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Ground Chicken Sloppy Joes

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Sloppy Joes are a classic comfort food, and always a hit with the kids. We love making this healthier version using our lean Ground Chicken and an easy homemade sauce. ...

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A Traditional Italian Easter Dinner

Steeped in a rich tradition of Catholicism, Easter is a major celebration in Italy. The season begins with Carnevale in January, continues through the beginning of Lent, and concludes with Holy Week – the week immediately prior to Easter. The celebration really ramps up toward the end of the week.

On Holy Thursday, the Last Supper is reenacted.

On Good Friday, the death of Christ is observed.

On Holy Saturday, a somber Easter Vigil is held.

On Easter Sunday, the celebration feast begins!

Wondering what types of traditional Italian fare is served during the Easter holiday? Here you go.

Lamb: Lamb is the traditional dish on Easter. While there is regional variation of many of the other dishes, lamb is pretty much a given on any holiday table. We love this recipe for Roast Lamb Shoulder Stuffed with Sausage and Spinach.

Pasta: As usual, pasta is served as one of the courses. On Easter it is typically tortellini, ravioli, or lasagna flavored with lamb.

Torta Pasqualina: A savory green pie filled with eggs, ricotta, and artichokes that was traditionally made with 33 layers of dough to symbolize the 33 years of Christ’s life.

Casatiello: A savory stuffed Easter bread. It’s traditionally made with ham or salami, but you could also substitute Italian sausage if you prefer.

Colomba: A dove-shaped Easter cake topped with a sweet crust and sprinkled with nuts.

Eggs: While boiled eggs are part of the traditional Easter celebration, in Italy they aren’t brought by bunnies. Intricately-decorated chocolate eggs are also given as gifts between family and friends.

It’s always fun to learn about how Easter is celebrated in other cultures, and the rich Italian traditions do not disappoint. What dishes does your family serve for the holiday?

Make sure your recipes are perfect by choosing Isernio’s Premium products – find them at a grocer near you. And if your family is interested in serving something this year that’s a little unexpected but still honors the holiday, we’ve got a few more suggestions here.

One Meatball, Nine Different Recipes

 

We love the classic meatball and its incredible versatility. It can take center stage at dinner, be enjoyed as a cocktail party appetizer, or devoured on a hoagie at the local sandwich shop. Dressed up or dressed down, meatballs are always a hit no matter how they’re served. Today we’re sharing our classic meatball recipe which can then be transformed into NINE unique and delicious dishes for any occasion.

The Perfect Meatball Recipe

One of our top tips for a fantastic meatball is to swap the traditional ground beef or pork for Isernio’s ground sausage, guaranteeing a moist, flavorful meatball with minimal effort. You should also use a panade – a mix of bread and milk – to help retain moisture and keep your meatballs from drying out.

Our favorite recipe which incorporates both of these tips is Margherita Isernio’s Sausage Meatballs. And once you make a batch of her basic meatballs, you can dress them up in any number of creative ways.

Nine Sauces for Basic Meatballs

Sweet and Sour Sauce – This sweet-and-sour sauce will give your meatballs a salty and tangy flavor, and works well as an appetizer or served as a main dish over rice.

Tomato Sauce – We’d be remiss if we didn’t suggest enjoying your meatballs in a classic tomato sauce atop a bed of pasta. And if you don’t have time for an all-day simmer, this sauce comes together in 30 minutes – tops.

Sweet Chili Sauce – Three ingredients make this glaze as easy as it gets.

Swedish Meatballs – If you want to make these more authentic, just toss in a pinch of allspice, nutmeg, and dried mustard to your basic meatball recipe. But the flavor’s really in the sauce, so if you just top your classic meatballs with this creamy white sauce and serve them over noodles, your guests will be none the wiser.

Barbecue Sauce – Basic meatballs + barbecue sauce = a huge dinnertime hit. You don’t even need a recipe for this one.

Cranberry Barbecue Sauce – Want a festive holiday twist to upscale your barbecue meatballs? The sauce in this recipe is just the ticket.

Salisbury Steak Meatballs – Top your classic meatballs with homemade or store-bought gravy and serve alongside mashed potatoes for a no-fuss take on comfort food.

Buffalo Ranch Meatballs – Ready for a game-day gathering? Then toss your meatballs in this easy two-ingredient sauce for an appetizer that will be gone before halftime.

Philly Cheese Steak Meatballs – Whip up a basic beschamel, add some grated gruyere and cheddar, and stir in diced, sauteed peppers and onions. Use it as a dipping sauce for your classic meatballs.

 

Ready to get cooking? Then pick up Isernio’s pork or chicken sausage at your local grocer. Or for a more traditional but lightened-up meatball, opt for our ground chicken or Italian seasoned ground chicken. Whatever you choose, when you make your meatballs with Isernio’s you know you’re making it with the best.

Ways to serve meatballs – nine different recipes

Italian Dishes 101

You’re well-acquainted with spaghetti and meatballs, and you know exactly what’s in lasagna. But have you ever heard of an exotic-sounding Italian dish and weren’t entirely sure what was in it? We’re here to help. Here are descriptions of some classic Italian dishes – try them using Isernio’s premium sausage to make sure they’re amazing!

Arancini are stuffed rice balls that are coated in breadcrumbs and fried. Exact fillings vary widely – try stuffing yours with sausage!

Bolognese is a thick, meat-based tomato sauce that is typically finished with milk or cream. It is most commonly used in dishes with thicker noodles.

Braciola is thinly-sliced cuts of meat stuffed with cheese, breadcrumbs, and tightly rolled. It is fried and then braised until tender. Try this recipe which takes it up a notch using Isernio’s sausage!

Bruschetta is large, rustic, toasted bread sliced and topped with a variety of flavors. It is most frequently topped with olive oil and garlic, but here are some other ideas!

Caprese refers to the classic combination of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. Most frequently it’s served as a salad.

Cacciatore refers to a “hunter-style” sauce and cooking method, including onions, peppers, and herbs in a tomato base. It is usually made with chicken, but occasionally with other types of meats.

Chicken Marsala is made from lightly coated chicken cutlets braised with mushrooms in wine. “Marsala” refers to the type of wine used in this dish, which is an Italian dessert wine that is similar to sherry.

Chicken Scarpariello features chicken thighs and Italian sausage in a zesty, vinegary sauce. This is Frank’s favorite version of the dish!

Osso Buco is a veal shank braised in stock and wine until fork-tender. It literally translates to “bone with a hole,” which is a nod to the marrow visible in the center of the cut bone.

Picatta is usually made with chicken or veal cutlets. They are sliced thin and cooked stove-top in a lemon-based sauce with capers and garlic.

Ragu is a sauce made with minced or ground meat. While it may have a small amount of tomato sauce, the meat is the star – not the tomato. Try this Ragu Napolitano with Italian Sausage and Pasta!

Saltimbocca is a piece of meat rolled & wrapped or lined with prosciutto and sage, marinated in wine, and cooked in a skillet. It is most frequently made with veal, but can also be made with chicken.

Spaghetti Carbonara is the classic long, skinny pasta tossed in a rich and creamy sauce made from eggs, cheese, and pepper. The dish usually also includes bacon or pancetta.

Isernio’s is proud to be your go-to ingredient for authentic Italian flavor. Try our classic Italian Sausage, lighten up your dishes with our Italian Chicken Sausage, or make it spicy with Hot Italian Sausage! See our full product line-up here.