Saturday, October 27, 2012

Italian Shepherd’s Pie

The delicious and vibrant taste and wonderful healing properties of parsley are often ignored in its popular role as a table garnish.

Highly nutritious, parsley can be found year round in your local supermarket.

Parsley is the world's most popular herb. It derives its name from the Greek word meaning "rock celery" (parsley is a relative to celery). It is a biennial plant that will return to the garden year after year once it is established.

A sprig of parsley can provide much more than a decoration on your plate. Parsley contains two types of unusual components that provide unique health benefits. The first type is volatile oil component including myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene. The second type is flavonoids including apiin, apigenin, crisoeriol, and luteolin.

Parsley is a good source of folic acid, one of the most important B vitamins. While it plays numerous roles in the body, one of its most critical roles in relation to cardiovascular health is its necessary participation in the process through which the body converts homocysteine into benign molecules. Homocysteine is a potentially dangerous molecule that, at high levels, can directly damage blood vessels, and high levels of homocysteine are associated with a significantly increased risk of heart attack and stroke in people with atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease. Enjoying foods rich in folic acid, like parsley, is an especially good idea for individuals who either have, or wish to prevent, these diseases. Folic acid is also a critical nutrient for proper cell division and is therefore vitally important for cancer-prevention in two areas of the body that contain rapidly dividing cells the colon, and in women, the cervix.

Christine has made a twist on an old fashion classic. 

Italian Shepherd’s Pie
Copyright 2012, Christine’s Pantry. All rights reserved.

1 pound ground Italian sausage
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
3 tablespoon tomato paste
1 onion, chopped
1 green and red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
5 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons butter
parsley, garnish

Cover potatoes with salted water, bring to boil. Cook until fork tender, about 13 to 15 minutes. Drain and return potatoes to pot. Add butter, chicken broth, salt and pepper, to taste. Mash until desired consistency. Add more chicken broth if desired. Cover and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add Italian sausage and brown. Add onions, garlic, salt and crushed red pepper. Stir in tomato paste, cook 1 minute. Add beef broth and simmer to combine flavors, and soften onions and peppers.

Transfer meat to casserole dish, top with mashed potatoes. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until potatoes are brown and crispy at edges. Garnish with parsley. Enjoy!




  1. I love the flavor combinations in this shepherd's pie! Thank you for sharing with us - can't wait to try it!

  2. Mmm these looks delicious! I love using parsley as a garnish too!


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