Count Dracula’s Pasta Dinner

CDplate 

 

We are so lucky to have this amazing Italian deli and food shop in town, Roma Imports. They make their own sauces, sausages, desserts, and carry salume  and pasta like that reginette in the photo that we otherwise just would not find here.

We are in love with their Count Dracula sausage, and it is my favorite to use when making what my Italian-American friends call “gravy” (and what the rest of us call pasta sauce.)  It is a beautiful thing, bursting with juicy porky goodness, seasoned with lots of hot pepper and garlic. YUM! 
Since we don’t do the whole primo/secondo thing at our house, we like to slice the sausage in the sauce after it’s cooked. It serves more that way, I think. But hey, I’m a cheap ass. Ask my husband. 

SauceINGRED

 

Count Dracula's Pasta Dinner
Serves 8
Spicy sausage tomato sauce served with reginette noodles, whose wavy edges really hold the sauce.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
3 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
3 hr
711 calories
95 g
43 g
25 g
25 g
7 g
369 g
584 g
9 g
0 g
16 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
369g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 711
Calories from Fat 222
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 25g
38%
Saturated Fat 7g
37%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 12g
Cholesterol 43mg
14%
Sodium 584mg
24%
Total Carbohydrates 95g
32%
Dietary Fiber 6g
25%
Sugars 9g
Protein 25g
Vitamin A
59%
Vitamin C
26%
Calcium
9%
Iron
21%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound hot italian sausage
  2. 1 28oz can peeled tomatoes
  3. 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with onion and garlic
  4. 1 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
  5. 3 stalks of celery, diced
  6. 1/2 medium white onion, diced
  7. 2 medium carrots, diced
  8. 2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
  9. 2 Tbsp. Penzey's Tuscan Sunset seasoning (or plain old Italian seasoning, or1 1/2 tsp each dried: marjoram, basil, oregano, and 1 tsp rosemary)
  10. 1 Tsp. Fennel seeds
  11. 1/3 bottle soft red wine (TJ's 3-buck-chuck Syrah or Merlot, for example)
  12. 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  13. 2 pounds long pasta (spaghetti, reginette, linguini, whatever floats your boat)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350*. Get out your big enameled dutch oven, or your crock pot. Open the canned whole tomatoes, dump them in and smoosh them with your clean hands (or your potato masher if you're a big wimp). Dump in the other tomatoes and sauce, and add the garlic and herbs. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large non-stick skillet on medium. Add the olive oil and the veggies and sauté until they begin to soften. Add them to the sauce. Now turn up the heat to medium high and brown the sausages on all sides. When they are on their last side, pour the wine over them and cook it down for just a couple minutes while you deglaze the bottom of the pan. Toss all that in to the sauce. Stir. Cover and put in the oven (or the crock pot on high) for two and half to three hours. Go past that at your own risk (the tomato starts to taste burn-y) or else have that oven at 300* from the get-go and cross your fingers.
  3. About half an hour before you're ready to have dinner, put on the pasta pot and follow the package directions to cook the noodles of your choice. While the water is heating, take the dutch oven out of the oven and remove the sausages to a plate to cool a few minutes. While they cool, take your stick blender or your potato masher and puree the sauce. Taste the sauce and adjust any seasoning (need more garlic? more herbs? more hot pepper? Possibly salt?) Once they're cool enough to handle, slice them or dice them and put them back in the sauce. Or, leave them whole. Since we don't do the whole primo/secundo thing at our house, I like to dice them up so I get yummy sausage in every bite.
  4. When your pasta is done (don't overcook it!!), reserve about half a cup of the pasta water before you drain it. Return the pasta to the pasta pot, and put in a couple cups of the sauce and the pasta water. Stir it all together. Serve, garnished with a good freshly grated pecorino romano and red pepper flakes, and extra sauce on the side.
  5. BUON APETITO!
Notes
  1. This sauce is also really good over polenta. It freezes beautifully, too.
beta
calories
711
fat
25g
protein
25g
carbs
95g
more
Bucket of Yum http://bucketofyum.com/

Pumpkin Spice Cake

Best.Coffecake.Ever. EVER. 

pumpkin crumb cake

Tried this out this week after seeing the White On Rice post featured on Tastespotting. The recipe’s here – it is exquisite. Try it.    I used buttermilk instead of sour cream, and an 8 inch pan with a parchment collar (I wanted  it taller), and went chiffon-style on the batter. But this is truly one of the best cakes I have ever had. Office mates LOVED it!

 Had to make one for work and one for home, or I’d never hear the end of it. 

pcake1

 One of the ladies at work made her own Sunday for a family breakfast, and it was huge hit there, too. YUM!!

 

Don’t Let Your Meat Loaf

ML8Bill is full of catchy little sayings – “What’s the word, hummingbird?” and “Don’t let your meat loaf.” They make me groan and laugh at the same time.  He also decided we should call these duchess potatoes, “tater titties”. Despite all this I love him, Pa. And I’d rather have duchess potatoes than tots any day.

That being said, meatloaf is a popular dish at our house. For dinner and then sandwiches the next day (With mayonnaise -something else Bill taught me. I always thought ketchup was best, but I was wrong!)

We’re partial to ground turkey in our house – the old beef/pork combo is just too rich for us.  

 Want to try it?

picture of ground turkey, bread crumbs, sriracha, ketchup, egg, onion and chopped bell peppers
The usual suspects
Egg, chopped peppers, grated onion, bread crumbs in bowl
Mix
Mold.
Mold.
ML3
Glaze.
Bake.
Bake.
Rest.
Rest.
Slice.
Slice.

 

Meat Loaf, Don't Let Your
Serves 4
Easy turkey meatloaf with a spicy sweet tomato glaze, served with a chunky tomato sauce.
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
50 min
235 calories
20 g
74 g
13 g
11 g
3 g
174 g
550 g
11 g
0 g
9 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
174g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 235
Calories from Fat 115
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g
20%
Saturated Fat 3g
13%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 74mg
25%
Sodium 550mg
23%
Total Carbohydrates 20g
7%
Dietary Fiber 2g
6%
Sugars 11g
Protein 11g
Vitamin A
14%
Vitamin C
51%
Calcium
7%
Iron
12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1.25 # ground turkey (Jennie-O 93/7 is best!)
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1/3 c. dried bread crumbs
  4. 1/3 c. diced bell pepper
  5. 1/4 c. grated onion
For the glaze
  1. 1/4 c. tomato ketchup
  2. 2 Tbsp. Sriracha
  3. (Ok, ok - I just totally made up those glaze measurements because I just squirt them both on and then smear them about.)
For the sauce
  1. 1 14oz can diced tomatoes with onion, celery & bell pepper
  2. 2 Tbsp olive oil
  3. 1&1/2 tsp worsteshire sauce
  4. 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  5. 1Tbsp sugar
  6. 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  7. 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  8. 1/8 tsp ginger powder (or better yet, a quarter-size piece of candied ginger slice)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375*. Line a small cookie sheet with silver foil and spritz it with non-stick spray.
  2. Grate the onion in the mixing bowl. Chop the pepper, add to bowl along with the egg and bread crumbs. Mix with a fork. Add the ground turkey. Mix gently with your hands. In the bowl, form the mixture in to a general loaf shape. Invert the bowl on to the prepared cooking sheet and touch up the loaf shape.
  3. Squeeze the ketchup and sriracha on to the loaf, and using your fingers since they're already dirty, mix the two sauces and spread them evenly on the top, ends and sides of the loaf. Slide a meat thermometer in to that bad boy and in to the oven he goes. Should be done (165* ) in about 35-40 minutes.
  4. Let it rest for five minutes before serving.
For the sauce
  1. Once the loaf is in the oven, put all the sauce ingredients in a sauce pan on low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meatloaf is done. Serve with the slices.
Notes
  1. You could cook this in a loaf pan, but cooking it "open style" on the cookie tray makes for that yummy crust and glaze on three sides of the loaf instead of just the top.
  2. Be careful with your ground turkey selection - read those nutrition labels because some can be 80/20. If you're going that route, may as well do a ground beef meat loaf!
beta
calories
235
fat
13g
protein
11g
carbs
20g
more
Bucket of Yum http://bucketofyum.com/

Leftover Steak Salad with Smokey Tomato Vinaigrette

SteakSaladSmoToEasy-peasy leftovers: some romaine heart wedges, some sliced onion & leftover steak topped with a mix of corn, black beans and poblano chilis (also known as this – hey, it says “easy”, go ahead and chop your veg if you’re feeling it), topped with my second all-time favorite salad dressing: Smokey Tomato.

We used to have a bargain chain grocery in town called Sunflower. They had this awesome house-brand smokey tomato salad dressing that was only $1.99 a bottle – $1.79 if you caught a sale. Then, they were purchased by Sprouts, and the house brand went away. It was replaced with Drew’s Smokey Tomato. Which is freakin’ delicious – but it goes for $3.49 a bottle. I just can’t pay that much for salad dressing. So….the interwebs helped me research the ingredients, and few tries led to a pretty close approximation.

ingredients olive oil, vinegar, garlic, canned tomatoes and liquid smoke
sheesh – shop at TJ’s much?
Smokey Tomato Vinaigrette
Serves 12
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
87 calories
2 g
0 g
9 g
0 g
1 g
24 g
15 g
1 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
24g
Servings
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 87
Calories from Fat 80
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
14%
Saturated Fat 1g
6%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 15mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 2g
1%
Dietary Fiber 0g
0%
Sugars 1g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
2%
Calcium
1%
Iron
1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 c. peeled canned tomatoes (diced, whole, whichever), drained.
  2. 1/4 c. white balsamic vinegar or cider vinegar
  3. 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
  4. 2 cloves of garlic (peeled and pressed)
  5. 1/4 tsp. liquid smoke
  6. 1/2 tsp. sugar
  7. S&P
Instructions
  1. In to the blender or food processor they all go. Purée til smooth.
beta
calories
87
fat
9g
protein
0g
carbs
2g
more
Bucket of Yum http://bucketofyum.com/

 

 

Some for now, some for the freezer
Some for now, some for the freezer

It keeps a couple months in the freezer, and possibly more than a week in fridge – but I can’t vouch for that because it’s never lasted that long in our house.

Bon appétit.