Kamut with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked Kamut grain (see below)

1 bunch broccoli rabe (or other similar vegetable, with or without florets)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 Italian-style sausages
1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil
A few red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Salt
Grated Romano cheese

 

Instructions:

1. Trim vegetable as needed and chop the stems and leaves into one inch pieces. Keep florets whole.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep pan. Stir in the sausage and brown over medium-high heat, stirring often. Add 3/4 cup water, chopped tomatoes, cooked kamut, and crushed red pepper flakes. Spread the broccoli rabe on top, cover, and cook 5 to 10 minutes until it’s tender.  Add more water as needed.

3. Sprinkle on the vinegar and salt. Pass the cheese in a bowl at the table.

To Cook Kamut Berries:

* Soak Kamut berries overnight and cook, covered, at a simmer, two parts water to one part drained kernels, for about an hour; drain off any remaining water and let sit 15 minutes covered.

* Or, using three parts water to one part kernel, cook for two hours at a simmer; drain and let sit as above.

* Pressure cook 35 to 45 minutes.

Note: 1 cup of the raw berries will yield about 2 1/2 cups cooked.

Adapted from Lorna Sass, “Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way.”  www.LornaSass.com

Italian Wedding Soup

I had a fine soup at the anacortes hospital when I was waiting for the eye doctor about five years ago, back when they were actually making delicious nutritious lunches out of local food. It was “Italian Wedding Soup” and it involved orzo, sausage, and basil in a fine broth. I reinvented it at home and my grandson Ellery loved it.  This is what I made up:

Italian Wedding Soup (my recreation, for Ellery, of a soup I had in the Anacortes hospital cafeteria  Ellery loved it, saying “This kind of food makes me feel humble!”)

1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage (half of the package)
half a large sweet onion
fresh basil
chopped fresh greens–spinach or chard
3- 4 cups broth, preferably homemade (approximately–more or less as the pot fills with solids)
salt and pepper
cooked orzo (or linguini broken small)–maybe a cup or a cup and a half (cooked)
grated parmesan or romano cheese

Make the sausage (preferably island grown lamb sausage) into very little balls or lumps–1/2 – 3/4 inch pieces. Brown them in a sturdy soup pot with the onions in a little olive oil. Meanwhile, boil the pasta. Add broth to kettle; when it starts to simmer, put in the chopped greens and cook just a minute or two. Season with salt and pepper. Sometimes a dash of balsamic vinegar is nice, but go easy on it. At the very end throw in the chopped fresh basil and the cooked pasta. Serve in wide bowls with a generous blob of freshly grated cheese.
This should serve three, I think.

-Eleanor

TRANSYLVANIAN SAUSAGE SOUP

Sausage, cabbage, potatoes, onions, broth, cream, herbs.

In a heavy soup pot, cook some Island Sausage–lamb or pork, sweet Italian or hot, links or bulk, or Lopez chorizo. When it’s nicely browned, lift it into a bowl to wait while you cook other things in the grease.

Next chop up a big onion and slowly cook it in the grease; add butter or oil if there isn’t enough fat. Cook till transparent and lightly browned–but don’t scorch. Add chopped up green cabbage. Stir, cover, and cook on low just until the cabbage is soft. Cut up half a dozen or more red or yukon gold potatoes into cubes and dump them in the pot.

(No reason you couldn’t chop up things like kale or carrots or turnips or parsnips or leeks too if you have ‘em.) The original was made with largish chunks of vegetables–not dainty bits. Do what you prefer.

Pour in some broth (you can use chicken soup base with water if you don’t have any homemade stock). Add herbs–prob’ly things like parsley, basil, thyme, bay leaf, and plenty of garlic and some pepper which make it seem “Transylvanian.” Simmer a few minutes till the potatoes are cooked but not mushy.

Put the sausage into the soup. If you used “hot” sausage, the soup will come out mildly spicy; if you like spicy, you can add pepper flakes or a chopped hot red pepper (nobody knows if Transylvania is known for heat, but who cares); if you don’t do spicy but like a touch of color, paprika might be nice. Check for salt; sausage is salty so you might not need very much. Simmer just a little more, adding more broth if needed–not too much because cream comes next.

At the end add plenty of half and half or heavy cream. Heat but don’t boil. Freshly chopped parsley is pretty on top.

Serve with crusty bread or toast and plenty of butter–homemade cultured butter made with Twin Brook cream is excellent.

by Phil Harper, Seattle 1999, interpreted  by Eleanor Hartmann

Penne with Sausage, Cannellini Beans, and Kale

Yield: 4 servings

This is a quick, filling, colorful dish for an easy mid-day supper.

8 ounces Uncooked whole wheat penne
½ cup Oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 1/2 cups Chopped onion
8 ounces Italian sausage, mild or hot as you prefer, removed from casing
6 cloves Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon Crushed red pepper
1 ½ cup Chicken broth
1 (15-ounce) can Diced tomatoes, drained
1 large bunch Fresh kale, leaves removed from stems and sliced into ribbons
1 (15-ounce) can Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained or equivalent home-cooked
1/3 cup Shredded mozzarella
1 ounce Shaved fresh Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup)
Zest strips from one lemon (optional)

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid; keep warm.

2. Drain sun-dried tomatoes in a small sieve over a bowl, reserving the oil; slice tomatoes.

3. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sun-dried tomato oil and heat. When oil is hot, add the onion and cook until it softens, approximately 3 minutes. Add half of the sun-dried tomatoes and the sausage, breaking into small pieces. Cook 10 minutes or until sausage is browned, stirring to crumble.

4. Add garlic and cook until it releases its fragrance, about 1 minute. Add Italian seasoning, red pepper, chicken broth, and diced tomatoes. Stir in kale; cover and simmer 5 minutes or until kale is tender.

5. Stir in pasta, half of the reserved pasta cooking liquid as needed, remaining sun-dried tomatoes, beans and mozzarella. Heat through until mixture is thoroughly warmed, adding the remaining pasta cooking liquid as needed. To serve, top with shaved Parmesan and lemon zest.

Source: Adapted by Steph from Cooking Light, November 2007