Mushroom Farro Soup


This recipe will help keep your new year’s resolutions to be healthy.  Full of vegetables and hearty farro, an ancient Italian grain full of vitamin B.  Vitamin B can improve cholesterol levels and lower cardiovascular risks, by boosting good HDL and lowering triglycerides.  Sounds pretty healthy to me.  If you want something that keeps you full and satisfied and amazingly tasty, keep this recipe in your back pocket.


Mushroom Farro Soup
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 c baby bella mushrooms, chopped
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs of thyme
1 large italian sausage, removed from casing
1 c farro, rinsed
1/2 c marsala wine
3 c beef broth

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onions, garlic, carrots, celery, salt and pepper to taste, bay leaf, and thyme and saute for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and sausage and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the farro and the 1/2 cup Marsala and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the beef broth, and bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer covered for 45 minutes, until the farro is tender.


Chicken Cacciatore


A month ago I went to an amazing spice shop in Chicago and found myself some real treasures.  One was some italian seasoning.  It’s the perfect blend of basil, oregano, parsley, garlic, and salt.  I’ve thrown it in sauce, but it made this chicken cacciatore out of this world.  So go to your local spice shop for your own blend and make this recipe tonight.  You will not be disappointed.


Chicken Cacciatore
8 chicken thighs
3 tbs italian seasoning
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs tomato paste
2/3 c red wine
2/3 c chicken broth
2/3 c water

Preheat a large dutch oven over medium high heat.  Coat the pot with just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan.  Season chicken thighs with 2 tbs italian seasoning.  Add chicken thighs in 2 batches to the pot.  Let brown on each side, but not cooked through, about 8 minutes.  Remove chicken thighs and set aside.  Add pepper, onion, mushrooms, garlic, and remaining 1 tbs of italian seasoning.  Cook until vegetables start to soften about 3 minutes.  Add tomato paste and stir to incorporate.  Add red wine while scrapping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pot then add chicken stock and water.  Place chicken back in pot, then cover and reduce heat to low.  Cook for 30 minutes, then serve.

Rigatoni with Butternut Squash and Turkey


I love to make pasta, it’s just so comforting.  Don’t you love asking what’s for dinner and hear “pasta”?  It makes me melt slightly on the inside.  Is that strange?  I like to think everyone feels the same way I do about pasta.  So every time I make a new pasta dish I just have to share it.  It would just be too selfish to keep this goodness to myself.  With that said, how does butternut squash and turkey sound?  It’s making your mouth water just a bit, isn’t it?

Food 069

Rigatoni with Butternut Squash and Turkey
6 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 lb butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 3/4-inch cubes
1 leek, chopped
6 sage leaves, chopped
2 tbs maple syrup
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
salt and pepper
1/2 lb ground turkey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 lb rigatoni pasta, cooked to package instructions reserving 1/2 c pasta water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Coat a large baking sheet with non-stick spray then add mushrooms, squash, leek, sage, maple syrup, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Add 2 tbs olive oil, toss everything to coat.  Roast for 20-25 minutes or until squash is tender.

In a large saute pan heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add turkey, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt to taste.  Once cooked through add roasted veggies, pasta, and reserved 1/2 c of pasta water.  Toss to combine then serve.