Italian Night!

Zuppa Toscana    
Units: US | Metric
1 lb Italian sausage (I like mild sausage)
2 large russet baking potatoes, sliced in half, and then in 1/4 inch slices
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup bacon bit (optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups kale or 2 cups swiss chard, chopped
2 (8 ounce) cans chicken broth
1 quart water
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1. Chop or slice uncooked sausage into small pieces.
2. Brown sausage in your soup pot.
3. Add chicken broth and water to pot and stir.
4. Place onions, potatoes, and garlic in pot.
5. Cook on medium heat until potatoes are done.
6. Add sausage and bacon.
7. Salt and pepper to taste.
8. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
9. Turn to low heat.
10. Add kale and cream.
11. Heat through and serve.

Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread
Yields 1 loaf
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/3 cups barely warm water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 cups all purpose (or bread) flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yeast and water. Let sit 5 minutes until yeast is foamy. Mix in the olive oil, salt, and flour. If you have a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and knead the dough for 5-6 minutes, or until elastic. If you are doing this by hand, knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until dough is elastic, 7-10 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until dough is doubled in size.
In a small bowl, combine melted butter, parsley flakes, and minced garlic. Set aside.
Punch down the dough. Tear off small pieces of dough (roughly the size of the bowl of a medium spoon), coat in the butter mixture, and place in the bottom of a bundt pan. Repeat this process until you have one layer of dough balls. Sprinkle on 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese. Continue layering the dough balls and cheese until you have 3 layers. Cover the pan with a clean towel and allow to sit until dough has doubled in size, 20-30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until bread is golden brown. Serve hot with a side of marinara or tomato sauce.

Cheater Tiramisu
1 (12 oz) box vanilla wafers
1 (8 oz) container whipped cream
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese
2 cups water
8 teaspoons Pero or instant coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla

1: Heat water in saucepan until nearly boiling. Add Pero. The more you add, the stronger the flavor, so how much you add is up to you. Remove from heat. Set aside 1/2 cup of the mixed Pero for use in the cream.
2: In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, whipped cream vanilla, and 1/2 cup of mixed Pero with an electric mixer until smooth.
3: Line a bread pan with plastic wrap. Dip vanilla wafers into the cooled, but still warm Pero from the saucepan. You want them to be covered, but not too soggy. Lay in the bottom of the lined bread pan until there is a thin layer that covers the bottom. Spread a layer of cream over the wafers. Repeat the alternating layers until you reach the top of the pan, ending with a layer of cream. Smooth with a spoon and sprinkle with a little Pero or cocoa powder. Chill for at least 3 hours.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. milesapartheartstogether
    Sep 20, 2012 @ 02:14:16

    We absolutely loved everything about this meal!!! Everything was so good, and I was told the soup tasted just like Olive Garden’s! We only had half a bowl left over. SOOO Good! I’m not sure I did the bread right, but it still turned out pretty tasty. And the tiramisu was super delicious 🙂 5 stars. *Amanda*


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