17 hours ago
Monday, March 19, 2012
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
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!