking about what the next few weeks have in store for me.  So, with that being said, I’m thinking I may mix it up and change it to Weekly Menu Monday…it’s got a better ring to it, don’t you think?

Here's a peek at what what's been going on in my kitchen this week:

Chicken Sausage-Kale Pasta (top photo)

servings:  8-10

2 bunches of kale, ribs removed & coarsely chopped
2 boxes whole-wheat linguine
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 lb chicken sausage
S&P, to taste
red pepper flakes, to taste
1/2 C white wine (I used a light, drinkable Pinot can tell how drinkable by the emptiness of the bottle!)
1 C chicken stock
5-oz container of Italian Cheese Blend (asiago, parmesan, romano)

First you need to bring a large pot of salted water to boil; this will be for both the kale & pasta.  Blanch the kale for 5 minutes and remove with a seive or sloted spoon.  Let the water come back up to a boil and cook the pasta 1 minute under what it says on the box.  Reserve a ladle-ful of pasta water to add to the dish later.

Meanwhile in a large pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Cook the sausage until browned.  Add the blanched kale, season w/ S&P and red pepper flakes, and cook another 5 minutes.  Add the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up all the brown bits at the bottom of the pan.  Add chicken stock (I had homemade on hand from poaching for something else, but you could easily just omit this & just add extra pasta water) and a ladle-ful of pasta water.  Bring the liquids to a boil & add cooked pasta.  Season w/ S&P and mix together until everything is incorporated well.  Remove from heat, add the cheese and mix to make a creamy, cheesy sauce.

*This recipe was for a large amount, you can easily cut this in half for 4-5 servings.

**For the Paleo menu, I also made a similar dish subbing spaghetti squash for the whole-wheat linguine & omitting the cheese.

Meatball Zucchini Boats

Meatball Zucchini Boats

Serves:  4 zucchini boats

2 zucchini
extra-virgin olive oil
2 C tomato-basil sauce
shredded parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and hollow out the middle.  Place the zucchini in a baking dish & spray/drizzle them with olive oil.  Place 4 meataballs inside each zucchini boat and bake until zucchini is tender & meatballs are warmed through, about 35 minutes.  

Meanwhile warm up tomato sauce to serve over the zucchini boats when they are taken out of the oven (I used my Italian Tomato Sauce recipe & added a handful of chopped basil at the end).  Serve sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

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