Caprese Panini

This fresh panini is classic and always satisfying – a great option for lunch or a light dinner.

INGREDIENTS

  • Fresh sliced country bread
  • Pesto sauce
  • Sliced tomatoes (about 1/4″ thick)
  • Sliced fresh mozzarella (grated mozzarella also works)
  • Balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • Olive oil

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • First, either spray or brush the outside of two slices of bread with olive oil
  • Flip the bread over and spread pesto sauce along the inside of the two slices of bread (optional: lightly drizzle balsamic vinegar on one side)
  • Next, place a layer of of sliced tomatoes
  • Top the tomatoes with mozzarella cheese
  • Place the other piece of bread on top of your sandwich and place it in a sandwich press or grill both sides of it in a frying pan over medium heat
  • When the cheese has melted and the outside of the bread is golden brown, your sandwich is ready!

Day Old Bread

Not sure what to do with that bread from last night?  Turn it into something tasty in less than 10 minutes.

INGREDIENTS

  • Day old bread
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Chopped garlic in oil or garlic puree (comes in a jar)
  • Parmesan cheese

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Cut the remainder of your loaf in half horizontally
  • Brush or spray the bread with olive oil
  • Spread the garlic on top of the oil
  • Drizzle the bread with balsamic vinegar (you don’t want to use too much because it will just make it soggy)
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese
  • Put it in the toaster oven for 5-7 minutes

Sausage and Peppers Balsamico

What you need to know to create this sweet and tangy pasta dish…

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. 1/2 of your favorite sausage (I typically buy 90% lean, 3/4 lb. sweet and 3/4 lb. spicy)
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 1 large vidalia onion
  • 1 lb pasta (any shape you desire – campanelle and penne work well)
  • 3 cups balsamic vinegar
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • Cornstarch (or flour)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp Sugar

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Fill a pot with salted water and bring the water to a boil
  • Spray a large saute or non-stick frying pan with cooking spray or coat it with 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • Remove the sausage from its casing and add it to the hot frying pan – make sure you break it up into small pieces with a spatula (or else you’ll end up with large chunks of sausage)
  • Add the chopped onions to the browned sausage and add an additional tbsp of olive oil
  • Cook the sausage and onions until the onions become translucent, then add in all of the chopped peppers and 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • Add in the last tbsp of olive oil and enough balsamic vinegar to cover all of the ingredients in the pan (approximately 3 cups) – this will become your sauce, so you want a lot of it
  • Add 1 tsp of salt (or more to taste) and 1 tbsp of sugar
  • Bring the balsamic sauce with all of the ingredients in it to a boil  – you’re going to cook this for about 10 minutes or until the peppers are tender – be careful not to overcook the peppers, you want to keep them a bit firm (if you want to speed up the process, cover the pan with a lid)
  • While these ingredients are cooking, pour your pasta into the boiling water – it should be done right around the time your peppers are cooked.  Once the pasta is cooked, strain it and put it aside to combine with the sauce later
  • When the peppers are cooked, sprinkle the cornstarch or flour 1 tbsp at a time over your sausage and pepper mixture – be sure to add it slowly because the sauce will thicken quickly (I typically add around 3 tbsp of cornstarch, which is the equivalent to 6 tbsp of flour)
  • Once you’ve reached your desired sauce consistency add it to your cooked pasta and stir together
  • Enjoy!