My latest cookbook, Sausage: Recipes for Making and Cooking with Homemade Sausage (Ten Speed Press, April, 2010), is hot off the press and available in bookstores and online. It includes 75 do-able recipes, no casing required!
With flavors from around the world, the recipes showcase sausage as an easy focus for a meal, morning, noon, or night, and anytime in between, with the bonus of exquisite photos by Leo Gong. Feast your eyes on those! Happy cooking, and do cook, even if only a few times a week. Home cooking is a source of joy for everyone who partakes, and a family life saver. Here’s a sample from the book.
Pittsburgh-Style Sausage Sandwich with Tomato and Bell Pepper Sauce
Why Pittsburgh? Because James Potenziani, known to all as “Chooch,” is Italian American and grew up in Pittsburgh. He was the master behind the sausage machine at Pig-by-the-Tail. He is also a football person (he always roots for the Steelers), and he devised the Pittsburgh sausage sandwich to celebrate on Super Bowl day. It became a year-round favorite at Pig-by-the-Tail.
Serves 6 to 8
1⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 yellow or white onions, halved lengthwise and cut into 1⁄2-inch-wide strips
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 green bell peppers, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut lengthwise into 1⁄2-inch-wide strips
2 small red or green chiles, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, or 11⁄2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 pounds fresh tomatoes, chopped, or 3 cups canned plum tomatoes, chopped, with juices
3⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil, for cooking
2 pounds Sweet Italian Sausage (page 37), formed into 11⁄4-inch balls
6 to 8 Italian or French bread rolls, or 2 baguettes
To make the sauce, heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bell peppers, chiles, and oregano and sauté until the onions and peppers have softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices, salt to taste, and the pepper, decrease the heat to maintain a brisk simmer, and cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, brown the meatballs. Add just enough oil to a large sauté pan to film the bottom and place over medium-high heat. Working in batches to avoid crowding, add the sausage balls and brown all around, about 10 minutes. As each batch is done, transfer to a plate.
When the sauce is ready, add the browned sausage balls and continue cooking until the sauce is reduced and the sausages are cooked through and tender, about 20 minutes.
To serve, split the rolls lengthwise. Or, if using baguettes, cut each baguette crosswise into thirds or quarters, and then split the sections lengthwise. Place the bottom halves of the rolls, cut sides up, on individual plates. Divide the sausage balls evenly among the roll bottoms and spoon plenty of sauce over the top. Close the sandwiches and serve right away with lots of napkins.