Like the origins of many foods, it is difficult to determine where “sausage” originally came from. Food historians believe it was being made in the Middle East during the Bronze Age (approximately 3300 BC to 1200 BC). Most cultures have their own forms and recipes. German Bratwurst, Spanish Chorizo, Polish Kielbasa, French Andouille are just a few. Add, options such as cooked, smoked, fresh and cured, you get hundreds of varieties from many cultures.
In our home, Matthew my Polish-Lebanese husband is the sausage maker. His parents used to make both Polish and Italian sausage and he enjoys carrying on the tradition. For a Non-Italian, he has done an excellent job of perfecting his version of a fresh Italian sausage recipe along with a traditional fresh Polish sausage that we make at Easter time. And, now with his new Cabela’s Carnivore Meat Grinder he can processes 50 pounds of meat quickly so we always have some in the freezer. I will post more on his recipe and sausage making tips in another blog.
Most of us non-vegetarians eat sausage usually by grilling or having the sausage in a sauce, stew, soup or on a piece of bread with condiments, sauerkraut, peppers and onions, etc. Just writing about it makes me hungry, as I’m an unabashed non-vegetarian!
So, how else can one serve sausage? I recently found an intriguing recipe that is not your standard pasta, sausage and broccoli rabe concoction and tried out with my husband Matt. It was delicious and a very easy weeknight meal and prefect for a cold New England winter evening. I served it only with a simple salad. It would also be good with a side of pasta (orecchiette would be my choice), with olive oil, garlic, pepper, salt and Parmigiano Reggiano with a sprinkle of fresh parsley. Hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we did!
Roasted Sausage & Grapes
This is a simple recipe that delivers lots of flavor and visual interest, Although the recipes calls only for red grapes, I think a combo of both red and green grapes would look very nice too. If you can find a good fresh Itilain sausage from a small batch producer all the better!
1 1/2 pounds red seedless grapes ( approx 3 1/2 cups)
3 medium shallots - thinly sliced
2 springs rosemary 4-5 inches long - removed from stem and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 1/2 pounds for uncooked fresh hot or sweet Italian sausage
1/4 cup of O'Live A Little's Italian Herb Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tablespoons O'Live A Little's Traditional Dark Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 425 degrees and ready a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat
Prick the sausage links all over with a fork and remove the grapes from the stems
Add the first 6 ingredients in to the bowl including the grapes and sausage
Add the Italian Herb Extra Virgin Olive Oil and toss to coat all.
Slide all the items in the bowl onto the prepared baking sheet and arrange in an even layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast for 25 - 30 minutes flipping the sausages and tossing the grapes half way though. The sausages and grapes are done when the sausages are browned, cooked through and the grapes have blistered and burst. 77
Drizzle the Traditional Dark Balsamic Vinegar over the sausages and grapes and toss to coat.