ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Pork Sausages with Smothered Onions and Tomatoes” from Essentials of Classic Italian Cuisine, by Marcella Hazan*
TIMING: 45 minutes
DIFFICULTY: Fairly easy
TOOLS: Nothing too special, just a saute pan with a lid
COOK TYPE: Stovetop
HEALTH: A conscientious sausage (nitrate-free, free-range, natural, whatnot) smothered with vegetables is a nice, healthy dinner entree. Pair it with a good grain and it’s complete. Add a green veggie (or a salad), and it’s optimal. I think we even used chicken Italian sausages, which, at least according to some dietitians, is an even better choice than the traditional pork.
EXPERIENCE: I bought some mild Italian sausages from the grocery store on my Friday run, and so I was standing in the kitchen on a weekday wondering what to do with them. (I know this story is getting old but) I plugged sausage into the spreadsheet and found a recipe specifically for Italian sausage. I had tomatoes. I had onions. I had a bell pepper–Kevin’s favorite pair for a sausage–so I jumped in.
For me, sausage and peppers (and here, sausage and tomatoes) just don’t end up on our dinner table without some buttered Basmati rice. I don’t know why. We just love the combination and it has become a regular for us. Of course, some sort of brown rice pilaf would be better–like something with parsley and slivered almonds. Then with that green veggie I was talking about…
As expected, this recipe was solid. I don’t know about how special, but, like I said, solid.
NOTES: Obviously, you can use either a pork or chicken sausage. I would stick with Italian style, but you could use either mild or spicy.
- Heat 3 tablespoons safflower oil over medium heat. Add 2 super-thin-sliced onions (yellow or sweet), sprinkle with salt, stir, and cover. When the onion has reduced dramatically, uncover, turn up the heat, and cook until deeply colored.
- Add 15 oz canned tomatoes, either whole or diced, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of ground black pepper. Stir and reduce heat to low, simmering for about 20 minutes.
- Add 1 thin-sliced red bell pepper and 1 pound punctured Italian sausages. Turn heat to medium, cover the pan, and cook for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Check for seasonings and for the amount of fat on the top of the sauce. If it is too greasy, skim off the fat. Serve hot.
Serve with a brown rice pilaf or buttered Basmati rice and a green veggie or salad.
*Recipe changed from the original.