Conchiglie con Salsiccia di Pollo

Coarsely-ground pastured chicken, spinach, sweet onions, garlic and yellow tomatoes tossed with conchiglie pasta, cream, saffron, Grana Padano and fresh herbs..

Conchiglie con Salsiccia di Pollo

Serves 2

10-12 oz chicken meat (I use thigh meat), coarsely ground with 1 1/2 cups fresh spinach
2 tablespoons rendered chicken fat, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped
2 sweet bulb onions, sliced
2 fresh yellow cluster tomatoes, cored and choped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz spelt conchiglie
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in water
1/3 cup fresh cream
1/3 cup grated Grana Padano
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
fresh lemon

Grind chicken meat with fresh spinach and stir in 1 tablespoon cold rendered chicken fat.  Heat the other tablespoon of chicken fat in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Pinch off pieces of chicken sausage and sauté until lightly browned and crispy on the outside.  Add garlic, tomatoes, onions and herbs and sauté, stirring continuously until the tomatoes release their moisture, about 2 minutes.  Season to taste with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta al denté in 1 1/2 quarts salted boiling water, about 8 minutes.  Drain, then return to burner over medium-low heat.  Stir in cream and saffron, then slowly stir in grated cheese until sauce is thick and creamy.

Toss sausage mixture with pasta and sauce, brighten with a squeeze of lemon and serve immediately.

New High-Protein Basil Discovered

On my patio, that is..

High-Protein Basil (click to enlarge)

High-Protein Basil (click to enlarge)

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Grilled Cheese Soup

Simmering vegetable stock, sourdough croûtons, fresh basil, scallions, Roma tomatoes and raw cheeses..

Grilled Cheese Soup

Grilled Cheese Soup

This recipe is a riff on The Moosewood Collective’s Italian Bread & Cheese Soup

For the stock

Roast such vegetables as you have available.  At a minimum, try to include celery, onions, carrots, tomatoes and garlic.  Parsley root and celery root add extra flavor.

Place roasted vegetables into a clean pot and fill with cold, filtered water.  Bring to a rapid boil, then reduce heat and simmer until reduced in volume by 1/3 or more, about 2 hours.  Add a teaspoon each of turmeric and paprika for color if you like. Strain and keep hot.

Tear wild yeast sourdough into irregular pieces and sauté in pastured butter until crisp and golden brown.  Place in the center of a deep dinner plate.

Add diced Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced scallions, Italian parsley and fresh basil.

Add shredded cheeses.  I’m using raw cheddar and Grana Padano.

Pour hot vegetable stock over the top and garnish with additional minced herbs.  Season with a little coarse seal salt and freshly-ground black pepper.

Thai Green Curry Halibut

Wild Alaskan Halibut simmered in coconut milk with nutmeg, cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom and cloves and fiery homemade green curry paste, cilantro, basil and toasted coconut..


Separate 1 large BPA-free can of heavy coconut into milk and cream and set aside.

Cut fresh or fresh-frozen wild Alaskan halibut into 1 inch cubes and refrigerate. You’ll need about 6 ounces per person.

In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, pulse soy sauce, fish sauce, dried shrimp, fresh garlic, green chilies, galangal, lime leaves, lemon grass, coriander and cumin seeds with just enough coconut milk to keep the blade from seizing up.  The result should be a thick but soft paste.  Set aside.

Prepare Thai red rice according to package directions.  Keep hot.

Meanwhile, poach the halibut in the remaining coconut milk with nutmeg, cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom and cloves.  We want it a little underdone for now.

Fry the curry paste in hot oil for 2 minutes, stirring continuously.  Reduce heat to low and add the poaching liquid.  Whisk in reserved coconut cream then add the halibut and simmer until the fish is snow white and flakes easily when pressed with a fork.

Make a ring of rice in the center of the plate, then spoon halibut and curry into the middle.  Garnish with toasted coconut flakes, fresh basil and chili oil.

This post is part of the Clean Your Plate Challenge at The Nourished Kitchen

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Heirloom Tomato Basil Sauce

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Is there anything better (or easier) than tomato sauce made from the freshest ingredients?  Not only delicious, fresh cooked tomatoes are are loaded with lycopene and vitamins A and C.


Start by peeling and seeding the tomatoes; bring a pot of filtered water to a boil, then turn it off and carefully blanch the tomatoes until the skins peel away, about 10-20 seconds.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer the tomatoes into a bowl and allow to cool slightly.

Cut tomatoes in half and gently squeeze out the seeds.  Diced the tomatoes and set aside.  The skins and seeds can be saved for the stockpot.

Dice onions and sauté in olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes.  Moisten the onions with a few drops of balsamic vinegar and/or an ounce or 2 of red wine.

Add garlic and tomatoes and cook, stirring often, until most of the moisture has evaporated, about 20-30 minutes.

Add chopped fresh basil and oregano and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Use immediately, or allow to cool to room temperature before transferring to refrigerator or freezer.

Click on the closeup of the basil in the picture below and see if you can spot the perfectly camouflaged critter hiding in the leaves..

This post is part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays

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