Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini

  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 1/2 tablespoon packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 8 ounces fresh tortellini pasta
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  1. In a 5 quart Dutch oven, brown sausage. Remove sausage and drain, reserving 1 tablespoon of the drippings.
  2. Saute onions and garlic in drippings. Stir in water, wine, tomatoes, carrots, basil, oregano, tomato sauce, and sausage. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
  3. Skim fat from the soup. Stir in parsley. Simmer covered for 30 minutes. Add tortellini during the last 10 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese on top of each serving.

Slow Cooker Pork Chops

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 4 thick cut boneless pork chops
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, chicken broth, garlic, paprika, garlic powder, poultry seasoning and basil. Pour into the slow cooker. Cut small slits in each pork chop with the tip of a knife, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place pork chops into the slow cooker, cover, and cook on High for 4 hours. Baste periodically with the sauce.

Arroz con Gandules

  • 2 cups short grain rice (rinsed) – long grain will work too
  • 4-5 cups of hot water – appx.
  • ½ cup ready made sofrito
  • 16 ounce can of gandules (cooked green pigeon peas)
  • 2 tablespoons of alcaparrado (cappers and olives mixed together)
  • 1 packet of Sazon with achiote
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. In a medium size caldero add the oil, tomato sauce, alcaparrado, sofrito and sazon. Cook over medium heat for 4 minutes. Add all other ingredients, and enough water to cover the rice 1" above the rice line. Start with 1 teaspoon of salt stir and keep adding and mixing well until you are satisfied with the taste. Bring to a boil and cook over high heat until most of the water is absorbed. Once the water has been absorbed, stir gently from bottom to top – once or twice only, cover and turn the heat down to low.  Cook for 30 minutes or until the rice is tender.

Basil Chicken over Angel Hair

  • 1 (8 ounce) package angel hair pasta
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and cubed
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook angel hair pasta until it is al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onions and garlic. Stir in the tomatoes, chicken, basil, salt and hot pepper sauce. Reduce heat to medium, and cover skillet. Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture is hot and tomatoes are soft.
  3. Toss sauce with hot cooked angel hair pasta to coat. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Spinach and Feta Pasta

  • 1 (8 ounce) package penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups spinach leaves, packed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente; drain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add onion and garlic, and cook until golden brown. Mix in tomatoes and spinach. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook 2 minutes more, until tomatoes are heated through and spinach is wilted. Reduce heat to medium, stir in pasta and feta cheese, and cook until heated through.

Shepherd’s Pie

  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 carrots, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and mash. Mix in butter, finely chopped onion and 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add carrots and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, mash and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C.)
  3. Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add onion and cook until clear. Add ground beef and cook until well browned. Pour off excess fat, then stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Spread the ground beef in an even layer on the bottom of a 2 quart casserole dish. Next, spread a layer of mashed carrots. Top with the mashed potato mixture and sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

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