Farro Pizzichi Lasagna Soup

A recent trip to Bay Cities Italian Deli in Santa Monica perfected my Lasagna Soup. Bay Cities is an Italian food lover’s dream. I visited intending to browse and left with six different types of pasta. Bay Cities has every cut and grain imaginable, putting any grocery store variety to shame. Rustichella d’Abruzzo Farro Pizzichi caught my attention as the perfect pasta for Lasagna Soup. I love lasagna, and crave the flavor but rarely have the patience to build the layers and bake the dish. Thick lasagna soup gives great lasagna flavor in half the amount of time. I’ve tried making lasagna soup by breaking apart large lasagna noodles, and it just didn’t work. Using penne or fusilli makes for a tasty soup, but doesn’t resemble lasagna. Pizzichi looks like a baby lasagna sheet, and the farro variation is nutty and nutritious. Farro pasta is more delicate, so do not stir the pasta for the first two minutes after dropping it in the boiling water. Expect more Bay Cities pasta recipes in the next few weeks. Training for a race + this new find on Lincoln Blvd = lots of hearty pasta meals!

1 tablespoon extra virgin oil
1 pound hot Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cups chicken broth
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1.5 teaspoons oregano
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound pasta, Farro Pasta Pizzichi by Rustichella d’Abruzzo is perfect!

Parmesan, grated
Goat’s Cheese, crumbled
Basil, chopped

Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook until lightly browned, about 10 minutes, breaking it apart as you go. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flake and oregano and saute until fragrant, about a minute. Add the tomato paste, and cook for another minute. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes and remove from heat. Top with parmesan, goat’s cheese, and/or basil.

Chorizo Tacos with Pickled Red Onion

More tacos! Living in California, I crave tacos all the time. I love chorizo, and wanted to put it in a taco, but without the egg that I usually cook chorizo with. Store bought chorizo, however, is gross. I enjoy occasional greasy food, but store bought chorizo takes oil to another level. It usually results in grease running down your chin, and a pool of drippings on your plate. I’ll stick to burgers, fries and pizza for my indulging meals. I’ve also cooked with soyrizo, and that is definitely a healthier alternative, but the amount of salt makes super thirsty for the rest of the day. Over the past few months I’ve experimenting with several chorizo recipes, and this one is the best. It is has that strong paprika flavor, without all the extra salt. It is meaty, but not greasy. I topped my tacos with quick pickled red onions, and my tomatillo salsa (recipe coming soon). Chorizo tacos are inexpensive, yet have that gourmet feel.  
Turkey Chorizo

1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons dried ancho chile powder
4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 yellow onion, minced
3/4-1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
6 corn tortillas
In a medium bowl, throughly mix the turkey with the spices; mix in the vinegar.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight.
Pan fry the mixture in a small amount of oil, crumbling. Spoon onto warmed tortillas, and top with pickled onions and your favorite salsa.

Pickled Onions

1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 red onion, thinly sliced

Mix first 3 ingredients and 1 cup water in a small bowl until sugar and salt dissolve. Place onion in a bowl, and pour the vinegar mixture over. Let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour.  Can be stored in your fridge for up to 2 weeks.