Linguine with Sausage and Mushrooms

AHHHHH! I, like many of you, woke up to snow this morning! I knew it was in the forecast, but I guess I just was hoping it wouldn’t come true.  I mean, snow before Thanksgiving? I’ve never dreamt of a white Thanksgiving.  Or a white Saturday before Thanksgiving.

But alas, it’s out there.  And I need comfort.  And a big bowl of this Linguine with Sausage and Mushrooms with a side of toasted bread is just what the doctor ordered.  And by doctor, I mean me.  Nothing says comfort like pasta!


Linguine with Sausage and Mushrooms


Linguine with Sausage and Mushrooms
from the Dec 2012 issue of Food Network Magazine

Kosher salt
12 oz linguine
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1/2 lb sliced mixed mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/2 c dry white wine or chicken broth
2/3 c heavy cream
3 T chopped fresh parsley
Freshly ground pepper

What To Do
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook as the label directs.  Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the sausage and cook, stirring, until browned, 3 minutes.  Increase the heat to high; add the onion, celery and mushrooms and cook, stirring, until tender, 4 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook 1 minute.

Reduce the heat to medium-high; add the tomatoes and wine/broth and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.  Add the cream and cook until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes.  Stir in the parsley and reduce the heat to low.

Add the pasta to the skillet and cook, tossing, until it absorbs some of the sauce, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add some of the reserved pasta cooking water to loosen, if necessary.  Season with salt and pepper.

My Comments
The store I buy Italian sausage at sells it in 1 lb bulk packages so there’s no casing to remove.  I love it! It’s easy to divide in half too.

For the mushrooms, I used part baby bellas and part cremini.

I didn’t have fresh parsley so used 1.5 T dried parsley.

My skillet conducts/holds heat really well and I never cook above medium heat or else the food will burn.

Some Photos Along the Way
Chopped up ingredients: mushrooms, celery, garlic, tomato, onion
Linguine with Sausage and Mushrooms

The pasta cooking
Linguine with Sausage and Mushrooms

The sausage has been cooked and the mushrooms, celery and onion just added
Linguine with Sausage and Mushrooms

Now the garlic has been added
Linguine with Sausage and Mushrooms

Add the tomato and wine/broth.  I used wine.
Linguine with Sausage and Mushrooms

Add the cream
Linguine with Sausage and Mushrooms

Add the parsley
Linguine with Sausage and Mushrooms

The cooked linguine tossed with the sausage and mushroom mixture
Linguine with Sausage and Mushrooms


This pasta dish has wonderful flavor and really is comforting to eat.  I hope you have a wonderful and comforting weekend!


Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

So I ended up buying four pie pumpkins this year! Come on, they were 50 cents each! I’m surprised I didn’t get more, but maybe I held back because I had other squash filling my wagon too.  Oh how I love going to the pumpkin patch and getting all kinds of fall favorites!

Since my trip to the patch, I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to use all that yummy squash.  The other night, I had the opportunity to look through some old magazines and found this Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce recipe.  I was immediately intrigued and went out to get the ingredients I didn’t have.

This tortellini dish has a really nice flavor – the pumpkin is mild, but if you use canned pumpkin, it might be stronger.  Both Matt and I really enjoyed it and I think the leftovers the next day were even better!

Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce
from the October 2012 issue of Food Network Magazine

kosher salt
2 9-oz packages of cheese tortellini
1 T unsalted butter
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1/2 c canned pure pumpkin
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/4 c heavy cream
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
freshly ground pepper
chopped fresh parsley, for topping (optional)

What To Do
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the tortellini and cook as the label directs.  Reserve 1/2 c cooking water, then drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the shallot and cook, stirring, until slightly soft, about 2 minutes.  Add the pumpkin and nutmeg and cook, stirring, 1 minute.  Stir in the cream and bring to a low boil.

Reduce the heat to medium-low; simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the cheese and cook until thick, about 1 more minute.  Season with salt and pepper.

Add the tortellini to the skillet and toss with the sauce, adding some of the reserved cooking water to loosen, if needed.

Serve and top with more cheese and parsley, if desired.

My Comments
I made a few substitutions:  onion instead of shallot, homemade pumpkin instead of canned, dried nutmeg instead of fresh, fresh thyme (it’s still going strong in my garden) instead of parsley.

Some Photos Along the Way
Cooking the tortellini – mine only took 3 minutes
Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

Cooking the onion in butter
Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

Butter and onion plus pumpkin and nutmeg
Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

Now with the heavy cream added
Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

The sauce has thickened and the cheese has been added
Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

I added the sauce to the tortellini because my skillet wasn’t big enough to add the tortellini to the sauce.
Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce


Pumpkin pasta is a great way to celebrate some fall flavors.  Pumpkin is pretty good for you too, so bonus! This recipe was fairly quick to put together and I will definitely be making it again.   I hope you can try it out soon and I hope you all are enjoying this fall season.  Have a great weekend!

Emeril’s Rigatoni with Broccoli and Sausage

I don’t know that I’ve ever made one of Emeril’s recipes and I happened to find this one on Martha Stewart’s website.  Does Emeril know about this? That he’s on Martha’s site, not that I found his recipe there.  Haha.  Well, I hope he doesn’t mind, but now he’s going to be on mine.  From internet to table (or plate on the couch while watching the new Veronica Mars movie), give this one a try.  I hope you like it…we sure did!


Emeril's Rigatoni with Broccoli and Sausage


Emeril’s Rigatoni with Broccoli and Sausage

Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound rigatoni
2 heads broccoli, cut into florets (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 anchovy fillets, minced
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
Parmesan, grated, for serving

What To Do
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. In last 2 minutes of cooking, add broccoli and cook until bright green and crisp-tender. Reserve 1 cup pasta water; drain pasta and broccoli.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, anchovies, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Add sausage to pot and cook over medium-high, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, return pasta and broccoli to pot, and add oil mixture. Toss well to combine, adding enough pasta water to create a thin sauce that coats pasta. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan.

My Comments
So first and foremost, we left out the anchovies!

Second, making this goes faster if you cook the sausage while the pasta is boiling and if you have more than one person doing the prep work.



Pasta with Kale…and More!

Are you looking for something yummy to eat for dinner? Matt and I love this pasta dish! It’s healthy and it tastes oh so good.  Matt actually makes it more than I do but this time, we made it together.  There’s a little prep work involved so we both got busy and it wasn’t long at all before we both had heaping platefuls to enjoy.


Pasta with Kale...and More!


Pasta with Kale…and More!
from Two Peas & Their Pod (their title for this dish is much longer)
serves 6 – 8

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 head garlic, cloves peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 large bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
1/2 cup water
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound spaghetti or other pasta
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, cut into slivers-pits removed
1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese

What To Do
Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then cook garlic, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer garlic with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Cook onion in the remaining oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add dried cranberries and cook until plumped, about 1 minute.

Add kale leaves into onion mixture with water and 3/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook, covered, over medium-high heat until almost tender, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a pasta pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water and drain pasta.

Toss pasta with kale, kalamata olives, and 1/2 cup pasta water. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle feta cheese and garlic chips over the pasta dish and serve warm.

My Comments
We use a normal onion rather than a red one.

We always use rotini pasta when making this dish.

Matt likes mixing the feta cheese and toasted garlic in with everything else rather than sprinkling it on top.  I sprinkled it on top for the photo.


I’m going to grow kale in my garden this year (it’s about an inch tall right now in my living room) and I can’t wait to make this pasta dish with my very own kale.

We both really like eating this and make it often.  It makes a lot and the leftovers are great.  I hope you try it out and love it as much as we do.

Mom’s Skillet Goulash

I didn’t know who Robert was and I don’t know whose Mom this dish is referring to either.  Maybe Mrs. Pillsbury? The dough boy’s mom? I don’t know but I’m grateful they both shared their recipes.  I’d never made goulash before and when I saw this recipe I knew I wanted to try it.  It looked good, didn’t seem too complicated and sounded somewhat healthy.  I’m so glad I did – it was really good, it wasn’t complicated and I’m convinced it is healthy (especially if you compare it to triple chocolate fudge ice cream with ribbons of caramel running through it).


Mom's Skillet Goulash


Mom’s Skillet Goulash
from The Pillsbury Savvy Shopper’s Cookbook
serves 6

8 oz uncooked rotini pasta (2 2/3 cups)
1 lb lean ground beef (at least 80% lean)
3 medium stalks celery, chopped (1.5 cups)
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed tomato soup
1 t dried basil leaves
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper

What To Do
Cook and drain pasta as directed on package.

Meanwhile, in 12-inch nonstick skillet, cook beef, celery and onion over medium-high heat for 5 – 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain.

Stir in cooked pasta and remaining ingredients.  Heat to boiling.  Reduce heat to low; simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

My Comments
I loved how I could do the chopping and cook the meat/celery/onion while the pasta was cooking.  That saved a lot of time.

The celery gave the dish some texture, as it was a tad crunchy.  I liked this but you might want to cook the celery a few minutes longer if you don’t want any crunch.

This is a great recipe to use up any tomatoes you might have in the freezer from last summer’s garden or farmer’s market.

The leftovers taste great!

Next time I might try adding some green peppers, garlic, and/or some different seasonings – I think goulash is one of those dishes you can easily experiment with and adapt to your liking.


This makes a great, quick, hearty, comforting dinner.  I hope you give it a try.  I’m sure glad I did and will definitely be making it again!