“Sausage and…” is undeniably one of the most classic lead-ins to something truly delicious. “Sausage and Peppers,” “Sausage and Potatoes Provençal Style,” “Sausage and Parmesan Polenta,” and so on. Rarely is sausage the star on its own, and for good reason – it’s simply too delicious when sharing the spotlight.
Today, I’m pairing Italian Style sausage with eggplant, onions, and red bell peppers to create a sort of ‘stew’ or ‘sauce’ that, while delicious on its own, can just easily be spooned over rice, pasta, or folded into flatbreads.
Why You’ll Love Today’s Recipe
1) Appetizer or Main Course – You Decide This recipe can be a meal unto itself, especially if paired with pasta or rice, but it’s also at home as part of an appetizer spread, especially if paired with flatbreads and cured meat. In other words, this recipe is at home in the spotlight, but isn’t averse to playing a supporting role either. It’s all up to you.
2) Make Ahead. This recipe will keep in the fridge for three to four days, and only gets better during that time, since the flavors meld and marinate. As a result, this is a great recipe for making ahead of time by a day or two.
3) A Recipe For All Seasons. Given this recipe’s combination of warming flavors, and ‘stew like’ composition, it’s great for colder weather, especially alongside a nice piece of crusty bread. By contrast, this would also pair excellently with flatbreads under the sun on a summer day just fine, making this a year round recipe.
1) Supermarket vs Butcher Shop Sausage – Not A ‘Clear’ Cut. I am biased towards butcher shops. I grew up the daughter of a New York butcher who had a Manhattan butcher shop on 62nd and First, and a Yonkers butchery on McClaen Avenue. Having spent the first half of his childhood in Italy, my father spoke fluent Italian, and picked up a smattering of German and French to better serve his New York clientele at the time. I can remember my father making sausage by hand using a muscle powered crank, and the bits of information I learned from him regarding meat and the meat business have proven invaluable all these years later. Back then, to get truly quality meat, you needed a quality butcher. That’s less true today, since supermarket meat ‘has’ gotten markedly better, and this is especially true in metropolitan areas. However, up until recently it was a truism that local butcheries were going the way of the gourmet deli – they were simply disappearing. However, with Americans eating more meat than ever (surprise!), local butcher shops are experiencing something of a minor renaissance. But if supermarket meat is ‘also’ experiencing a renaissance of quality, one would be forgiven for asking “What gives? How can both of these things be true at the same time?” The answer is that your local butcher is better for things like prime cuts, fresh meat, rare or ‘odd’ cuts, and premium or ‘specialty’ brands that the local supermarket simply doesn’t have the clientele for. In other words, if you ‘know’ that your local butcher shop stocks daily, or that they stock a particularly premium brand of meat, or if you want a rare cut of meat that supermarkets could be forgiven for not stocking, then finding a good local butcher shop is the way to go. Sausage, sadly, is very hit and miss when it comes to butcher shops – so my advice is simply to sample what’s available in your area, and be the judge yourself.
2) Your Choice of Peppers. Purely a matter of preference, since we want the peppers primarily to add ‘meat’ and ‘color’ to the recipe. Spicy peppers would work well here, or perhaps habanero, grilled serrano peppers, or even jalapenos. Just be sure that you’re using roughly the equivalent of one red bell pepper to keep the recipe balanced.
More Sausage Goodness From Living the Gourmet
1) Sausage and Peppers. I mentioned sausage and peppers earlier, and here’s a link to my favorite version of that classic Italian American recipe.
2) Sausage and Potatoes. A “Provençal” classic, a one pan meal combining sausage and potatoes in an herbed ‘stew’ or ‘sauce, this is ‘elegantly simple gourmet’ at its finest. Trust me, try it.
3) Sausage and Tomatoes with Homemade Flatbreads. I mentioned once or twice above how well today’s recipe would pair with flatbreads, here’s an example of precisely that.
If You Enjoyed Today’s Recipe…
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