Friday, January 25th, 2008

Sausages with Potatoes and Hot Peppers

lidias-sausage.JPGYum! This is the second sausage-related recipe I’ve tried from Lidia’s newest book. It’s awesome all around, very simple and very delicious. I served the sausage and potatoes with Brussels sprouts separated into individual leaves and sauteed in olive oil, garlic with a little pepperoncino. I used sausages that I bought out of the butcher case at Fresh Market. The sausages were fine but not any better tasting than the ones in the giant pack that we usually buy at Costco. As to their freshness and quality I cannot testify but if there’s any difference there the flavor doesn’t suffer. The original recipe specifies a 13″ or larger skillet with a cover. My largest skillet with a cover measures only 12″ so I had to scale it back some. The 12″ was really too small although I managed to make it work. Use the bigges pan you have and plan accordingly. I was barely able to fit 1 1/2 lbs of sausage and 3 potatoes in my 12.”

Using a half cup of olive oil is also pretty liberating. You’re able to cook everything without it sticking and turning into a terrible mess. I can’t however imagine what the nutritional breakdown of the dish is and choose not to think about it… but there’s no oil left in the pan at the end of the cooking time.

Sausages with Potatoes and Hot Peppers (Adapted from Lidia’s Italy- Lidia Bastianich)

3 medium sized yukon gold potatoes
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic crushed and peeled
1/2 tsp pepperoncino
1 c pepperoncini (the kind of peppers you get on greek salad) drained, seeded and thinly sliced
kosher salt to taste
1 1/2 lbs sweet Italian sausage (I’ll refrain from making any dirty jokes here, but it’s oh so hard)
That’s what she said… I know, juvenile.

Scrub the potatoes and slice them into generously sized french fries.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the garlic and pepperoncino. Cook the garlic until lightly golden brown and remove to a dish to reserve unti later. Add the sliced pepperoncini to the pan and let them sizzle, stirring them around for another minute or so. Then remove them from the pan reserve them for later with the garlic.

Add the potatoes to the hot oil and season them with salt. Keep them moving with a pair of tongs until lightly crisped and colored all over. Push the potatoes to the sides of the pan to make room for the sausages. Brown the sausages turning them and the potatoes to make sure that they don’t brown. After 5 or 6 minutes cover the pan, lower the heat and cook the sausages and potatoes for another 20 minutes. You should still be able to hear the pan sizzling even with the heat down really low.

After the 20 minutes are up remove the lid and add the reserved garlic and pepper slices. Taste a potato and adjust the seasoning now if you have to. While this is happening the potatoes and sausages will crisp up again quite nicely. Make sure everything is cooked through and serve piping hot.

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