Mary’s G-o-o-o-d Stuff

I got this recipe from a recipe exchange that I belonged to in the late 2000s, but unfortunately I did not make a note of who submitted the recipe. If you know where this recipe came from, please let me know.

Servings: 6

2 Tbsp water
1 lb Italian sausage
1 onion, dices
4 cloves garlic, minced
15 oz can diced tomatoes
4 oz green chile, chopped
2 cups water
8 oz uncooked pasta (shells, rotini, penne, etc.)
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried thyme
½ tsp nutmeg
1 cup sour cream

  1. Heat 2 Tbsp water in a large skillet or Dutch oven.
  2. Add sausage, cover and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove cover and let water evaporate, browning sausage lightly. Drain off fat.
  3. Add onion & garlic and cook 5 minutes longer.
  4. Add tomatoes, chiles and water. Bring to a boil.
  5. Add pasta and spices. Return to a boil, turn heat to low.
  6. Cover and cook until pasta is al dente. Mixture should be loose, but not too soupy.
  7. Turn off heat and stir in sour cream.
  • I prefer “petite diced” tomatoes which are cut into appx ½” pieces. You could also use fresh or frozen tomatoes.
  • You can substitute 2 – 10 oz cans diced tomatoes with chilies for the canned tomatoes and the chiles.
  • You can substitute yogurt for the sour cream.

White Bean and Kale Soup

adapted from The Curvy Carrot

1-2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
3 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped (1-2 medium carrots)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups water
4 cups chicken broth
5-6 red potatoes, chopped (leave the skins on)
2 15-oz cans cannellini beans (white kidney beans), or 5 cups fresh cooked beans
One large bunch kale
1/2 lb spicy Italian sausage, browned (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Strip kale leaves from stems. Slice stems into ¼” pieces (like celery). Chop leaves coarsely.
  2. In a sauté pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil.
  3. Add the celery, carrots, onion and kale stems, and cook, until the onions are softened, about 4-5 minutes or so.
  4. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for another minute or so.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the water and the broth to a boil.
  6. Add the cooked vegetables and the potatoes to the boiling mixture.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for about 20-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through.
  7. Add the beans, kale leaves, (and sausage if desired) and cook, stirring frequently, until completely heated through and the kale is wilted, about 10-15 minutes.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • I left out the cream listed in the original recipe.
  • I used chicken broth instead of the vegetable broth in the original recipe, because that was what I had on hand – if you want it to be vegetarian, go with the vegetable broth.
  • The first time I made this, I added 1/2 lb spicy Italian sausage & left out the potatoes (I didn’t have any). The second time I left out the sausage and I thought it was still excellent, but my husband prefers it with the meat.
  • You can discard the kale stems if you prefer, but with a little extra cooking they taste great & I hate to waste them.
  • You can substitute Swiss chard or spinach for the kale.
  • You can substitute white / great northern beans for the cannellini beans.

Zuppa Toscana

based on Olive Garden’s
adapted from several recipe website posts,
my version has less meat and more veggies than most

pot of Zuppa Toscana
½ pound spicy Italian sausage – crumbled
¼ pound bacon – chopped
4 cups water
2 cans (14 oz) chicken broth
1 large bunch kale
4 large russet potatoes – cut in ½” cubes
2-4 garlic cloves – minced (I usually use 4)
1 medium onion – peeled, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup half & half (I use non-fat)
salt and pepper – to taste (I don’t usually add any – the spicy sausage adds enough)

Directions

  1. In a pot over medium-high heat, brown sausage, breaking into small pieces; drain, set aside.
  2. Brown bacon; drain, set aside.
  3. Strip kale leaves from stems. Slice stems into ¼” pieces (like celery). Chop leaves coarsely.
  4. Add water, broth, kale stems, potatoes, garlic, and onion to pot; simmer over medium heat until potatoes are tender.
  5. Add sausage and chopped kale leaves; simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Add half & half; season with salt and pepper if desired; heat through.
  7.  Sprinkle with bacon.
  • You can discard the kale stems if you prefer, but with a little extra cooking they taste great & I hate to waste them.
  • You can substitute Swiss chard, beet greens or spinach for the kale. Spinach will only need a few minutes cooking.

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