Posts Tagged ‘Sausage’

So fregula is fregola, pearl couscous, giant couscous, mograbia(h) as well as some other names, but it is essentially tiny pasta balls. We’ve cooked with it before but this time Jules bought it by accident and we had to find a recipe to use it up. Somewhat like a risotto, but the texture is a touch more unctuous. Quite a rich and flavoursome dish.

Wine Suggestion: This dish requires a powerful red with a fresh core of acidity. Taking inspiration from a Risotto Milanese pairing we opened a Pira Luigi Barolo Serralunga from 2018. Youthful and expressive aromatics of leather, violets & wild berries plus hints of tar. This flowed into an energetic and refined palate with elegant, but persistent tannins; almost lifted and light, but with a deep core of rich fruits.

Fregula with sausage and saffron – serves 4

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 120g sausage meat, crumbled – try to find meaty Italian sausages if you can
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • a small piece of chilli
  • 1 litre stock – meat or veg – we used turkey stock
  • 350g fregula (see note above)
  • a few strands of saffron
  • 60g pecorino, grated

Put the stock into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.

Smash the garlic clove but leave it whole, then put into a deep frying pan with 3 tbsp of the olive oil. Fry gentluy over a medium-low heat.

Add the sausage, sun-dried tomatoes, thyme and chilli, and fry, stirring, for a couple of minutes.

Add the fregula to the sausage and stir for a minute. Then start adding the stock, a ladelful at a time, the same as you would if cooking risotto. Keep both pans simmering as you keep going like this. Start tasting the fregula after 12 minutes and cook until al dente. You are looking for a loose rather than stiff consistency.

Add the saffron, pecorino and 3 tbsp of olive oil and serve.

(Original recipe from An A-Z of Pasta by Rachel Roddy, Penguin:Fig Tree, 2021.)


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Winter vegetable and bean soup with Kabanossi

A really nice soup with or without the Kabanossi sausage (so you can leave this out if you like) though it does add an extra layer of  smoky flavour. Most supermarkets stock Kabanossi sausages near the salami and other dried sausages.

Winter vegetable & bean soup with Kabanossi sausage – serves 8 to 9 (freezes well)

  • 225g rindless streaky bacon, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 225g onions, chopped
  • 275g carrot, cut into 5mm dice
  • 125g parsnips, cut into 5mm dice
  • 200g white part of 1 leek, cut into 5mm slices
  • 1 Kabanossi sausage (optional), cut into 5mm slices
  • 1 x 400g tin of good-quality tomatoes (Italian brands are good)
  • 225g haricot beans, soaked and cooked (see note at end)
  • 1.8 litres home-make chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

Blanch the bacon, refresh and dry well with paper towels. (To do this y0u need to cover with cold water, then bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes before draining into a sieve and rinsing with cold water. This process removes some of the saltiness.)

Put a large saucepan over a medium heat and warm the olive oil. Add the bacon and sauté until crisp and golden, then add the onion, carrots and celery. Cover the pan and sweat for 5 minutes, then add the parsnip and leeks. Cover again and continue to sweat for another 5 minutes.

If you are using the Kabanossi sausage add it now. Chop the tomatoes roughly in the tin and add to the vegetables with the cooked beans. Season with salt, pepper and sugar, then add the stock. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until all the vegetables are cooked. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with lots of brown bread & butter.

To prepare the haricot beans

Soak the beans overnight in plenty of cold water. Drain the beans and cover with fresh cold water, add a bouquet garni (a bay leaf, sprig of parsley & spring of thyme tied with string), a carrot and an onion, then cover and simmer until the beans are soft. This will take between 30 minutes and 1 hour depending on the age of your beans. It’s important to check them often and stop cooking before they turn mushy. Season with salt when the beans are almost cooked. Drain and discard the vegetable and bouquet garni.

(Original recipe from Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery Course, Kyle Cathie Ltd., 2001.)

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We made this with some leftover chorizo that had been cluttering the fridge for a while. It works really well before dinner with some toasted bread but equally as part of a Tapas selection, or starter with olives etc.  Multiply the quantities depending on how much sausage you have. You can also make individual portions in smaller jars. Leave this in the fridge for at least a week before serving and it will mellow and subtly take on the flavours of the herbs and oil, so make sure the olive oil is decent and herbs are fresh.

Herb-marinated Sausage 

  • 1 cured sausage e.g. chorizo
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 10 juniper berries
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a small sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 300-600ml olive oil
  • toasted bread, to serve

Slice the sausage and remove the skin. Put the sausage slices in a clean jar with the garlic, juniper berries, thyme, bay leaf and rosemary. Add enough olive oil to cover, close the lid and leave in the fridge for at least a week.

Serve with toasted bread.

(Original recipe from Stéphane Reynaud’s Pork & Sons, Phaidon, 2005.)

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Really rich, this dish packs a punch of flavour so it’s perfect for a small starter.

Penne con Sugo di Salsiccie – serves 6-8 as a starter

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 Italian spiced, fresh pork sausages, meat removed from skins and crumbled
  • 2 small red onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 small dried chillies, crumbled (or you could use chilli flakes)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/3 bottle red wine (preferably something Italian, like a Chianti)
  • 2 x 400g tins peeled plum tomatoes, drained
  • ½ nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 120g Parmesan, freshly grated
  • 150ml double cream
  • 250g penne rigate

Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the sausagemeat, stirring and breaking it up, until the juice from the meat has evaporated and the fat has started to run.

Add the onion, garlic, chilli and bay leaves and cook gently for about 30 minutes or until the onions are brown.

Pour in the wine, increase the heat and cook until it has evaporated.

Add the tomatoes, lower the heat, and simmer gently until you have a thick sauce, about 45-60 minutes. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper, then add the Parmesan and cream.

Cook the penne in lots of salted water, drain well, and add to the sauce.

Wine Suggestion: We drank a delightful Langhe Nebbiolo from the Produttori del Barbaresco which went well. We’d suggest finding a red wine with a bit of acidity to cut through the richness, good tannins to counteract the protein richness, and yet not too much weight. Nebbiolo or Sangiovese …

(Original recipe from The River Café Cookbook by Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray, Ebury Press, 1995.)

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Giorgio Locatelli is a great inspiration when it comes to our Italian cooking and he hasn’t disappointed with this recipe either; fully flavoured and rich, yet fresh and exceptionally easy to eat … Jono kept on creeping back to attack the leftovers! We used some Italian sausages from Sicily that we convinced a local Italian restaurant to sell us but you can use whatever sausage you like as long as they are good quality. Georgio uses another Italian sausage called Luganica which he says are small and peppery so you could try seeking these out too.

Risotto con luganica e piselli – to serve 4

  • 150g freshly podded peas
  • 2 good pork sausages (see tips above)
  • 2.5 litres of good chicken stock
  • 50g butter
  • 1 onion, chopped very finely
  • 400g superfino carnaroli – we used regular carnaroli which worked fine
  • 125ml dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato passata
For the mantecatura:
  • 75g cold butter, cut into small dice
  • 100g finely grated Parmesan
Blanch the peas in boiling salted water for a couple of minutes and drain. Crush one-third of them with a fork to make a coarse purée.

Chop the sausages into small pieces. Sauté half the chopped sausages in a pan until they are crispy and brown and set aside.

Bring your pot of stock to the boil and then turn it down so it is just simmering.

Melt the butter in a heavy-based pot and add the onion and the other half of the sausages (that you didn’t sauté). Cook gently until the onion is softened but hasn’t changed colour – about 5 minutes.

Add the rice and stir around so it gets coated in butter. Make sure all the grains are warm, before adding the wine. Let the wine evaporate totally until the onion and rice are dry.

Start adding the stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously as you do so. Add the tomato passata along with the first ladeful. When each addition of stock has almost evaporated, add the next ladleful.

Carry on like this for about 15-17 minutes, continually adding stock as above. After about 12-14 minutes add, add the peas and the sausages that you sautéd earlier. Slow up on the stock when you get near the end so the rice doesn’t become too wet and soupy or it will get too sloppy when you add the butter and Parmesan at the end.

Turn the heat down and rest the risotto for a minute, then, for the mantecatura, use a wooden spoon to vigorously beat in the cold diced butter and finally the Parmesan, making sure you shake the pan hard while you beat. Season to taste and serve.

(Original recipe from Made in Italy: Food and Stories by Georgio Locatelli, published by Fourth Estate 2006)

Wine Suggestion: We suggest you serve the rest of the white that you used in the recipe. We went for a Falanghina made by Catello Ducale in Campania, the heel of Italy. The risotto is rich so you want a white wine that ‘s  reasonably full bodied and full of fruit, but maintaining freshness  which southern Italian whites like this often bring. Alternately you could try a fruity and medium bodied red with some acidity, again an Italian blend with some sangiovese would work a treat.

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Sausage Carbonara

A mid-week treat that tastes creamy, silky and flavoursome. The kick of lemon in this gives it a light touch too. Plus it is quick to make 🙂

Serve with a glass of Nebbiolo.

Enough to feed 4 people:

  • 4 Italian sausages
  • olive oil
  • 4 slices thick cut pancetta, chopped
  • 500g dried linguine
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 100ml double cream
  • 100g grated Parmesan cheese
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • sprig of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • extra-virgin olive oil

1. Slit the sausages and pull out the meat. Roll it into little meatballs with wet hands.

2. Put a big pan of salted water on to boil for your linguine and cook for as long as it says on the packet.

3. Heat a glug of olive oil in a big frying pan and fry your meatballs gently until they are nice and brown. Add the pancetta and cook for another couple of minutes until it’s golden too.

4. Get a big bowl and put the egg yolks, cream, half the Parmesan, lemon zest & parsley in it and stir together.

5. When the pasta is done drain it but keep a little bit of the cooking water. Throw it back in the pot and stir in the creamy mixture right away. Add the sausage mixture and toss together. The sauce should be smooth and silky – if it starts to clag a bit just add some of your reserved pasta cooking water.

6. Sprinkle over the rest of the Parmesan and drizzle with a bit of extra virgin. Add a bit of pepper if you like.

Original recipe from Jamie’s Italy.



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