Thursday, March 31, 2011

Italian Sausages with Red Grapes

I truly love good sausage and I find them one of the quickest ways to get a delicious meal on the table. This recipe is no exception. The polenta will take you a bit of time but a nice loaf of bread would work just as well. A salad or some spinach and you're done.

1 medium onion, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound fresh uncooked sweet Italian sausage (about 4-5 sausages)
Note: I buy Caggiano Sweet Italian in Sonoma; buy fresh good quality Italian sausage, usually with fennel seed, where ever you are.
1 pound seedless red grapes, stemmed
Note: You can also use 1 cup Oven-Roasted Grapes.
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary or thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy 10-inch skillet, add the onions, and cook until they are soft and amber. Remove from the pan and set aside.
2. Heat remaining olive oil in the same skillet over moderate heat until hot. Brown the sausages on all sides, poking them with a fork each time you turn them. This will take about 8 minutes.
3. Add ½ cup water to the pan, cover and turn the heat to low. Simmer the sausages until they are cooked through, about 10 minutes, turning once. Remove all but ¼ cup of the remaining liquid.
4. Add grapes and cook, stirring occasionally, until grapes are softened, 5 minutes or so. If using Oven-Roasted Grapes, you only need to cook them for a few minutes to warm them up.
5. Remove the sausages from the pan. Add the reserved onions, half of the rosemary or thyme, and the vinegar to the grapes and stir to mix everything together. Taste for salt and pepper and add as you see fit.
6. Cut the sausages in half and return to the pan. Heat briefly until everything is nicely hot. Sprinkle with remaining rosemary or thyme.

4 servings
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, October 2005

Creamy Polenta
You can add to the polenta in place of some of the milk the liquid in which the sausages have cooked.

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