Sausage and WInter Squash Ragu

Sausage and Winter Squash Ragu

I got this recipe from a northern friend (her grandparents are from Tuscany). You can use any kind of hard winter squash. I used butternut but acorn or even pumpkin would do it.
Sausage and Winter Squash Ragu

Sausage and Winter Squash Ragu

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups peeled and diced squash
  • Olive oil for basting and frying
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 lb. Italian hot or sweet pork sausage casing removed
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 cup diced mushrooms – your choice
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 2 sliced garlic cloves
  • 1 lb. short pasta like ziti, rigatoni, etc.
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
Start a pot of salted water  for the pasta.
Heat the oven to 450o and roast the peeled and diced squash with oil and salt and pepper for 15 minutes.

Sausage and Winter Squash Ragu

Sausage and Winter Squash Ragu
Sauté the mushrooms and onion in oil in a pot until they’re soft. Remove from the pot. Add the sausage and break it up and cook until it’s brown. Return the mushrooms and onion to the pot, then add the tomatoes and garlic. Cook on a medium flame for 5 minutes and then add 1 cup of water, stir, and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning.

Sausage and Winter Squash Ragu

Cook the pasta until almost done and add it to the pot and mix it with the sauce. Add some of the pasta water if it looks too dry. Now, add the roasted squash and parsley. Mix and serve. (My friend said it can be served with grated cheese but I think that would overpowers the sweetness of the squash.)

Sausage and Winter Squash Ragu

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Cod Fish Cakes

 

Cod Fish Cakes

Here’s another recipe adapted from The Ellis Island Immigrant Cookbook. This one is for cod fish cakes. It was created by Ena Forde-Findlay of Brooklyn, New York. 

cod fish cakes

The Ellis Island Immigrant Cookbook

Hailed as “One of the year’s more engaging cookbooks...” by the New York Times, the book has sold well over 100,000 copies. 
“…a one of a kind collection of heartwarming stories and authentic recipes that you’ll want to have for your cooking library…these recipes recall special memories of far away lands or of dearly loved relatives…much more than a recipe compilation, it is a personal journey with stories and reminiscences that will touch your heart.” ~ Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book Club

Cod Fish Cakes – adapted from the Ellis Island Immigrant Cook Book

cod fish cakes

The cod fish needed for this recipe is preserved by salting. Before cooking, the salt has to be removed by soaking. The amount of soaking depends on how the codfish you bought was preserved. Goya sells it in 1-pound packages and I find this brand is the easiest to use. Some other brands come salted, dried and as stiff as a board and require more preparation. It’s your choice. Besides cod you can also use salted pollock.

Goya’s instructions:

After de-salting boil the fish for 30 minutes. Drain and let it cool then shred it by pulling it apart with 2 forks. Finely chop the peppers, onions and scallions. Saute them on medium-low until they are soft but not browned.
cod fish cakes

Add the vegetables to the fish in a large bowl. Scramble and add the eggs to the mix. Blend the flour, baking powder, black pepper. and paprika and then add it to the cod mixture, alternating with the water. Continue adding the flour mix and water until you come to a pasty consistency.cod fish cakes

Pour an inch of oil into a pan and heat to 375o. Scoop up some of the cod mix with a table spoon and scrape it into the oil with another tablespoon. Turn over when golden brown on one side, then brown on the other side. Add oil as you need it. Drain on paper towels and serve with lemon and/or hot sauce.

cod fish cakes

Get a copy of the The Ellis Island Immigrant Cookbook HERE.


cod fish cakes

Get information on Save Ellis Island’s  Hardhat Tours HERE.

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Biscuits and Gravy

Biscuits and Gravy

I may be a native New Yorker but I’ve always loved Southern food. I got this recipe in the New York Daily News. Even if you don’t want the sausage gravy, it’s still a great biscuit recipe.

For the Biscuits –

Biscuits and Gravy.

Ingredients:
  1. 2 ½ cups flour
  2. 2 tbsps. baking powder
  3. 1 tbsp. sugar
  4. ½ tsp. salt
  5. 4 ozs. butter
  6. 1 cup buttermilk
  7. Melted butter
Pre-heat the oven to 425o.
Mix the first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Grate in the butter into the bowl and blend. Add the buttermilk and stir until it comes together like a rough dough. Sprinkle some flour on your counter and knead the dough by folding it in half a few times. No need to over do it.

Biscuits and Gravy.

Roll out the dough into a one-inch layer. Use a biscuit cutter (I use a glass) to cut 2 to 3 inch diameter biscuits. You should get about 12. Put the cut outs on a buttered baking sheet. Brush the tops of each with melted butter and bake until golden, about 15 minutes.Biscuits and Gravy.

For the Gravy –

Biscuits and Gravy.

Ingredients:
  1. 2 tbsps. oil
  2. 1 lb. pork breakfast meat (or remove sausage casings)
  3. 4 tbsps. butter
  4. ½ cup flour
  5. 3 – 4 cups chicken broth or stock.
  6. ½ cup heavy cream
  7. Salt and black pepper (easy on the salt if the broth is salty)
Brown the sausage meat in the oil in a  frying pan. Remove the meat leaving the oil and some brown bits. At medium heat, add the butter and when it melts and stops foaming quickly stir in the flour. Don’t let it brown. This is a light-colored gravy.

Biscuits and Gravy.

Raise the heat and whisk in the chicken broth. When it thickens and becomes smooth, return the cooked sausage meat to the pan. Simmer for 20 minutes. Heat the cream, add it to the pan and mix. Taste for seasoning. Serve it hot, spooned over the split biscuits.

Biscuits and Gravy.

The biscuits a pretty good with butter and preserves too.

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