Monday, March 19, 2012

Sausage & Pepper Spezzatino & Lost Recipes

Are you the type of person who saves recipes? Do you have a recipe folder or file?

My garage is filled with old issues of Gourmet and Fine Cooking from way back in the early 90's. What am I waiting for? I just can't part with them. They are dog eared and faded, but I still visit them every few years to see what I am missing.

This recipe is from a 1999 issue of Fine Cooking. The issue has 3 recipes that were staples in my house back then. A meatloaf recipe wrapped in bacon; peanut coated chicken breasts; and this sausage "spezzatino" or stew. I was so happy to find this 13 year old magazine and fall in love with those simple recipes again.

This recipe is called a "spezzatino", which translates to stew in Italian.
It's your basic sausage and peppers, but what makes it special is you add pasta, a can of tomatoes and fresh MINT. Yes, I said mint. Do not skip the fresh herbs, they make this dish worth serving for company.

The mint imparts a special unique flavor in with the spicy hot sausage. I remember back in the day I thought it was weird, but now I am hooked.

Try and find good quality lean Italian sausages from a good butcher. This way the dish won't be greasy.

Here is one last winter stew before salad season starts.

Sausage & Pepper Spezzatino (adapted from Fine Cooking 1999)

1 lb. of best quality Italian spicy hot sausage links (about 6), cut in half
1 large onion, cut into thick slices
1 green pepper & 1 yellow pepper, cut into strips
4 garlic cloves, chopped
28 oz. can of San Marzano plum tomatoes w/ juice
1 cup water
5 sprigs of fresh mint, 5 sprigs of fresh basil, tied together to make a bouquet garni
olive oil
salt & pepper
1 cup small pasta, such as ditalini or tubetti

In a 12" skillet with lid, cook sausage links with onions for about 8-10 minutes, until nice and brown on all sides. Add garlic and peppers and cook another few minutes.

Add the tomatoes with juices and the cup of water and bring to a boil.
Submerge the pasta shapes into the liquid and add the bouquet garni.

Simmer with the lid on for about 25-30 minutes. Taste and season with salt & pepper.

Dinner is served!

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Susan said...

I was given a huge pile of Fine Cooking Magazines last summer and have enjoyed making lots of recipes from this wonderful publication. Your dish looks delicious!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

There are stacks of old food magazines in my basement waiting to be culled. Occasionally I go through and cut out recipes then throw out the rest of the magazine. Then the recipes stay in a folder for years. Can't win. Good thing you resurrected this one though - a keeper.

Anonymous said...

Only good sausage always - I wouldn't think about making this dish unless I drove to West Paterson to get my sausage at A&S. Don't ditch your mags! I threw out all my GOURMETs a few years ago and regret the decision. They're very cool time capsules those food splattered old issues. Epicurious is useful, but not the same.

Oui, Chef said...

Fine Cooking has been a favorite of mine for years, nice to see one of their old chestnuts resurrected.

Joanne said...

A cooking magazine hoarder, I definitely am! Tastes change so much that I'm sure I'll find gems in them in the years to come! This looks like a tried and true winner of a recipe.

lea said...

Hi Stacey! I have four huge notebooks filled....and in plastic casings. Many are from your site....of course i could just go on line and find them, but then I'd be saving space. I can't wait to try this one, but no mint. We're having a blizzard as I write and this would be so welcome....

Rosemary said...

I never would have thought myself to add mint to a tomatoey stew like this. I confess to a recipe hoarding problem. I vow -- regularly -- to at least organize them, but I refuse to throw them away for fear of losing a treasure like this.