Archive for Hannah’s Recipes

Penne with Sausage and Pumpkin Cream Sauce

Pumpkin in pasta sauce?!  Why, YES! 🙂

My daughter, Hannah, loves pasta.  Actually, my entire family loves pasta.  She wanted to make something off the beaten path of the usual alfredo or meat sauce so she browsed several websites and recipes and found one (by Rachael Ray I think) and wanted to give it a try.  I must say that it’s absolutely delicious (thank you, Rachael).

This is Hannah’s take on Rachael’s recipe (original recipe found here).

Give it a try.  I think you’ll like it. 🙂

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Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Hannah made enough pasta for dinner for our family of four, plus enough for everyone to pack lunch the next day, so she cooked two boxes of penne pasta.

Drain the water from the pot; keep the cooked pasta in the pot (no need to dirty another serving bowl).  Set aside for now.

Meanwhile, brown the sausage in a large frying pan.  Hannah used sweet/mild Italian sausage, but if you like a spicier pasta, use spicy sausage.  Remove the browned sausage from the pan and place on top of paper towels to soak up any excess fat.

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Using the same pan you used to brown the sausage, cook the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent and beginning to caramelize.  To save on cooking time, we usually buy a jar of chopped garlic.  We like LOTS of garlic, so Hannah added a couple of HEAPING tablespoons of chopped garlic to the pan.

There was enough grease in the pan from cooking the sausage so there is no need to add more oil to cook the onions and garlic.

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Roughly cut the sage leaves and toss them into the pan.

Bay leaves are savory herbs used often in Italian cooking.  The photo below doesn’t look as if she did it, but Hannah slightly crushed the bay leaves before adding them to the pan.  Crushing bay leaves brings out more of its natural oils and intense flavors.  Be careful that you don’t crush the leaves and maket them too small; you want to remove them from the pan after cooking (don’t eat the leaves).

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Add the wine to the pan.  Hannah used a Pino Grigio for this recipe.  Because my kids are eating this (even though a lot of the alcohol cooks off), I wanted her to use a light-bodied wine with a clean and fresh taste — Pino Grigio was it.

Turn the heat up to high and bring the mixture to a boil, cooking until the wine reduces by half.

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Add the chicken broth to the pan once the wine reduced.

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Stir in the pureed pumpkin.  Pumpkin in pasta, you ask???  Don’t fret; you won’t even notice the pumpkin is in there.  The taste is not overpowering at all, but it’s just enough for you to ask, “hmmm…what IS that that tastes so good?” 😉

Since Hannah made a large pot of pasta, she used a good amount of pumpkin, about 2 cups.

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Add the cinnamon and nutmeg to the sauce.  The nutmeg and cinnamon compliment the pumpkin flavor quite nicely.

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Stir in the heavy whipping cream.

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Reduce the heat to medium.  Bring the sauce back to a simmer; cook for a few minutes (about 5 or so).  Taste the sauce; add salt to taste.  Hannah added about 2 tablespoons of Dashida powdered beef seasoning instead of salt.  Don’t add too much, however; you’ll be adding cheese to the pasta, which also has salt.

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Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the cooked pasta.  Hannah used LOTS of cheese here.  The cheese will melt when your pour the hot pasta sauce over the noodles, helping to thicken the sauce.

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CAREFULLY pour the hot sauce over the pasta and cheese.  Stir to combine.  It may seem very saucy at this point but the noodles will soak up some of the sauce (we love saucy pastas in our house).

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Serve with a side of cheesy garlic bread and more shredded Parmesan cheese and ENJOY! 🙂

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Penne with Sausage and Pumpkin Cream Sauce
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds bulk sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 8 fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 2½ cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups 100% pure pumpkin
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dashida seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 box Penne Pasta, cooked per package directions
  • 1½ cups grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Pour out the cooked pasta into a colander to drain out all the water. Return the cooked pasta to the now-empty pot. Set aside.
  2. Brown the sausage in a large frying pan. Remove the cooked sausage from pan; place in a paper towel-lined bowl to allow the excess fat to drain off.
  3. Cook the onions and garlic in the same pan used to cook the sausage. Cook until the onions begin to caramelize.
  4. Add the sage and bay leaves. Slightly crush the bay leaves before adding them to the pan.
  5. Add the wine to the pan. Turn the heat up to high and bring the mixture to a boil, cooking until it reduces by half.
  6. Stir in the chicken broth, pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir to combine.
  7. Stir in the whipping cream. Reduce the heat to medium. Bring the sauce back to a simmer; cook for a few minutes (about 5 or so).
  8. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the cooked pasta. Pour the sauce over the pasta and cheese. Stir to coat the pasta with the sauce.
Serve with more shredded cheese and ENJOY!

 

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Mussels with Garlic Tomato Sauce

This is a very simple recipe that my daughter, Hannah, created for dinner one evening. (Have I mentioned that she’s a natural in the kitchen? Proud mama moment.) 😀

Hannah did not measure her ingredients as she just threw everything together.  Luckily, you can “taste your way through this one.” 🙂

You’ll need a box of frozen mussels (thawed out), two large cans of tomato sauce, garlic (as much as you like), and some Dashida seasoning (or use salt), to taste.

Place the tomato sauce and garlic in a large pot over medium heat.  Season the sauce with Dashida (or salt).  Once the sauce is seasoned to your liking, add the thawed mussels.  Cook for a few minutes until the mussels are no longer raw.

Serve as-is or over a bed of cooked spaghetti noodles.

ENJOY!

tomato mussels

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BLT with a Twist

This sandwich recipe is our adaptation of a BLT we’ve tried and loved. Enjoy!

BLT with a Twist

Events - 2080

 Ingredients:

  • 10 slices multi­grain bread, toasted
  • 10 slices maple bacon (or your favorite brand/flavor bacon)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • Dash of garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 small handfuls of arugula, baby spinach, or spring mix lettuce leaves 2 avocados, sliced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • Optional: 5 slices swiss cheese

 Directions:

Cut the slices of bacon in half to make 20 pieces. Cook until browned and crispy. Set aside on a paper towel to drain excess fat.

Mix together the mayonnaise, garlic powder and green onions. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Assemble your sandwich:

  • Spread about 1­2 tablespoons of the mayo mixture on one slice of toast. ­ Next, place four pieces of bacon.­ Add tomato slices on top of the bacon. ­ Place avocado slices on top of the tomato slices.
  • Top with a handful of arugula, baby spinach, or lettuce of choice.
  • Place one slice of cheese on top of the arugula (optional).
  • Place the second slice of bread on top of the arugula. Dig in!

*Makes 5 sandwiches 

Events - 2079

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Hannah’s Guacamole

My daughter previously shared her guacamole recipe with her Carne Asada Tacos recipe.

This recipe goes great as an appetizer, snack, or to go along with your favorite Mexican dish (try them with her Carne Asada Tacos).

Give her recipe a try.  I think you’ll like them. 🙂

Hannah’s Guacamole

carne asada tacos

Ingredients:

  • 3 large avocados, peeled, seeded, and cut into small pieces
  • 1 small red onion, finely minced
  • The juice of 3-4 limes
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • Optional: 1 medium tomato, diced (the guac pictured here doesn’t have any tomatoes since I made pico de gallo)
  • Optional: diced hot peppers, like jalapenos

Directions:

Mix all the guacamole ingredients together. I like to gently stir my guacamole so that you still have chunks of avocado. If you prefer, you can mash the avocados with a fork for a smooth texture. Serve with your carne asada tacos or with chips.

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Hannah’s Carne Asada Tacos

My daughter loves to cook as much as I do, and she loves to experiment with new dishes.  This is her take on Carne Asada Tacos, complete with her recipes for the Marinade, Guacamole, and Pico de Gallo.

Give her recipes a try.  I think you’ll like them. 🙂

Hannah’s Carne Asada Tacos

carne asada tacos

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds skirt steak, with excess fat trimmed off
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole
  • Pico de gallo
  • Shredded Mexican cheese blend

Hannah’s Carne Asada Marinade:

  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • The juice of 2 oranges
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup of chopped cilantro

Hannah’s Pico de Gallo:

  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • The juice of 2 limes
  • Salt, to taste
  • Optional: chopped hot peppers

Hannah’s Guacamole:

  • 3 large avocados, peeled, seeded, and cut into small pieces
  • 1 small red onion, finely minced
  • The juice of 3-4 limes
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • Optional: 1 medium tomato, diced (the guac pictured here doesn’t have any tomatoes since I made pico de gallo)
  • Optional: diced hot peppers, like jalapenos

1.  MARINADE AND GRILLING DIRECTIONS:

Mix all marinade ingredients together. Pour over the skirt steak (I recommend marinating the steak in a ziplock bag). Let the steak marinate for at least 2 hours. Grill until done to your liking. Slice the meat against the grain (so that it isn’t tough when you bite into it). 

2.  PICO DE GALLO DIRECTIONS:

Mix all the Pico de Gallo ingredients together. Let the mixture sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop. Serve with your carne asada tacos.

3.  GUACAMOLE DIRECTIONS:

Mix all the guacamole ingredients together. I like to gently stir my guacamole so that you still have chunks of avocado. If you prefer, you can mash the avocados with a fork for a smooth texture. Serve with your carne asada tacos or with chips.

4.  TACO ASSEMBLY:

Grill a tortilla until warmed. Fill with slices of carne asada, some guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream and cheese. Enjoy!

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