Creamy Fennel and Potato Soup
(I halved the recipe since my little family cannot eat 8 servings of soup!)
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups coarsely chopped cored fresh fennel bulbs (from about 2 lg)
1 medium onion, chopped
4 ounces potatoes, peeled, diced
2 cups (or more) canned low-salt chicken broth
1 tsp (or more) fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, finely crushed
1/4 tsp dried tarragon
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add fennel bulbs, onions, and potatoes; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute until slightly softened, about 8 minutes. Add chicken broth and lemon juice; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly.
Meanwhile, bring cream fennel seeds, and tarragon to boil in heavy small saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 20 minutes so that flavors blend.
Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to same pot. Stir in cream mixture. Simmer until flavors blend, thinning with more broth if desired, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and more lemon juice, if desired.
(This can be made 1 day ahead: Prepare soup, cool slightly. Chill until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm over medium heat, stirring occasionally.)
Cheesy Baked Tortellini
Giada De Laurentiis
2 cups marinara sauce (I love Prego)
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 lb purchased cheese tortellini
2 oz thinly sliced smoked mozzarella
1/4 cup parmesan
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil an 8x8 inch baking dish.
Whisk the sauce, mascarpone cheese, parsley and thyme in a large bowl to blend. Cook the tortellini in a large pot of boiling, salted water until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain. Add the tortellini to the sauce and toss to coat. Transfer the tortellini mixture to the prepared baking dish. Top the mixture with the smoked mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and bake until the sauce bubbles and the cheeses on top melt, about 30 minutes.
Make-Ahead Breakfast Casserole
Cooking Light magazine, May 2007
(makes 6, 1-cup servings)
8 oz ciabatta bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 lb turkey breakfast sausage
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 1/4 cups milk
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 large eggs
1 (8-oz) carton egg substitute
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 400. Arrange bread cubes in a sinle layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 8 minutes, or until toasted.
Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray and brown sausage, stirring to crumble. Combine sausage, bread, and onions in large bowl. Combine milk, cheese, eggs, and egg substitute in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add milk mixture to bread mixture, tossing to coat bread. Spoon into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours, or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350. Uncover casserole. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.