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Entertaining, Holidays, Recipes, Weeknight Favorites

Nigella Lawson’s Italian Tray Bake – Carrie Style

nigella lawson italian tray bake

I love Nigella Lawson – I love her skin, her accent, her recipes, her skin….okay before I get to “silence of the Lambs” here – lets talk Tray Bake.  Nigella uses butter and olive oil in everything, i think this is why her skin is so amazing….sorry, I’m wandering again……

I saw Nigella Lawson do Italian Tray Bake on her TV show years ago – and have done my own versions ever since.  She doesnt have the recipe posted online or I’d link to it.  We cannot get the cute little sausages she gets in England in my neck of the woods, so I substitute some sweet Italian sausage.  If you like you can mix sweet and hot Italian sausage if you like.  The opportunities to use up veggies here are endless.  You could use Andoullie, corn on the cob, potatoes, onions, garlic and Creole seasoning and make a completely different flavored dish.  Use shrimp instead of sausage, or chicken instead of shrimp.  Just adjust when things go in the oven by how long it will take each ingredient to finish cooking.

nigella lawson italian tray bake

Of course, root veggies work the best, but spring veggies like mushrooms and asparagus are great also.  Timing is everything.  Not every ingredient will cook at the same rate and be done at the same time, so I split this into step 1 and step 2 – here’s my whack at it:

Italian Tray Bake – Carrie Style
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Italian Tray Bake – Carrie Style


  • 1 Package Sweet Italian Sausages, about 5
  • 2 large russet or red skinned potatoes, halved, quartered and chunked up
  • 3 small shallots, peeled & sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced fine
  • 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends removed
  • 1 lb button or crimini mushrooms, stems removed
  • 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper


  1. Preheat Oven to 400 Degrees
  2. Step 1 - On a large backing tray toss Sausages, raw potato, shallot, garlic and 2 Tbsp Olive Oil - add salt & pepper. Scoot so this is on 1/2 of the tray. Roast in a 400 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes until the potatoes are about 1/2 done
  3. Step 2 - In a bowl or on another tray - toss the mushrooms and asparagus with the remaining 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil and salt & pepper - set aside. When the potatoes in step 1 are about halfway done, add this to the other half of the sausage tray and continue to roast, for about 20-25 more minutes, give or take.
  4. When done, toss everything together and serve with a crusty bread
  5. Enjoy!

Entertaining, Menu Planning, Recipes, Weeknight Favorites

Seafood Arrabiata – Mussels and Shrimp in Spicy Marinara Sauce

Seafood Arrabiata - Shrimp & Mussels in Spicy Marinara Sauce

Todd and I took a trip to Central City a few weeks ago and had a really good meal at their Tuscan Steakhouse , Ardore.  We both had steaks – which were really good – but the highlight of the meal was the appetizer, mussels a la diavola, served with grilled foccaccia – SO GOOD.

We were up valley yesterday and I decided to duck into the little gourmet shop and get some Mussels.  At around $4 to $5 a pound, mussels are a pretty economical seafood around here.  I stretched them a bit with some Shrimp I had in the freezer.  My sauce was a little spicy – so I’m going to cut the red pepper down in the recipe below, but other than that – this was one of the better meals I’ve made lately.  We served ours with Penne and it was perfect!

I started my sauce with a jar of Classico Marinara.  You can make yours from scratch if you like, I didnt feel like it as it was getting late and I needed a but of a helper.  I think this worked great.  You can substitute your favorite sauce, the key is to find one that is truly tomato-ey and not too sweet.

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Entertaining, Light and Healthier, Recipes

Italian Pico de Gallo Recipe

This is another great recipe from my good friend Tish – she makes this for our work get-togethers and it goes like gang busters.  I like to eat it on chips as just a salsa but it would be good on a piece of fish or chicken as well.

This is a really impressive but very economical dish, as the olives are easily found in your grocery and are not the fancy “olive bar” olives that cost a mint and taste canned.  You could experiment with other olives.  I think a Kalamata would be great in this, but I’d watch your salt if you do substitute, as some artisan olives are much saltier than our “white bread” varieties.

Anywhere you use an olive tapenade, you could use this Italian pico.

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Day-2, Entertaining, Light and Healthier, Recipes, Veggies and Fruit

Spicy Mexican Cabbage Slaw Recipe

This is another fabulous Tish recipe.  I need to get her bio on this site because her stuff is AMAZING!  She has a Zucchini Carpaccio recipe that will bring down the HOUSE!

I store mine in mason jars – THIS IS NOT a canning recipe.

There is a local restaurant that makes something similar to this – but this is way better and you control the spice and the ingredients – can’t ask for anything more!

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