(Family Features) Warm weather means grilling season is back, but evenings spent around the grill are no longer just for hot dogs and burgers. This summer, impress family and friends with creative new recipes that put a spin on your traditional go-to meals.
To start, try bringing other cultural influences to the table. Get inspired by this Sweet Italian Sausage Polenta, starring flavor-packed Carando Sweet Italian Sausage and vinegar-laced peppers over soft, creamy polenta. Simple and satisfying, this recipe may just earn a permanent spot on your summer menu.
Whether you’re grilling for neighbors or gathering the family for a weeknight meal, the sausage is convenient, easy to prepare and can help turn any occasion into a memorable one. Made from 100% pork and loaded with traditional Italian herbs and spices, it pairs perfectly with this creamy polenta, as well as pizzas, sandwiches, kebabs and more.
Find more ways to put your own spin on summer grilling at Carando.com.
Sweet Italian Sausage Polenta
Total time: 35 minutes
- 1 package Carando Sweet Italian Sausage
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups dry polenta
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper, julienned
- 1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
- 1 medium yellow onion, julienned
- 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- Heat grill to medium-low. Grill sausages 15-20 minutes, using tongs to turn frequently; reserve.
- In heavy-bottomed pot, whisk stock and polenta; bring to boil. Cook, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes, or until thick and creamy.
- Remove polenta from heat and whisk in butter and cheese. Reserve until ready to serve.
- Heat pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, peppers, onions and garlic; and saute until vegetables soften and just begin to color.
- Deglaze pan with white wine and reduce by half. Add vinegar, honey and oregano; cook until reduced by half.
- Add sausages to pan to warm.
- When sausages are warm, place polenta on large platter then top with sausages, peppers and onions.
(Family Features) Whipping up family favorites all winter long is a perfect activity to keep loved ones warm in the kitchen while avoiding the bitter chill outdoors. Delicious, heartwarming snacks offer a simple and savory way to bring everyone in from the cold while enjoying comforting flavors together.
Lean on beloved ingredients like go-to RAGÚ sauces when it’s time to come together for quick bites. The possibilities are nearly endless with delicious recipes using classics like the RAGÚ Old World Style Traditional or RAGÚ Simply Traditional options.
Hearty flavors can take away the chill of winter in recipes like Snowman Pizza Bombs, Polenta Bites and Baked Tomato Goat Cheese Dip. Easy to make and fun to create together, these simple snacks are perfect for a cold afternoon spent together in the kitchen or watching a family-movie marathon.
Originally started by an Italian mother more than 80 years ago, RAGÚ sauce, known for its distinctive yellow cap, is the perfect have-on-hand pantry staple to help you create easy and delicious home cooking. As an invaluable resource and family favorite since 1937, RAGÚ sauces easily allow anyone, regardless of gender or culinary skillset, to “cook like a mother” and serve up delicious, homemade favorites. The brand’s rich heritage and array of sauce choices ensures that your next cold-weather day spent inside will be elevated with family-favorite snacks and easy and taste-tempting meals made with RAGÚ.
Find more recipes perfect for warming up this winter at Ragu.com.
Baked Tomato Goat Cheese Dip
Recipe courtesy of Marzia Aziz of "Little Spice Jar"
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 2 cups RAGÚ Simply Traditional Sauce
- 3 cloves garlic, divided
- 1/ 4 cup fresh basil, chopped, divided
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 log (10-10 1/2 ounces) goat cheese, softened at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus additional for brushing, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme
- kosher salt, divided
- 1 large baguette, sliced on bias
- blistered tomatoes, for serving (optional)
- Position one rack in upper third of oven and one in lower third. Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray small, round baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
- Add sauce to small bowl. Grate in two garlic cloves then add 1/8 cup basil and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine then pour sauce into baking dish.
- Smash goat cheese log into ball. Place ball between two sheets plastic wrap. Using hands, flatten cheese into thick, round disc about 1 inch smaller in diameter than baking dish. Remove goat cheese from plastic wrap and place in center of sauce. Drizzle cheese with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Sprinkle with fresh thyme, kosher salt and pepper. Bake on lower rack, uncovered, 20-25 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly and cheese is warmed through.
- Place baguette slices on baking sheet. Drizzle or brush with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake crostini on upper rack 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through. When bread is done, remove from oven, cut last garlic clove in half and rub cut side on bread.
- Top dip with remaining basil and blistered tomatoes, if desired, and serve with crostini.
Note: To make blistered tomatoes: Heat skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add 1 pint cherry tomatoes to dry skillet and let sit 1 minute. Lower heat to low, toss tomatoes with 2 teaspoons olive oil and cook 2-3 minutes, or until tomatoes are about to burst. Remove from heat; sprinkle with pinch of salt and pepper.
- 1 tube (18 ounces) polenta
- 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 jar (24 ounces) RAGÚ Chunky Tomato, Garlic and Onion Sauce
- 1 package (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella
- 2 sprigs, rosemary, destemmed and chopped
- 3 basil leaves, chopped
- 1 block (8 ounces) hard Parmesan cheese
- Cut polenta into slices. In skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat; fry polenta slices 10-12 minutes on each side until crispy and golden brown.
- In saucepan over medium heat, warm sauce.
- Place polenta slices on tray and sprinkle with mozzarella. Place 1/2 teaspoon warm sauce on each slice then sprinkle with chopped rosemary and basil. Grate hard Parmesan onto each slice for topping.
Snowman Pizza Bombs
- 1 tube (11.8 ounces) pizza dough
- 1 jar (24 ounces) RAGÚ Old World Style Traditional Sauce
- 1 package (6 ounces) pepperoni slices
- 1 package (6 ounces) Canadian bacon slices
- 1 package (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 package (8 ounces) mozzarella cheese slices
Decorative vegetables (optional):
- multicolored sweet peppers
- cherry tomatoes
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Cut pizza dough into 12 squares. On each square, place 1/2 teaspoon sauce and evenly top with pepperoni, Canadian bacon and cheddar cheese.
- Pinch corners of dough together to round into balls then place in muffin tins.
- In small bowl, mix melted butter, garlic powder and Italian seasoning; brush generously over dough balls.
- Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove from muffin tin and carefully shape dough balls into circles; place on baking sheet. Cover with mozzarella slices and bake until melted.
- Create snowman faces by decorating each with peppers, olives, spinach, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes, if desired. Use remaining sauce for dipping.
(Family Features) Make it easy to stick to your resolutions by starting every morning with a breakfast with more protein. Did you know the average breakfast bowl or plate contains on average only 13 grams of protein, yet some nutrition experts recommend getting 20-30 grams at each meal?
Spreading out your protein throughout the day (rather than in one large amount) can help optimize how your body uses it. That means getting enough protein at breakfast! A breakfast with enough protein can help you feel fuller longer so you’re more likely to stick to your healthy eating routine. One easy way to get eight grams of high-quality protein is to add milk to your breakfast routine – whether in a cup, bowl and in your favorite recipe, an 8-ounce glass of milk contains 8 grams of high-quality protein!
Here are eight delicious breakfast ideas with protein to kick-start your new year.
Make your oatmeal with milk instead of water to add milk’s high-quality protein to your morning meal. This twist also adds the classic combo of bacon and eggs to shake up your morning routine – serving up a total of 25 grams of protein.
Need a quick breakfast for busy mornings? These grab-and-go mini casseroles have a few simple ingredients, like lowfat milk, spinach and cheddar cheese – with a ton of palate payoff. Pair two mini casseroles with a cup of milk for 24 grams of protein.
Apple-Cinnamon Whole-Grain Pancake Muffins
Try this yummy twist on your morning go-to pancakes filled with delicious apple slices and cinnamon and made with 100% whole-grain pancake batter. Pair with an 8-ounce glass of milk to add an extra 8 grams of protein to the meal, for a total of 13 grams.
These savory crepes made with milk and filled with veggies and Swiss cheese for a delicious way to kick-start your day with 23 grams of protein.
Breakfast takes a flavorful twist in this recipe that uses traditional Italian flavors of polenta and marinara to create a delicious dish. Pair with a glass of milk for 25 grams of protein.
Lowfat milk and avocados make this smoothie extra creamy for 7 grams of protein per serving, and it’s packed with spinach, pineapple and bananas so it’s a choice you can feel good about.
Spice up your morning meal by adding quinoa and blueberries. Pair this dish with a glass of milk for 21 grams of protein power to start your day!
Sweet potatoes, lowfat milk and chicken sausage combine in this tasty egg scramble to give you a protein boost to start your morning right. Add a cup of milk for 22 grams of protein.
Source: Milk Life