Pasta with Sausage, Kale and White Beans

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America’s Test Kitchen 

INGREDIENTS 

Servings: 4
Start to finish: 1 hour
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 onion, chopped fine
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
8 ounces (2 1/4 cups) orecchiette
12 ounces kale, stemmed and chopped
1 ounce Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (1/2 cup), plus extra for serving
Salt and pepper

 

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DIRECTIONS

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add sausage and cook, breaking meat into 1/2-inch pieces, until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in onion and beans and cook until onion is softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic, oregano, fennel seeds, and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in broth and water, increase heat to high, and bring to boil. Stir in pasta and half of kale. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer vigorously for 4 minutes. Place remaining kale in pot without stirring, cover, and cook until kale is just tender, about 4 minutes. Stir to incorporate kale and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid is absorbed and pasta is tender, 3 to 6 minutes.

Off heat, stir in Pecorino and remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste; serve, passing extra Pecorino separately.

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Nico Heirloom Kitchen

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Downtown Gilbert is continuing to add to its long row of restaurants that face Gilbert Rd. Chef Gio Osso’s Nico Heirloom Kitchen is one of the newest additions this year. It brings a modern twist on Italian fare for the casual crowd. Gio named this restaurant after his son Nico. His other restaurant Virtù has made all types of headlines here in the Valley. Nico has an open patio and beautiful decor that hangs on its brick walls. They roll their own pasta daily and have a nice selection of signature drinks to choose from. We had a large party of friends that came here to celebrate my buddy’s bday. My one buddy ordered the Virtù Octopus and allowed me to sample it. I’ve only tried octopus once and it was very chewy. I was surprised how flavorful and not-so-chewy Nico’s was. I was feeling pasta and ordered the Rigatoni. It had a delicious bold red wine pork sauce that was nicely balanced. I really enjoyed it. This was overall a great experience for myself and my friends. I expect good things from Gio Osso in the future as he contributes to the Valley’s ever-growing foodie culture.

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Virtu Octopus

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Chistorra & Eggs

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Rigatoni

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Nico Heirloom Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Patsy D’Amore’s Pizza

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Patsy D’Amore was the first to bring pizza to L.A. at the Casa D’Amore restaurant in 1938 after making pizzas in New York and Boston. Patsy moved his oven from the outpost he had on Catalina Island to Los Angeles and opened up the first pizza stand at the Original Farmers Market in 1949. His famous Villa Capri restaurant was a regular hangout of the Rat Pack in the 50’s. His daughter now keeps the family legacy going with this location at the Farmers Market. They make New York style pizzas and the lasagna and calzones are made up fresh daily. Amore means “heart” in Spanish and these guys love to say they make their pizza from the heart. In typical New York fashion, I grabbed a slice to go after a full day of sampling at the Market. The pizza wasn’t bad. Not much different from what you grab to go on some corner in Manhattan. I think what the draw for me was their long history with Hollywood. I’ll give their full menu a shot another day.

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Patsy D'Amore's Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pizza Muffins

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Pepperoni Pizza Muffins

Having lived by Florindino Pizza & Pasta for many years, I eat their famous pizza muffins quite often. My kids love them! This family-friendly neighborhood Italian pizza and pasta restaurant offers classics like chicken parmigiana, lasagna, and antipasto salads. But they are known for their large calzones and pizza muffins. The calzones can be stuff with your ingredients of choice: pepperoni, ham, salami, bacon, broccoli, black olives, pineapple, jalapenos, and ricotta. The pizza muffins are freshly baked and stuffed with your choice of pepperoni, ham, sausage, and fresh mozzarella cheese. I love coming here and love the great friendly service they offer.

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Traditional Pizza

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Floridino’s Bread Sticks with Cheese

Floridino's Pizza & Pasta Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Old Spaghetti Factory

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I grew up going to the Old Spaghetti Factory here in the Valley. I went to school in Tempe and we dined at the old location (now closed) on Mill Ave quite often. The Dussin family opened the first Spaghetti Factory in Oregon in 1969. It’s a family friendly environment with decor that includes antique lighting, stained glass displays and an old-fashioned trolley car (that you can eat in). One of things they love to boast is that they serve a complete meal that includes bread, soup or salad, and dessert with your entrée. My family came to the Chandler location to celebrate my son’s bday and we had a good time. I really enjoyed the Minestrone Soup and Toasted Ravioli (one of my favorites), but found the pasta a little bland. But being a local favorite, I will for sure come again for the family experience.

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Minestrone Soup

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Toasted Cheese Ravioli

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Chicken Parmigiana

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Spumoni Ice Cream

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The Old Spaghetti Factory Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Floridino’s Pizza & Pasta

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Pepperoni Pizza Muffins

Best lunch specials in Chandler – I love this place! This has been a favorite stop for Chandler locals for some time. The calzones are huge and pizza is good! But the must-have is always the pizza muffins. They are amazing! I recommended a friend try them and she quoted “Pizza Muffins have changed my life!” Floridino’s has nightly specials in addition to their lunch and happy hour specials. Family nights are a great deal!

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Sausage & Olive Calzone

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Sicilian Sundae

From their website:

All too often Arizonans discuss their favorite restaurants from “back home” or what they are looking for in an eatery and can’t find in the Phoenix Valley. Floridino’s took the requests to heart and in 1996 we opened our doors with the promise to embrace family-oriented, full-service, true Italian restaurant food in Chandler.

Our menu boasts of oven-baked sandwiches, heaping salads, mouth-watering pizzas, generous portions of pasta and calzones stuffed to the brim. While that is enough incentive to give us a try, a meal at Floridino’s is hardly complete without our renowned pizza muffins or a Sicilian sundae.

2005 brought about Floridino’s unbeatable lunch specials. Starting at $4.75, the goal was to provide a full meal in a timely manner to area working people. The demand was so great, we opened a Chandler banquet facility that can seat up to 60.

Floridino’s is your local Italian restaurant that remains loyal to the community. As always, we support and enjoy giving back to community in the form of food, money and volunteer donations as well as gift certificates for raffles and the utilization of our establishment to house fundraisers.

Floridino's Pizza & Pasta Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Liberty Market

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Liberty Market is becoming one of my favorite spots. I came here for the first time earlier this year and also for my bday free meal. I love my friend Brittany because she is a big foodie. That girl posts some of the most amazing pictures of vegetarian food. I just had to take her to Liberty Market. I went for the evening special – the Red Wine Marinara Gnocchi. Brittany did the Thai salad. But tonight wasn’t about the food, it was about that big fat piece of Red Velvet cake sitting in the window. I was all about the dessert tonight. Fun night out!

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From their website:

Liberty Market is an award winning restaurant in a  historic corner building of Old Town Gilbert, Arizona. Join us for breakfast, lunch or dinner and enjoy  our locally focused cuisine, hand crafted espresso & craft beverages

Liberty Market Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wild Mushroom Risotto with Peas

Ingredients

  • 8 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/2-ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped onions
  • 10 ounces white mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or short-grain white rice
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, optional

Directions

Bring the broth to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan. Add the porcini mushrooms. Set aside until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Keep the broth warm over very low heat.

Melt the butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the white mushrooms and garlic. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the porcini mushrooms to a cutting board. Finely chop the mushrooms and add to the saucepan. Saute until the mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and let it toast for a few minutes. Add the wine; cook until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of hot broth; simmer over medium-low heat until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook until the rice is just tender and the mixture is creamy, adding more broth by cupfuls and stirring often, about 28 minutes (the rice will absorb 6 to 8 cups of broth). Stir in the peas. Mix in the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

* – recipe by Giada De Laurentiis

Orzo with Sausage & Vegetables

2 links sausage, casing removed and cut up
1/4 pound fresh asparagus (6 or 7 medium spears)
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 ounces orzo (1/3 cup)

Remove sausage casing and crumble sausage. Trim asparagus and cut into 1-inch pieces. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high. Add sausage and green onion; saute 2 minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to boil. Add orzo. Cook for 6 minutes, stirring often. Add asparagus and cook until orzo is al dente and asparagus is tender, another 2 to 3 minutes.

* – I used zucchini and eggplant in place of the asparagus and spinach & feta chicken sausages. Recipe from azcentral.com