Holiday Sausage, Mushroom and Cheese Turnovers

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hey guys..the holidays are rapidly approaching and we all know what that means…parties, parties and more parties…full of friends and family sharing delicious food and drinks together. It’s the best time of the year!

Sausage Mushroom Cheese Turnovers


I recently did some recipe development and a photo shoot for one of my clients, Seven Barrels, maker of premium infused Italian olive oils and vinegars with delicious flavors from natural ingredients.¬†For the holidays I created a series of recipes featuring their Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar and Meyer Lemon Olive Oil – a delicious, sweet and tart flavor pairing that’s perfect for the holidays.

Sausage Mushroom Cheese Turnovers

I decided to make some party food because we all like parties and appetizers / small bites are the way to go to keep them fun and social! My recipe for Sausage and Mushroom and Cheese Turnovers is an absolute flavor bomb and they’re super easy to make!

Sausage Mushroom Cheese Turnovers

They’re stuffed with sweet Italian sausage, ricotta cheese, green onions, mushrooms, cranberries and mozzarella all wrapped up in buttery flaky baked puff pastry topped with sesame seeds. They’re the perfect crunchy, savory, cheesy bite in your mouth, with a hint of sweet and tart from the cranberries, lemon olive oil and raspberry vinegar for dipping.

Sausage Mushroom Cheese Turnovers

You’re definitely gonna want to make these for all your holiday parties..trust me, they won’t last long ūüėČ

Sausage, Mushroom and Cheese Turnovers

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: Makes 18 (4-inch) turnovers.

Serving Size: 1 turnover

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Seven Barrels Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
  • ¬Ĺ pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • ¬Ĺ cup green onion, sliced (about 4 scallions)
  • ¬Ĺ cup baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • ¬Ĺ cup dried cranberries or tart cherries
  • ¬ĺ cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 ¬Ĺ cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 eggs, beaten, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Seven Barrels Raspberry Balsamic vinegar, plus extra for dipping
  • Dash of Italian seasoning
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 package (17.25 ounce) frozen puff pastry, thawed (2 sheets)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, for garnish
  • Coarse sea salt, for garnish
  • Chopped rosemary, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of Seven Barrels Lemon Olive Oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook for about 5 minutes until it starts to brown, crumbling while cooking to separate the meat. Add the green onions and mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes until the veggies are soft and meat is cooked through. Drain the fat and excess liquid, set cooked mixture aside to cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked sausage mixture with dried cranberries or tart cherries, ricotta, mozzarella cheese, 1 beaten egg and 1 tablespoon Seven Barrels Raspberry Balsamic vinegar to make the filling. Season with a dash of Italian seasoning, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. On lightly floured surface, roll one sheet of puff pastry into a large 12-inch square. Cut pastry sheet into 9 (4-inch) squares and brush edges with egg wash.
  5. Place 1 rounded teaspoon filling on each square; fold to make a triangle; seal with fingers or fork. Place the triangles on parchment paper or a silicone baking mat on a large rectangular baking sheet and brush egg wash over the top of the turnovers, pierce 3 slits on top of each one, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, repeat steps above with the remaining sheet of puff pastry and sausage, mushroom and cheese filling to make 9 additional turnovers. Bake again at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle sea salt and chopped rosemary (or thyme) on top of the turnovers for garnish. Serve immediately with Seven Barrels Raspberry Balsamic vinegar for dipping.

Notes

You can also substitute spicy Italian sausage or ground beef for the sweet Italian sausage. To make a thicker dipping sauce (Balsamic Glaze), heat the vinegar in a saucepan over medium high heat until it reduces by half, drizzle over turnovers or serve as a dipping sauce on the side.

http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2017/11/09/holiday-sausage-mushroom-and-cheese-turnovers/

Porcini Linguine w/ Spicy Beef + Mushroom Ragu

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Porcini Pasta

So Fall is finally here guys! My absolute favorite time of the year – cooler temperatures, the leaves changing, sweaters, jeans and boots, leather jackets, crickets late in the day along with spectacular sunsets… and especially the FOOD!

Porcini Pasta


I had some gorgeous porcini linguine¬†that I bought at the Rochester Downtown Farmer’s Market on hand, and thought a Spicy Beef and Mushroom Ragu sauce would be the perfect compliment for a savory tasty Fall pasta dish.

Porcini Pasta

I added some¬†Crushed Hot Chili Pepper Spread¬† to the beef and mushroom mixture saut√©ed with shallots and garlic, which took the flavor and heat up just a notch…then added a little spicy marinara sauce, but not too much…

Porcini Pasta

After I cooked the pasta, I mixed the beef and mushroom ragu back into the pot, and tossed it all together with some of the reserved pasta water and  lots of parmesan cheese, just because.

Porcini Pasta

Of course I topped it all of with a generous sprinkle of fresh parsley and torn mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper… and it happily made my day.

Porcini Linguine w/ Zesty Beef + Mushroom Ragu

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4-6

This pasta dish has a savory umami flavor from the porcini mushroom linguine, along with a spicy beef and mushroom ragu zested up with some red chile pepper paste, shallots and garlic. Super healthy and delicious with some crusty Italian bread and olive oil and a glass of red wine.

Ingredients

  • * 1 pound porcini mushroom linguine
  • * 2 tbsp olive oil
  • * 3/4 pound ground beef
  • * 6-8 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • * 2 shallots, sliced thin
  • * 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • * 2 tablespoons spicy hot chili pepper paste (Colavita)
  • * 3/4 cup marinara sauce
  • * 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • * Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • * 2-3 slices fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into pieces
  • * 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta in salted boiling water for about 9-10 minutes until al dente, drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water, and set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat, cook the ground beef, about 5-7 minutes, drain and set aside.
  3. Add the additional tablespoon of olive oil and cook garlic, mushrooms and shallots for another 5 minutes or so until soft and cooked through. Mix into the cooked ground beef mixture and add spicy chili pepper paste and marinara sauce with some of the reserved pasta water until it's soft and mixes together into a sauce (but not overly saucy). Feel free to add more sauce and water to your liking for the desired consistency and thickness / thinness of the sauce.
  4. Toss the meat ragu in with the cooked pasta, add parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve pasta with fresh torn mozzarella and chopped fresh parsley.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2017/09/14/porcini-linguine-w-spicy-beef-mushroom-ragu/

Porcini Pasta

So easy and delicious with all the flavors of Fall. Enjoy!

Balsamic Tomato Basil Pasta w/ Fresh Ricotta

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Balsamic Tomato Basil Pasta with Fresh Ricotta

Summer is in full swing, and we all know what that means…TOMATO SEASON!¬†I’m sure you all have a bountiful crop of tomatoes lying around from your garden..and if not, a plentiful supply of them from the farmers market or grocery store. So what better recipe to make with them than a gorgeous, easy Summer pasta dish?

Balsamic Tomato Pasta


Now I know this may sound weird, but I am not a fan of raw tomatoes. Never have, never will. Yeah, I am THAT person. But, when they’re cooked with a plethora of fresh ingredients to sweeten them up and break them down into a gorgeous sauce or salsa? I’m a huge tomato fan once they are transformed into some sweet and savory deliciousness…so here we go.¬†Balsamic Tomato Basil Pasta with Fresh Ricotta.

Balsamic Tomato Pasta

This is truly Summer in a Bowl, my friends. This pasta dish is so simple and fresh you’re gonna love it. I made a lovely chunky sauce with a batch of chopped fresh tomatoes, simmered in 7 Barrels Balsamic Vinegar and their¬†Sweet Basil Olive Oil (omg #LOVE!), with saut√©ed sweet onions and garlic, red pepper flakes and chicken stock. ¬†Then I tossed the pasta with a little bit of the pasta water, added the cooked balsamic tomato sauce, and topped it with fresh basil, some big dollops of fresh ricotta, and lots of Parmesan cheese.¬†Juicy, sweet, tangy, savory perfection.

Balsamic Tomato Basil Pasta w/ Fresh Ricotta

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: Serves 4-6

Serving Size: 1 cup

This is truly Summer in a Bowl, my friends. Made with fresh tomatoes simmered in 7 Barrels Balsamic Vinegar and Sweet Basil Olive oil, with sautéed sweet onions and garlic making a lovely chunky tomato sauce..topped with fresh basil and ricotta cheese and more Parmesan cheese! And it's so easy to make that you won't be slaving over the stove in this hot weather either. Juicy, sweet, tangy, savory perfection. 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of pasta, reserving some of the pasta cooking water
  • 1 tablespoon Seven Barrels Sweet Basil extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-6 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup Seven Barrels Traditional Balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, torn into pieces, for garnish
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add tomatoes, onions, garlic and red pepper flakes.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and cook 3 to 5 minutes over medium heat, until onions begin to get soft and lightly browned and tomatoes release some of their liquid.
  4. Place balsamic vinegar, chicken stock, and cornstarch in a small bowl and whisk well. Carefully add it to the skillet and continue to cook for a few minutes more until the sauce slightly thickens; remove from the heat.
  5. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet with the tomatoes, and toss together over low heat for an additional few minutes until the sauce coats the pasta. Add a small amount of the pasta cooking water if the mixture is too dry, to your desired sauce consistency.
  6. Place the pasta in large bowl and top with fresh grated Parmesan, ricotta cheese, and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve hot, immediately with some crusty garlic bread.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2017/08/10/balsamic-tomato-basil-pasta-w-fresh-ricotta/

Balsamic Tomato Pasta

Yes please, I’ll take another bowl.

Expert Interview Series with FoodyDirect.com!

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I was recently invited as¬†a guest for the FoodyDirect.com Expert Interview Series to talk about great tasting and looking food, and I’m honored to share the interview with you!¬†I discuss my background and how I got into Food Styling and Photography as a full-time freelance profession, along with some of my favorite things to cook, food trends, hot spots in NYC and some simple rules for great food photography on social media.

Expert Interview Series with FoodyDirect.com

I also included one of my favorite go-to recipes in the article, my¬†Rochester-Style Chicken French with Broccolini which I know you’re gonna love!


Chicken French

Check out the interview below or on FoodyDirect.com (the best online mail order source for gourmet food and gifts!

FoodyDirect.com

——-

Kristen Hess is a New York City food stylist, photographer, recipe developer, and author of the food blog, The Artful Gourmet.  We recently chatted with Kristen about her favorite cuisines, cooking trends, and NYC eateries, and also asked her to share her food stylist expertise with us to help foodies take better photos of their gastronomical creations.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Why did you decide to dive headfirst into learning about cooking and food photography?

I’ve always loved food and cooking but never considered it as a full-time career until I moved to NYC and started taking a series of cooking classes at The Institute of Culinary Education. I was working in advertising at the time and thought it was a fun hobby, but then that hobby became more serious as I discovered food media as a blossoming career path and started taking more classes in food styling, photography, and food writing and then started my blog.
Out of all of the different styles of cuisine and cooking in your repertoire, which one was the most fun to learn about?

My all-time favorite is Italian food because I love the simplicity of the gorgeous ingredients, rustic flavors, and cooking techniques. Whether it’s homemade pasta and sauce, homemade pizza, a gorgeous salad, an antipasti dish, or a roasted chicken with vegetables, I love it all!

Name a cooking trend, tool, or category that you’re currently excited about. 

Alternative flours and coconut everything! I try to live a healthy lifestyle, but sometimes it‚Äôs hard when you work in the food industry (esp. in NYC!) surrounded by delicious temptations every day. Alternative flours made out of chickpeas, coconut, almond, bananas, brown rice, farro, buckwheat, chia, and arrowroot are great for low-carb and paleo/gluten-free cooking ‚Äď and they‚Äôre healthier, too. You can make pizza crust, bread, pasta, pancakes, tortillas, pastry, crepes, socca, and all kinds of dishes with it. And I love coconut oil, cream, and milk as an alternative to full-fat regular dairy sometimes because it has a nice subtle coconut flavor and is great to cook with at high heat. I‚Äôve made curries, smoothies, baked goods, and more with it. Great stuff.

Many people have a basic idea of what a food stylist does ‚Äď but could you tell us about some types of food photography that you‚Äôve done that people may not associate with the craft?¬†

I do some interesting gigs with agencies for their food clients who are doing on-site media tours promoting food products and recipes to food editors for all the major food magazines. For example, The Jackfruit Company launched their new products and I toured around with the owner and PR agency making tacos, salads, burgers, and sandwiches on-site in the editors’ board rooms while they pitched the product to the editors and writers (to gain press and brand affection, of course!).

Another new type of job that is getting popular is styling food for Facebook Live segments for cookbook authors and chefs, health experts, and bloggers. I did quite a few of these for Keri Glassman and Andy Boy Broccoli Rabe, making recipes for them which were demoed live on Facebook at PureWow Magazine and Cosmo.com. I also did this for Halloween making super fun recipes by blogger Elise Strachan at People Food and Food and Wine.

When you see people posting pictures of food on their social media pages, what are some of the ‚Äúmistakes‚ÄĚ you see that make the dish look really unappetizing?

I always say lighting is a huge factor for any good food photo. If it’s too yellow or too blue, you need to fix the hue or it looks unappetizing. Also, never use flash or take photos with overhead lights as they give harsh shadows and blow out the food. Try to shoot food with natural light as much as possible. Bad angles are a no-no too. Don’t shoot burgers or sandwiches overhead. You can’t see what’s inside. Pizza is great for overhead shots because you want to see what’s on it. Don’t be afraid to crop into the shot too for some detail. Finally, consider your composition; what’s the hero in the shot? Focus on that dish. Not the glass behind it. Let the hero shine!

Finish this sentence: ‚ÄúIf you‚Äôre a true foodie, the next time you visit New York City, you definitely need to stop by‚Ķ‚ÄĚ

For pizza, you need to check out DiFara on Ave J in Brooklyn. The wait is kinda long, but it’s soooo good and super worth the trip and the wait. I also love RubiRosa pizza in Soho.

Pearl Oyster Bar in the West Village is amazing for fresh oysters, seafood, wine, etc.

My favorite taco joint is La Esquina in Nolita. They make authentic Mexican style tacos on small corn tortillas with fresh cilantro, pork, steak, chicken, and homemade salsa. Plus, the grilled street corn is to die for!

You can’t go to NYC without getting a delicious burger, fries, and milkshake from the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. Again, the line is long, but so worth the wait!!!

And lastly, go to Katz’s Deli in the Lower East Side for a pastrami on rye New York City style. Delish.

What types of desserts do you enjoy making for friends and family?

I’m definitely more of a savory cook than a pastry cook, but I absolutely love making pies and tarts. I always make lovely fruit-based pies or tarts in the summer around the 4th of July using berries, peaches, and mascarpone on a puff pastry sheet. Thanksgiving is always fun; I love experimenting with new pie recipes (something different than pumpkin or apple pie) like Christina Tosi’s Crack Pie or my Bourbon Buttermilk Pecan Pie.

Finally, could you share with us one recipe that’s always a hit when you prepare it? 

I have so many recipes that I love but one of my absolute favorites is my ‚ÄúRochester-Style Chicken French with Broccolini.‚ÄĚ It‚Äôs actually not a French recipe; it‚Äôs an Italian recipe similar to a piccata dish, but with a light coating of egg batter, butter, white wine, lemon, and parsley on thinly-pounded chicken, saut√©ed in a pan and then coated in the luscious buttery lemon sauce. It‚Äôs easy to make, tastes amazing, and everyone loves it. I serve it with saut√©ed broccolini, but you could also serve it with green beans or saut√©ed spinach, over pasta or rice, or alongside some crusty french bread to mop up the sauce. Goes great with a tangy white wine like Pinot Grigio and a simple green salad with shaved Parmesan cheese and a tangy wine vinaigrette.

Chicken French

Rochester-Style Chicken w/ Broccolini

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: Serves 4.

This delicious Italian dish originated in Rochester, NY and is a great meal for a special occasion or any night of the week. Thin chicken cutlets are coated in a light egg and parmesan batter then sautéed until crispy and brown. They are coated in a luscious lemon butter and wine sauce and served with a side of fresh broccolini. Goes great with a crisp white wine such as Pinot Grigio and a green salad with shaved Parmesan and a tangy vinaigrette.

Ingredients

  • CHICKEN FRENCH:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil/canola oil blend for sauteing (I used Colavita Garlic Oil Blend)
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets
  • 2-3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup of superfine flour (Pan Searing flour or Wondra)
  • LEMON BUTTER SAUCE:
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine or sherry
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Juice from 1 1/2 lemons (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
  • BROCCOLINI:
  • 1 bunch broccolini, trimmed
  • Lemon Butter sauce (see above)
  • lemon, S&P for garnish

Instructions

  1. CHICKEN FRENCH:
  2. Heat oil in a large non-stick saute pan over medium heat.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, cheese, salt and pepper, cayenne, and fresh parsley in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Place flour in another flat bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Rinse and pat dry chicken breasts, then dredge each one in flour first (left hand), then egg mixture (right hand).
  6. Place chicken into the heated saute pan and cook for 6 minutes on one side. Flip chicken over and saute for another 6 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Remove from pan and set aside, covered with a foil tent.
  8. LEMON BUTTER SAUCE:
  9. In the same skillet, saute the minced garlic for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to burn.
  10. Add the wine and bring liquid to a boil over high heat, scraping up the brown bits in the pan.
  11. Pour in the chicken broth, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes (if using) and let reduce by half, another 5-7 minutes.
  12. Stir in the butter and whisk until it melts.
  13. Add chicken back into the pan with the sauce and let simmer another 5-10 minutes.
  14. Place chicken on serving plate with the steamed broccolini and spoon lemon butter sauce over the top of both.
  15. Garnish with lemon wedges and additional chopped parsley if desired.
  16. BROCCOLINI:
  17. Steam broccolini for about 5 minutes, covered. Remove lid and steam for another 5 minutes until fork tender but still bright green.
  18. Top broccolini with Lemon Butter sauce, additional lemon, salt, and pepper to taste.

Notes

You can also substitute veal for the chicken or artichokes for a vegetarian option.

http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2017/06/23/expert-interview-series-foodydirect-com/

Are you jonesing for authentic New York-style foods? Check out FoodyDirect.com selection today!

Olive Garden unveils new ‘Tastes of the Mediterranean” menu

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Olive Garden Tastes of the Mediterranean Menu

I had the opportunity to attend a special preview tasting of Olive Garden‘s new ‘Tastes of the Mediterranean’ menu this week¬†at a lovely event held¬†at Haven’s Kitchen in NYC with a group of other food bloggers, writers and journalists.

Media Preview Haven's Kitchen


Olive Garden Team

We sampled a (generous!) variety of delicious food and wine, and learned more about the new menu ideas and inspiration from the Olive Garden team and Executive Chef, Jim Nuetzi. 

Olive Garden Tasting Event

Inspired by the flavors of Italy‚Äôs Mediterranean Coast, Olive Garden is evolving its popular Lighter Italian Fare menu to the new ‚ÄėTastes of the Mediterranean‚Äô menu, which celebrates the flavors and cooking styles from the popular Mediterranean region of Italy with all entrees under 600 calories.

Chicken Margherita

Beginning Jan. 2, two new entrees ‚Äď Chicken Margherita¬†and

Linguine Di Mare

Linguine di Mare ‚Äď will be available in restaurants. Following, the fully evolved ‚ÄėTastes of the Mediterranean‚Äô rebranded menu section, which includes guest favorites as well as the new entrees, will be introduced on Jan. 23.

Executive Chef Jim

‚ÄúHealthier dishes at restaurants can often be perceived as boring or unsatisfying. However, our Mediterranean-inspired Shrimp Scampi with its flavorful ingredients was our second most popular entr√©e on the entire menu last summer,‚ÄĚ said Jim Nuetzi, Executive Chef for Olive Garden. ‚ÄúThe positive reaction from our guests further showed that we could create indulgent and craveable entrees that just happen to have the added benefit of lower calorie counts.‚ÄĚ

Shrimp Scampi

The guest-favorite Shrimp Scampi, which was introduced to the Olive Garden menu last year, has exceeded any other Olive Garden lighter fare entrée in popularity. Many guests were surprised that the flavorful and satisfying dish was only 500 calories.

Grilled Chicken Parmigiana

The guest reaction to the Shrimp Scampi inspired chefs to explore additional ingredients that would excite guests in the same way, leading them to the cuisine of Italy’s Mediterranean coast. The region is long known for healthier lifestyles and cooking with light, flavorful ingredients such as seafood, olive oil, fresh vegetables, whole grains and Italian spices.

Chicken Margherita & Zucchini

Chicken Piccata

Herb Grilled Salmon

The ‚ÄėTastes of the Mediterranean‚Äô menu features:

Olive-Garden-Chicken-Margherita

  • NEW! Chicken Margherita: Grilled chicken breasts topped with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, basil pesto and a lemon garlic sauce. Served with parmesan crusted zucchini.

Olive-Garden-Shrimp-Scampi

  • Shrimp Scampi: Shrimp saut√©ed in a garlic sauce, tossed with asparagus, tomatoes and angel hair pasta.

Olive-Garden-Linguini-di-Mare

  • NEW! Linguine di Mare: Shrimp and mussels saut√©ed with homemade pomodoro sauce and whole grain linguine.

Olive-Garden-Herb-Grilled-Salmon

  • Herb-Grilled Salmon: Filet grilled to perfection and topped with garlic-herb butter. Served with parmesan-garlic broccoli.

Olive-Garden-Chicken-Piccata-Dinner

  • Chicken Piccata: Grilled chicken topped with a lemon garlic butter sauce, sun-dried tomatoes and capers. Served with parmesan crusted zucchini.

Olive Garden Tilapia Piccata

  • Tilapia Piccata: Delicate white fish baked in a lemon garlic butter sauce with sun-dried tomatoes and capers. Served with parmesan crusted zucchini.

Entrees on the rebranded menu start at $14.29.

Warm Chocolate Baci Cake

And last but not least, we enjoyed a gorgeous dessert, Warm Chocolate Baci Cake with coffee..simply divine. 

Olive Garden

..and got some take home goodie bags with a bottle of wine and some wine glasses!

¬†———–

ABOUT OLIVE GARDEN

Olive Garden is the leading restaurant in the Italian dining segment with more than 800 restaurants, more than 96,000 employees and more than $3.8 billion in annual sales. Olive Garden is a division of Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI), which owns and operates more than 1,500 restaurants that generate over $6.8 billion in annual sales. Headquartered in Orlando, Fla., and employing more than 150,000 people, Darden is recognized for a culture that rewards caring for and responding to people. Olive Garden is committed to making a difference in the lives of others in the local community. As part of this commitment, Olive Garden restaurants have donated more than 35 million pounds of food to local community food banks across the country.

Guests can join the conversation and connect with Olive Garden at Facebook.com/OliveGarden, Twitter.com/OliveGarden and Instagram.com/OliveGarden. For more information and to find your nearest Olive Garden restaurant, visit OliveGarden.com.

Celebrating Fall Flavors: Buckwheat Bucatini w/ Truffled Wild Mushroom Sauce

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Buckwheat Bucatini with Truffled Wild Mushroom Sauce

Now that Fall is finally here, I‚Äôm so excited to start cooking comfort food again with flavorful seasonal ingredients¬†like wild mushrooms, truffles, sage, prosciutto, toasted nuts, hearty greens, whole grains…yum. Fall is definitely my favorite season of the year when it comes to food ūüôā

Buckwheat Bucatini


In particular, I love making homemade pasta and one-pot dishes, which is so¬†easy to do with my KitchenAid¬ģ¬†Gourmet Pasta Press that attaches¬†to my KitchenAid¬ģ¬†Stand Mixer.

KitchenAid Gourmet Pasta Press

It¬†makes six different types of pasta in a snap: Bucatini, Spaghetti, Rotini, small and large Macaroni, and Rigatoni simply¬†by swapping out a different disc for each pasta cut…how cool is that?!?

Sauce Ingredients

I decided to make a homemade Buckwheat Bucatini with Truffled Wild Mushroom Sauce, Prosciutto, Spinach, Pecans and Sage. I love Buckwheat pasta because of its rustic flavor, and it’s perfect for fall pasta dishes. Similar to the traditional Italian Pizzoccheri (flat buckwheat fettuccine), buckwheat noodles have hearty depth of flavor, and pair perfectly with warm fall flavors and ingredients like wilted greens, potatoes, cabbage, cheese and garlic.

Truffled Wild Mushroom Sauce

My pasta dish is topped with a luscious savory sauce made with crispy prosciutto and sage, nutty toasted pecans, garlic, shallots and wild mushrooms (portabella, porcini, oyster, beech, cremini, and shiitake) that I sautéed in olive oil and butter, then made into a luscious sauce with chicken broth and truffle oil.

Buckwheat Bucatini with Truffled Wild Mushroom Sauce

CLICK HERE TO SEE STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS AND THE FULL RECIPE ON THE KITCHENTHUSIAST BLOG!

I’d love to hear how you would use the KitchenAid Pasta Press and what recipes you would make! Share your take on my¬†Buckwheat Bucatini & Truffled Wild Mushroom Sauce¬†recipe on KitchenAid’s¬†Instagram¬†page using #MadeWithKitchenAid for a chance to be featured.

Cheesy Baked Pasta w/ Sausage & Summer Veggies

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Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies

Ah, it’s almost the end of Summer and I keep thinking, where has it gone? Along with Summer¬†comes lots of fresh veggies¬†like zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms and yellow squash that I just can’t get enough of!

Colavita


I recently received a lovely care package from my client Colavita, who sent me some delicious pasta, sauces, olive oils and vinegars to sample, which inspired me to make this Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies. 

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies

It’s¬†a tasty and healthy twist on traditional Baked Ziti, using Colavita Fusilli¬†pasta with sweet Italian sausage and lots of colorful summer veggies like zucchini, squash, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions and garlic. I saut√©ed everything in Colavita Extra Virgin olive oil¬†with a splash of Colavita Chardonnay White Balsamic vinegar for some extra sweet and tangy flavor.

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies

I used their Colavita Tomato Basil sauce mixed in to the pasta and veggies along with fresh oregano and basil. AND it has three (3!!) cheeses: ricotta, parmesan/asiago and mozzarella to make it super creamy and cheesy Рall baked into a big pot of bubbly goodness.

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies

Look. At. This. Cheesy Baked Pasta Goodness. YUM.

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies

It’s the perfect dish¬†for a quick and healthy weeknight dinner – and is great served with a green salad and some crusty Italian bread (dipped in Colavita olive oil and vinegar of course!) Enjoy!
Tip! Lately I came across this website www.vacuumsealerresearch.com and found foodsaver reviews with many good tips so I decided to try vacuum sealer. I really like it.

Cheesy Baked Pasta w/ Sausage and Summer Veggies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6-8

This is a tasty and healthy twist on traditional Baked Ziti, using Colavita Rotini pasta with Italian Sausage and lots of colorful summer veggies like zucchini, squash, mushrooms, onions and garlic! It also features Colavita Tomato Basil sauce mixed with three cheeses: ricotta, parmesan/asiago and mozzarella to make it super creamy and cheesy baked into a big pot of bubbly goodness. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner served with a green salad and crusty Italian bread.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Colavita Fusilli pasta, uncooked
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, ground
  • 2 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Colavita Chardonnay White Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup yellow squash, chopped
  • 1 cup zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-16 ounce jar Colavita Tomato Basil sauce
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Parmesan/Asiago cheese, grated
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (add more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (add more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions (about 9 minutes for al dente), drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add one tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Cook sausage until no longer pink, drain fat and set aside.
  4. Add additional tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, and add squash, zucchini, mushrooms and bell pepper. Saute for 5-7 minutes until soft. Add minced garlic and balsamic vinegar and cook for another minute or two. Add the cooked sausage back into the pan.
  5. Stir in the tomato sauce, 1/2 cup of mozzarella and 1/2 cup of Parmesan/Asiago cheese and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes until cheese is melted.
  6. Meanwhile, add the ricotta cheese to a mixing bowl and stir in beaten egg, fresh herbs, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
  7. Place the cooked pasta in a large pot and add the sausage-veggie-tomato sauce mixture, stirring well. Fold in the ricotta-egg-herbs mixture until thoroughly combined.
  8. Spoon the pasta mixture into an 8x8 square glass or ceramic baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan/Asiago cheese evenly over the top.
  9. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and browned.
  10. Let cool for a few minutes, serve hot with a green salad and crusty Italian bread.

Notes

You can also substitute Colavita penne, shells, farfalle or ziti for the fusilli pasta.

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Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies

Colavita has a great line of Italian gourmet food, olive oils, vinegars, pastas,  condiments and other specialty foods, which makes them one of my favorite brands for quality Italian cooking.

Check out their Facebook page, Twitter page, Pinterest and Instagram pages for more great recipes and cooking ideas!

Note: I received complimentary products from Colavita but was not compensated for this post. All photos, copy, recipes and opinions are my own. Please do not share, distribute or use any content without my permission.

Olive Garden unveils delicious new menu items!

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I recently attended a super fun event to celebrate the delicious new items that Olive Garden has introduced on their menu.

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I joined the Olive Garden team along with several other local journalists and bloggers at Elevated Acre in Downtown Manhattan which is a beautiful outdoor space overlooking the East River with views of the Brooklyn Bridge.

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We enjoyed their private label wines out on the deck

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(I love their new Tuscan Red table wine!) and then all sat down at a huge table to start the festivities and get first dibs on the menu tasting. #NeverEndingTable

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We met the Olive Garden marketing team and their Executive Chef who told us about their new menu innovations,

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and then we got to taste all of them over a few hours, which of course was the fun part!

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We all love their classic breadsticks and salads right?

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Well you have to try their new Breadstick Sandwiches Рwe tried the Eggplant Parmesan and Spicy Calabrian Chicken..delicious!

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The coolest new items we tried are their new Deep Dish Spaghetti Pies..they’re like spaghetti quiches baked in a shell with all kinds of yummy fillings but in pie form! The¬†Chicken Alfredo¬†Pie was amazing…

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and so was the classic Spaghetti and Meatballs Pie made with 7 cheeses, bacon, meatballs and homemade sauce.  So good and totally fun.

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And we can’t forget dessert – they served us an incredible Chocolate and Caramel Lasagna – layers of gooey caramel, chocolate and cake similar to Tiramisu..OMG. TO. DIE. FOR. And the perfect ending to a perfect Italian meal!

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Check out the great photos of the event below and visit their website for more info on these awesome new menu creations and specials in your area.

Visit Olive Garden on Facebook

Visit Olive Garden on Twitter

Visit Olive Garden on Instagram

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Homemade Spring Fettuccine with Pancetta, Peas & Asparagus

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Spring is finally here in full bloom, and I’m so excited to cook with fresh, seasonal ingredients! One of my favorite pasta dishes to make for spring is this tasty and fresh  Homemade Spring Fettuccine with Pancetta, Peas & Asparagus. An excellent dish for a small reunion in a granny flat home done by lounginglizards.com.au/ .

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PrepFreshIngredients

It features homemade fresh spinach and egg fettuccine made with flour, eggs and olive oil, topped with crispy pancetta, fresh scallions, garlic, baby green peas and asparagus in a tasty parmesan cream sauce.

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You simply make the dough in your KitchenAid 14-cup food processor,

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knead it and cut it into a few pieces,

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then use the KitchenAid pasta attachment to roll it out the pasta sheets

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and cut into lovely fresh fettuccine

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served with a gorgeous Parmesan cream sauce with fresh veggies all tossed around with the pasta and cheese right in the pan. YUM.

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It’s so delicious and easy to make and tastes¬†like Spring in a bowl!

Click here to view the full recipe post on the Kitchenthusiast blog and see step by step photos and instructions on how to make this delicious Spring pasta dish!

The Most Popular Posts of 2015 :: Happy New Year 2016!

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2015 Happy New Year

So here it is, the last day of the year 2015..oh how time flies, and so much has happened! I’m so thankful for all the wonderful opportunities that have come into my life¬†and the lessons learned along the way. ¬†Here are some of my¬†Top /¬†Most Popular posts from The Artful Gourmet blog this year — and wishing everyone a safe and Happy New Year 2016!

Neapolitan Pizza


The Secrets to Making Neapolitan Pizza like a Master Pizzaiolo –http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/08/11/neapolitan-pizza-making-with-the-pros/

Crab Salad

Refreshingly Light Get in My Bikini Salad –¬†http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/05/21/refreshingly-light-get-in-my-bikini-crab-salad/

Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff –¬†http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2011/11/02/classic-comfort-food-beef-stroganoff/

Homemade Rustic Pizzas

Homemade Rustic Pizzas: Chicken, Spinach, Garlic & Sundried Tomato Pizza & Pepperoni, Ham & Saut√©ed Veggies Pizza –¬†http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/10/02/homemade-rustic-pizzas-chicken-spinach-garlic-sundried-tomato-pizza-pepperoni-ham-sauteed-veggie-pizza/

holiday dinner menu

An Intimate Gathering Holiday Dinner Party Menu: http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2010/11/28/an-intimate-gathering-holiday-dinner-party-menu/

Chicken French & Lemon Broccolini

Rochester-Style Chicken French & Lemon Broccolini –¬†http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/03/17/rochester-style-chicken-french-lemon-broccolini/

Mario Lopez & Avocados from Mexico

Food Styling for Mario Lopez and Avocados from Mexico –¬†http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/12/17/food-styling-mario-lopez-avocados-mexico-nbc-live-bethenny-shows/

pasta fagioli soup

Big Pot O’Goodness: Pasta Fagioli –¬†http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2011/12/11/big-pot-o-goodness-pasta-fagioli/

Truffle-Pancetta-3Cheese-Pasta

Truffled 3-Cheese Pasta with Pancetta and Garlic –¬†http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2011/10/25/crazy-good-truffle-oil-pancetta-three-cheese-pasta/

BDTChowder

Black Dog Tavern’s Quahog Chowderhttp://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2011/09/24/a-taste-of-marthas-vineyard-the-black-dog-taverns-quahog-chowder/

Asparagus-Garlic-3-Cheese Tart

Baby Asparagus,¬†Garlic¬†&¬†Three Cheese Tart –¬†http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/11/24/asparagus-three-cheese-tart/

Spicy Cajun Chili
Spicy Cajun Chilihttp://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/11/09/spicy-cajun-chili/

Shrimp Scampi Pasta

Shrimp Scampi Pasta with Lemon Butter Sauce –¬†http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/05/13/shrimp-scampi-pasta/

Spinach Artichoke Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

Spinach Artichoke Pizza with Cauliflower Crusthttp://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/06/03/spinach-artichoke-ricotta-pizza-with-parmesan-garlic-cauliflower-crust/

Recipes Worth Sharing Cookbook

Recipes Worth Sharing: A Collection of Favorite Regional Recipes –¬†http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/03/21/recipes-worth-sharing-a-collection-of-favorite-regional-recipes/

Sun Noodle Ramen Lab

Top Ten {Things I Love} :: Spring 2013 –¬†http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/04/07/top-ten-things-i-love-spring-2013/

Southern Feast

A Dose of Southern Comfort & Down-Home Recipes – Part 1 –¬†http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/05/08/a-dose-of-southern-comfort-down-home-recipes-part-1/

spicy fish tacos and wine

Cool off with some Spicy Fish Tacos & Summer Wine Pairings –¬†http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/06/01/cool-off-with-some-spicy-fish-tacos-summer-wine-pairings/

Hope you enjoyed these posts and looking forward to sharing more fun stories with you in the New Year!

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