The Weekend Menu:
This weekend I decided to try a few recipes. I tried a recipe from Rachael Ray Mozzerella stuffed chicken sausage balls with a tomato basil sauce. I decided to switch it up a bit since I couldn’t find chicken sausage in my local grocery store.
– 2 lbs of Italian Sausage (1 sweet & 1 mild) you can get hot if you like it a little more spicy.
– 1 tub bocconcini, bite size fresh mozzarella in water
– 1 tub grated Pecorino Romano
– 1 tub good quality fresh pesto from the refrigerated cases of the market (I got the pesto/basil).
– Olive Oil
– 1 large can of whole tomatoes
– 1 box of whole wheat spaghetti pasta
– Salt & Pepper to season
– Non-stick baking sheet
– Potato smasher
How to make the meatballs:
Note: 2 lbs of sausage makes about 12 big meatballs. I bought one sweet and one mild sausage, take the casing off the sausage and mix together.
Take the mozzarella balls out of the water and pat with a dry paper towel to take off the excess water.
(While preparing the meatballs – boil some water for the pasta, when it comes to a boil put about a tablespoon of olive oil in the water and about a teaspoon of salt. Let pasta cook about 10 to 15 minutes or until al dente.)
Pre-heat the oven at 400 degrees. – Take some of the sausage meat and make a whole in the middle to place the mozzarella ball, make into a ball and place on non-stick baking sheet. Continue to do this with the sausage mixture until you are done. Drizzle a little olive oil over the meatballs and place in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. (It depends on your oven so just check it after 15 minutes, if they aren’t completely browned on the outside leave it in the oven for a few more minutes.)
Making the Sauce:
The sauce is really simple. While the meatballs are cooking in the oven, place the can of tomatoes in a saucepan, season with salt and paper (about 1 teaspoon – taste to your desire). Take a potato masher and mash the tomatoes (if you like it more chunky then you can just smash it a few times, if you don’t like the chunkiness of the tomatoes you can always place the sauce in a blender.) Let boil and lower heat to low heat. Place 1/2 cup of the pesto in the sauce and let simmer for 5 minutes.
You can either leave the sauce in the pan and pour it over your pasta or like I prefer it, I mix it in with the pasta. I drained the pasta and placed it in the pot and poured the tomato/basil (pesto) mixture in with the pasta. I placed the meatballs on the side of the plate & sprinkler pasta with Pecorino Romano cheese.
My boyfriend isn’t a big fan of spaghetti with meatballs, but these aren’t just any ordinary meatballs, they are sausage meatballs stuffed with mozzarella. You can’t go wrong….even my boyfriend loved it.
Hot and Sour Soup:
I got this recipe off of Myrecipes.com
– 5 dried shiitake mushrooms (about 1/4 ounce)
– (The recipe asks for: 5 dried wood ear mushrooms (about 1/4 ounce) I couldn’t find wood ear mushrooms in my grocery store so I got Oyster mushrooms (worked just as good)
– 1 (32-ounce) carton fat-free, less-sodium vegetable broth
– 2 1/4 cups water, divided
– 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
– 1 teaspoon minced garlic
– 1/4 cup rice vinegar
– 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
– 1/2 to 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
– 1/2 pound reduced-fat firm or extrafirm tofu, drained and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
– 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
– 4 large egg whites, lightly beaten
– 1/2 cup chopped green onions
– 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
– 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil (I used light sesame oil)
– Chili Sauce/Oil optional (I used Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce – you can find it in the international section of your grocery store).
How to make it:
Remove stems from mushrooms then place the mushrooms in a small sauce; cover with boiling water. Cover and let stand 10 minutes or until tender; drain. Thinly slice mushrooms; set aside.
Combine broth, 2 cups water, ginger, and garlic in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Add mushrooms. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Add vinegar, soy sauce, pepper, and tofu; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.
Combine remaining 1/4 cup water and cornstarch, stirring with a whisk. Stir cornstarch mixture into broth mixture; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 3 minutes or until soup thickens slightly, stirring frequently. Slowly pour egg whites into broth mixture in a steady stream, stirring constantly but gently with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat; stir in onions, cilantro, and sesame oil. Drizzle with chili sauce/oil, if desired. (I put about 1 teaspoon of the chili sauce in mine to make it a little hotter).
Sunday Football appetizer:
Note: I got a coupon for Bob Evans sausage and with it came a recipe called “sausage cups”. I couldn’t find Bob Evan sausage in my grocery store so I opted for which ever sausage you can find in your grocery store. (Original style sausage 1 lb).
– 1 pound (Bob Evans or any) Original Sausage Roll
– 1 package Won Ton Wrappers (I used the 16ounce won ton wrappers because it comes with more)
– 1 cup Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded (Or I used Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers for a touch of spice).
– 1 cup Cheddar Cheese (or I used sharp cheddar), shredded
– 1/2 cup Ranch Dressing (I used a Ranch dressing with cucumber)
– mini muffin tins (I used a regular sized muffin tin if you don’t have the mini tins)
How to make the sausage cups:
Preheat oven to 350° F. Crumble sausage into medium skillet. Cook over medium heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Drain. Spray muffin tins and insert won ton wrappers to form a small cup (because my muffin tin was larger I put two won ton wrappers together in a diagonal form to make them a little larger to pop out of the muffin tin). Bake 5 minutes in preheated oven. Allow wrappers to cool. Mix sausage, cheeses and ranch dressing together. Fill won ton wrappers. Bake for 10 minutes until bubbly. (With the double won ton wrappers I had to bake it for 10 minutes in the beginning instead of 5 and later for about 10 minutes with the mixture).
This dish was absolutely DELISH — I am definitely going to make this for the next Sunday Football game.
Hope you enjoy these recipes and if you have more to share, let me know 🙂
Tony Carrera says
I must say — it was DELICIOUS!!! Can’t recommend it enough!
Also, yes, I will take photo credits 😉