Friday, February 19, 2010

Zuppa Tuscana...

This is not a great pic but use your imagination and pretend there is tons of natural light pouring in, making this look as glorious as it actually was.
I found the most amazing recipe for Zuppa Tuscana- just like Olive Gardens. We rarely eat there but when we do that is what I get. Every time. Cause it is the bomb. Ok, but for real, this recipe looks and tastes exactly like it. I made a few adjustments to the recipe and you reeeeally need to try it. I also made breadsticks (cause if we're going Olive Garden style, you have to) and they were fab. I made ours gluten free (cause that's how we roll) but feel free to make whatever kind you want. Slather them in lots of melted butter and olive oil and garlic salt...Mmmmm.
Add a glass of red wine and it sounds like a perfect meal to me!
Just thought I'd share... Cause I'm a giver like that.
Zuppa Tuscana
1 lb ground Italian sausage
1½ tsp crushed red peppers
1 large diced white onion
4 Tbsp bacon pieces
3 minced garlic cloves
10 cups water
5 cubes of chicken bouillon
(Instead of water and bouillon, I opted for a healthier, 6c. homemade chicken stock plus 4c. water)
1 cup heavy cream
1 lb sliced Russet potatoes, or about 3 large potatoes
¼ of a bunch of kale
salt to taste

1. Sauté Italian sausage and crushed red pepper in a large pot. Drain excess fat, refrigerate while you prepare other ingredients.
2. In the same pan, sauté bacon, onions and garlic over low-medium heat for approximately 15 mins. or until the onions are soft.
3. Add chicken bouillon and water to the pot and heat until it starts to boil.
4. Add the sliced potatoes and cook until soft, about half an hour.
5. Add the heavy cream and just cook until thoroughly heated.
6. Stir in the sausage, kale and salt. Let all heat through and serve.
Grate a little fresh Parmesan on top...Delicious!
Gluten free breadsticks
1-1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1-1/2 cups white (or brown) rice flour
1 cup tapioca starch
2 tablespoon nonfat dry milk powder (I was out and just omitted this)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon of dried herbes de Provence (I opted out of herbs in mine)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
Nonstick spray for greasing baking sheet
Olive oil or melted butter for brushing on breadsticks
sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a mixing bowl with the hook attachment, combine rice flour, tapioca starch, dry milk powder, xanthan gum, gelatin powder, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and herbes de Provence. Mix on low speed to blend.
2. Put yeast in 1 cup warm water and add sugar. Let sit for a couple of minutes until it begins to foam - you'll then know the yeast has proofed. Add to dry ingredients with olive oil and vinegar. Increase speed to high, and beat 6 minutes. The dough will stay very soft and should not pull off sides of bowl; if necessary, add water 1 tablespoon at a time until dough does not resist beaters. Liberally spray or oil a baking sheet, and set aside. Scoop the dough into a zip lock bag and cut one corner off to make a hole about and inch and a half around, pipe 12-18 breadsticks leaving about 2 inches in between. Spray or brush tops of breadsticks liberally with oil, and salt generously.
3. Bake breadsticks 10 minutes, turn and spray or brush again with oil. Continue to bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes more.
Serve warm.
I put half of the breadsticks into a ziplock and threw them in the freezer. That way next time we have spagetti or something that needs these delicious sticks, we can just pull em out, heat em up and have fresh hot breadsticks with dinner. I also went ahead and poured half of the soup into a few large jars and put them in the freezer as well so that sometime in the next few weeks when I don't feel like cooking we can just pull em out and have hot, homemade soup.
Easy as pie.
Or frozen soup.


Erica said...

Your amazing. I'm going to try these and I'm even thinking of trying the gluten free breadsticks. I'll keep ya posted.

Shadley said...

My favorite part of this recipe is the part that says "I opted for a healthier homemade chicken stock and water" and then the next ingredient is a cup of heavy cream! haha! nice.

but seriously this sounds good! do you know how to make the pasta fagioli cuz i love that one too!

jamullins said...

Looks delicious!
I read your last post about doing the readoption yourself and we are VERY interested in knowing how to do it! Can you email me or give me yours? My email is on my blog. Thanks!

Eric and Tara said...

Bahaahaa, Shadley! A good point indeed... I mostly just meant that I don't want the chemicals and crap that is in bouillon. But I TOTALLY want the fatty, heavy cream. Chemicals gross. Fat awesome. :)

Heidi K. said...

Made them both tonight (I opted for the healthier but still fatty ingredients too). My husband ate 5 or 6 bowls of the zuppa tuscana (so we only have enough left overs for a small lunch :). my boys gobbled the gluten free breadsticks up!! Thanks for the awesome recipes!!

Gina said...

You don't even know how much I love you for posting that soup recipe! It's my favorite thing at Olive Garden, and I love me some Olive Garden. Ty and I have been talking about trying to replicate the recipe for ages, but we didn't ever get around to it. You rock so hard I should start caling you Granite. It's not fair that one person can be comprised of so much awesome AND be all hot n' stuff, too.

Shadley said...

no I get it :) I just like irony a lot.