Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

1  pound orecchiette (or some other short/small pasta)
1  tablespoon olive oil
1  pound sweet OPK Mild Italian sausage, casings removed
2  cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2  cups chicken broth
1/8  teaspoon red pepper flakes
1  head broccoli rabe, ends trimmed
4  tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2  cups finely grated Parmesan
1/4  teaspoon kosher salt
1/4  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the sausage and cook, crumbling it with a spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the broth and red pepper and bring to a boil. Then add the broccoli rabe, cover, and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the butter and Parmesan and cook, uncovered, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the drained pasta, season with the salt and black pepper, and toss to combine.

Tip: Broccoli rabe, a leafy distant cousin of broccoli, has a bitter flavor and smaller florets. For a milder alternative, substitute broccoli. For a more peppery bite, try arugula, Swiss chard, or beet greens.

Yield:  Makes 4 servings

Cannellini Bean and Sausage Gratin

3  tablespoons olive oil
4  sweet OPK Italian sausages (about 1 pound), casings removed
1  small bulb fennel, chopped
1  small onion, chopped (½ cup)
5  cloves garlic, minced
2  tablespoons chopped sage
1/2  cup chicken broth
2  15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained
1/2  teaspoon kosher salt
1/2  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2  cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/3  cup grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly coat an 8-by-10-inch baking or gratin dish with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, crumble the sausages and cook, breaking up, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the sausage from skillet and set aside. Add the fennel and onion to skillet and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sage and cook 1 minute more. Add the Swiss chard, a handful at a time, stirring until slightly wilted. Stir in the broth, beans, sausage, salt, and pepper. Spoon the mixture into the baking dish and set aside. In a small bowl, stir together the bread crumbs and Parmesan with the remaining olive oil. Sprinkle the bread-crumb mixture on top and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Serve warm.

Yield:  Makes 4 to 6 servings

Lentil Stew with Sausage and Potatoes

3 OPK Mild Italian sausages
4  tablespoons olive oil
4  large garlic cloves, minced
1  teaspoon curry powder
4  cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1  bay leaf
2  cups brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
10  small, red-skinned potatoes, quartered
1  small bunch arugula or watercress leaves
1  tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2  cup crumbled feta cheese

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and curry powder and cook, stirring, until garlic is fragrant. Add broth, bay leaf, and lentils and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes. Add potatoes, cover, and cook until potatoes and lentils are tender but not mushy, about 10 to 15 minutes longer.
While lentils are cooking; place Sausage in a large nonstick skillet, over medium-high heat. Brown on both sides, set aside, and keep warm. Remove tough stems from arugula (or watercress) and coarsely chop. When stew is cooked, add sausage and toss with remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, lemon juice, and arugula, and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Yield:  Serves 4

I tried this recipe with the OPK mild Italian and it is delicious!!

Mexican Country Rice

3 OPK Mexican Fresh Chorizos
1 cup of basmati rice
1 medium onion chopped
1 medium green pepper chopped
10 baby carrots julienne
1 can of green beans
1 can of red kidney beans
2 ½  cup of water
2 tblsp olive oil
Parmesan chesse (optional)

In a large pot pour the olive oil, when hot drop the sausage (cut in slices or out of the skin like ground beef), onions and green peppers until the onion is brown.  Add the water and the carrots and boil for five minutes.  Add the rice, cook for the required time (usually between 15-20 minutes) when rice is cooked turn heath off, and mix in the green beans and kidney beans.  Let rest for 5 minutes and serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Yield:  4 servings  


  Roast Turkey with Sage Stuffing and Gravy

4  tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4  links Hot or Mild OPK sausage
2  medium onions, chopped (2 cups)
2  stalks celery, chopped (2 cups)
3  cups chicken stock, canned or homemade
1/2  pound day-old white bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (5 cups)
1/2  pound day-old multigrain bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (5 cups)
1/3  cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2  tablespoons thinly sliced fresh sage, or 2 teaspoons dried ground sage
2  large eggs, whisked
1 1/2  teaspoons salt
1/2  teaspoon cracked black pepper
1  10- to 12-pound fresh turkey, at room temperature
1/2  cup oil, or 8 tablespoons butter, softened, for the turkey
1/4  cup flour
1  turkey-size oven bag (available in supermarkets)
1/4  cup Madeira or port

In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter and cook the sausage, if using, until browned, stirring to break up the links, about 2 minutes. Add the onions and celery and cook until the vegetables are tender and the sausage is completely cooked, about 6 to 7 minutes.

Heat 1 cup chicken stock and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the sausage mixture, both types of bread, parsley, sage, and eggs and mix well. Add the heated stock and the salt and pepper and stir to combine well.
Heat oven to 350º. Rinse the turkey well with cold water and pat dry. Rub the turkey all over with the oil or butter, then season liberally with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Place 1 tablespoon of flour in the oven bag and shake to distribute evenly. Set the bag aside in a roasting pan large enough to hold the turkey.
Stuff the turkey, neck area first, then the body. Carefully put the turkey in the bag. Close the bag with the enclosed tie and cut six 1/2-inch slits in the top. Roast the turkey in oven for 12 1/2 minutes per pound, or 2 1/2 hours for a 12-pound bird (the bag allows the turkey to cook faster than with regular roasting). To test for doneness, remove the turkey from the oven, open the bag, and insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. The turkey is done when the thermometer reads 180º. If the turkey is done, let rest for 15 minutes. Cut open the top of the bag, place the turkey on a platter, and set aside, Remove stuffing.
Pour the drippings and juices into a gravy separator, let them settle, and then pour off the non-fatty liquids. Add enough stock to make 4 cups total liquid, then, in a medium saucepan over high heat, bring to a boil. Whisk together the remaining flour with 1/2 cup warm water until smooth and add to the boiling stock. Continue whisking until smooth and bubbling. Add the Madeira, reduce the heat, and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

Yield:  8 servings

  Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya

2  tablespoons olive oil
3/4  pound shelled medium shrimp
1  pound ham (preferably smoked), cubed
1  pound OPK Mexican chorizo cooked and sliced
2  large garlic cloves, minced
2  large celery stalks, diced
1  green or red bell pepper, diced
1  large onion, diced
1 1/2  cups long-grain rice
1  16-ounce can diced tomatoes
4  cups chicken broth
1  teaspoon kosher salt
1/4  teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2  cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat the oil in a large, heavy stockpot over high heat and add the shrimp. Cook, stirring constantly, until the shrimp curl and just begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the ham and sausage to the stockpot and cook, stirring frequently, until both are well browned, about 15
minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add the garlic, celery, bell pepper, and onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the rice, tomatoes, broth, salt, cayenne pepper, and half the parsley. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes or until the liquid is almost absorbed. Stir in the shrimp and the remaining parsley. Cover and cook until all the liquid is absorbed, 3 to 5 minutes more.
 (Can be made up to 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Reheat, covered, in a 325º F oven for 20 minutes or until heated through, stirring once or twice.) 

Yield:  8 to 10 servings


Apple-Sausage Stuffing

1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
4 medium-size tart red apples (such as Rome or Empire)-unpeeled, cored, and diced
1 7-ounce bag diced mixed dried fruit
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage or
2 teaspoons dried sage
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 10-ounce packages frozen Parmesan garlic bread (such as Pepperidge Farm), thawed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup chicken broth

Cook the sausage in a large skillet over medium heat, breaking up the meat as it cooks. When it's brown, add the apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the dried fruit, sage, and nutmeg. Fold in the bread and add the broth.

Lightly butter a 3-quart baking dish or casserole. Spoon in the stuffing. (The stuffing can be made to this point up to 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Place the stuffing in the oven while the turkey is cooking (or in a preheated 350ºF oven) and bake 40 to 45 minutes or until the top is golden and toasted.
Timesavers: Pre-diced dried fruit doesn't need chopping. Using prepared garlic bread means one herb fewer to chop and no garlic to mince. Cooking the stuffing separately saves you anxiety over those food-safety warnings about stuffing a raw bird.

Yield: 10 servings


Bangers and Mash

  • 2  onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 kg potatoes for mashing
  • 12 OPK bangers
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 400 ml milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • Vegetable oil


Preheat the oven to 400 F or 200 degrees C.  Place onions, rosemary and a bit of salt in a small saucepan and cover with 1 cup water.  Bring to a boil, and then turn down the heat immediately.  Cover and cook, stirring once or twice for about 15 minutes until the onions are very soft, uncolored and most of the liquid has disappeared.  Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut into chunks.  Rinse and boil in lots of salted water.  Also, smear the sausages with oil, then place in a casserole dish and cook in the oven for about 30 minutes, turning half way through.  Finish the onion sauce by boiling hard if necessary to get rid of any extra water.  Discard the rosemary stalk, sift the flour over the top and stir.  Add the mustard and 1 cup of the milk.  Simmer gently for at least five minutes to cook the flour and make a thick, creamy sauce.  Make the mash by draining the potatoes, adding the remaining milk and butter mashing until smooth.  Whip with ha wooden spoon to make the mash light and fluffy, adding extra butter or milk if it's too thick.  Divide onto plates, top with the sausages and a generous spoonful of gravy.  Yield:  6 Servings.


Baked-Potato Eggs

2 baking potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 precooked sausages, diced (any of the OPK sausages are grrreat!)
4 large eggs

Heat oven to 400° F. Scrub the potatoes and pierce each with the tines of a fork. Bake until fork-tender, about 45 minutes. Carefully cut each potato in half. Scoop out the insides and stir in the butter and cheese. Fold in the sausages. Spoon the mixture back into the potato halves, creating a hollow in each center. Break 1 egg into each hollow. Arrange on a baking sheet and cook 10 to 15 minutes or until set.

Yield: 4 servings

  Winter Squash Soup


2 large butternut squash (about 2 pounds each)
1 Tablespoon of salt
1 bay leaf
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped (about 11/2 cups)
2 medium leeks, white part only, finely chopped
½ tsp sugar
1/8 tsp cayenne
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 cup of milk (whole is preferred)
Toasted cubes of bread (French bread)
Small cubes of Muenster cheese or *Oaxaca cheese

1)     Peel and seed the squash. Chop the squash; you should have about 8 cups. Set aside.
2)     In a saucepan, combine 8 cups of water, salt, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf and measure boiled water; you must have 7 cups of water if not add plain water to complete 7 cups. Set aside.
3)     In a saucepan, heat the oil. Add the garlic, onion, and sugar and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the leeks, cayenne, and nutmeg and cook stirring for about 1 minute longer, or until leeks are soft. Add the raw chopped squash and the reserved cooking water. Stir, bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the squash is very tender.
4)     Remove from the heat and blend in several batches in an electric blender or a food processor adding the milk a little at a time.

Heat the blended soup in a double boiler; correct the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Serve piping hot, topped with cubed toasted bread and cheese cubes.

  Hot Turkey and Black Beans for Breakfast

1 tray of hot OPK Turkey sausage (about a pound)2 Tbsp olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup of leek chopped thin (white part only)
1 medium onion chopped small1/2 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 15.5 oz. cans of black beans

Salt and pepper

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and cook, stirring, until garlic is fragrant and onion is translucent. Add the chopped leeks and cook for additional 5 minutes, take out of the fire. In a separate pan with the other tablespoon of olive oil, brown the turkey sausage under medium/low heat turning on all sides. Drop the sausages in the garlic/onion/leek mixture, add the chicken broth and the beans mix and cook for 15 minutes in medium heat in a gentle boil. Salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream and scramble eggs.

Yield:  6 servings


Hearty Spinach and Chickpea Soup

12 links of Hot OPK Turkey sausage
2 cups uncooked brown rice
1-tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms (about 4 cups), stems removed, thinly sliced
6 cups store-bought low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
One (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Two (5-ounce) bags baby spinach leaves
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1.     In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups water to a boil. Stir in brown rice and return to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Cook, covered, for 30 minutes
2.     In a small frying pan brown the turkey sausage links, set aside
3.     Meanwhile, in a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Add broth, sausage and rosemary; bring to a boil. Cover, and remove from heat.
4.     Check rice after 30 minutes; if it is not yet tender, cover and continue cooking, up to 10 more minutes. Stir 2 cups cooked rice (reserve remaining rice for another use) and chickpeas into broth; return to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and continue cooking for 5 more minutes to allow flavors to blend.

Stir in spinach; cook, uncovered, until just wilted, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with cheese; serve immediately.  Yield:  4 Servings.

Banger Balls with Rice


1 Lb. of Bangers

1 large onion sliced thin

1 green pepper julienne

1 cup of white wine (optional)

1 cup of basmati rice

Salt and black pepper to taste

4 cloves of garlic chopped

2 Tbsp of Olive oil



Take the skins of the bangers off and form small balls. In a skillet add oil and brown the balls, set aside.  In a Dutch oven pour the olive oil and garlic over medium heat; when the garlic starts sizzling add the sliced onions, green peppers, salt and black pepper and cover. Cook on low heath until the onions and peppers are sautéed (4-6 minutes), add the wine and the balls and simmer for 15 minutes.  Serve over steamed rice. Yield:  4 Servings.


To this recipe you can add florets of broccoli, or snap beans, baby spinach (almost at the end of the cooking process), or any of your favorite vegetables.