Butternut and Sausage Minestrone
- 1/2 cup diced onions
- 1 ea red bell pepper diced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup butternut squash diced
- 1 teaspoon dried basil or Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 lb bulk Italian sausage (Schimeca’s)
- 1-1/2 cups diced zucchini
- 1 can (16 ounces) Cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup cornstarch, made into a slurry
- 1 cup uncooked ditalini
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- In a soup pot, sauté the onions, and peppers in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the stock, tomatoes, and butternut squash, basil, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- In a large skillet, cook Italian Sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir into soup along with the zucchini, and beans. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Thicken with cornstarch slurry to desired consistency. Top each serving with cheese and Ditalini pasta if desired.
Caramel Apple Crostata
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 lb cold unsalted butter, diced
- ½ cup ice-cold water
- 4 Granny Smith or Fuji apples peeled, sliced
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- ½ cup caramel sauce
- ¼ cup cornstarch
1. In a in a food processor, combine flour, sugar, salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add ice water, and mix just until it comes together. Form into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the apples with white sugar, ,caramel sauce, and cornstarch. Toss well.
3. Remove dough from refrigerator. Flour work bench and roll out larger piece of dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Dough will be very fragile, so keep it cold and work quickly but carefully. Transfer carefully to a parchment lined sheet pan. Patch any holes carefully to be sure the base is solid.
4. Fill tart shell with fruit mixture, about 2½ cups of fruit. Beat 1 egg with water and brush over exposed edge of crust. Sprinkle with sugar.
5. Bake on the center rack position in preheated 375°F oven 40-45 minutes until juices are bubbly and crust is golden-brown. Cool to room temperature, and serve with vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream.
- 1 cup pecan halves
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water1 cup fry oil
1. For the pecans, combine sugar and water in a sauce pot and bring to a boil. Add pecans and cook for 5 minutes.
2. Drain for 10 minutes, while preheating a small pan of frying oil to 325 degrees. Add pecans to fry oil and cook for 3-5 minutes till amber in color.
3. Drain on parchment paper and sprinkle a little kosher salt to season. Use to garnish crostata as desired.
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