Basicwomen's Blog

by- Jessica VerderameBiscuits and Gravy

As a lifelong New Yorker, I never tried biscuits and gravy until I met my Kentucky-native boyfriend. But once he introduced them to me and taught me how to make the southern delicacy, I was hooked and have been making it ever since. There is nothing healthy about this delicious southern dish, but maybe that’s why it’s so good.

It’s perfect for hangovers, when all you want is something fattening and comforting, and you can make it as simple or complicated as you wish. For example, I used a mix to make the biscuits, but I made my own breakfast sausage. If I’m super lazy, I’ll use premade biscuit dough and premade breakfast sausage. I’m not much of a baker, so I usually use canned biscuit dough or a powdered mix, though I imagine making the biscuits from scratch would make this recipe even better.

Got left over biscuits from this recipe? Add sugar to some strawberries and let them macerate—they will break down and make a syrup; warm and butter the biscuits, and spoon the mixture over the top.

Biscuits and Gracy –


1 recipe for biscuits, homemade or from a mix

1 lb ground pork

1 tsp fresh sage, chopped

1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

1 tsp fennel seeds

¼ cup maple syrup

Salt and pepper

¼ cup flour

1 ½ cups milk


1. Combine the pork, sage, thyme, fennel, maple syrup, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix with hands until just combined.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add pork mixture, breaking it up with a spoon. Cook until browned and meat starts getting slightly caramelized, about 10-15 minutes.

3. Remove sausage mixture with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels. If necessary, add more oil to the pan. Add ¼ cup of flour and cook for about 5 minutes. Add milk to a pan and whisk well to make the gravy smooth. Let thicken for about 2 minutes, adding more milk if needed. Add sausage back into the pan and cook for about a minute more.

4. To serve, spoon gravy over warm biscuits.

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Jessica VerderameWhole Wheat Spaghetti with Lamb Sausage and Swiss Chard

Pasta is a go-to meal for many people, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Combining simple, fresh ingredients with pasta is an easy way to make your dinner more interesting than heating up a jar of sauce. In this recipe, I used red pepper and fennel lamb sausage, but regular Italian sausage would work just as well, as would any other savory sausage. My favorite way to create a simple sauce without a lot of fat is by reducing some chicken broth in the pan with the veggies (as you may have noticed), but adding in a tablespoon or so of butter at the end, while unnecessary, gives the sauce a little more flavor and richness.

I served this with a simple arugula salad with heirloom tomatoes, sliced shallots, and feta cheese with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Lamb Sausage and Swiss Chard:

Ingredients –

Serves 4-6

1 lb whole wheat spaghetti (or other pasta of choice)

1 lb of lamb sausage, or other spicy sausage

2 large shallots, sliced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

3 roasted peppers, either jarred or roasted yourself*

1-14 oz can of cannellini beans

½ cup low sodium chicken broth

1 bunch Swiss chard, leaves only, sliced

1 tablespoon butter

¼ cup grated parmesan

Directions –

1. In a large pot of salted, boiling water, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain, reserving one cup of the pasta water.

2. In a large skillet, heat a small amount of oil (the sausage will render a lot of fat) over medium-high heat. Sauté the lamb sausage until browned and cooked through, about 7 minutes. Remove lamb with a slotted spoon and drain most of the fat, leaving about a tablespoon.

3. Lower the heat to medium. Sauté shallots for three minutes then add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Add in peppers and beans and sauté for another five minutes. Add in chicken broth and deglaze the pan. Add in the Swiss chard, and cover the pan to wilt the chard, about 3-5 minutes.

4. Add in butter and stir to combine. Add in drained pasta and cheese, using reserved pasta water to moisten if it looks to dry.

5. Serve with extra grated parmesan on the side, if desired.

* This can be done by putting the peppers under the broiler, or over the open flame on the stove until the skin of the peppers are completely charred. Then, put in a zip lock bag for about 10 minutes—this makes it easier to peel the charred skin off of the peppers.

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