Italian Smothered Sausages

2015-09-13 18.08.14 RECIPE #66, DAY #77

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.

2015-09-13 18.08.09EXPERIENCE: 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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.


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