If you were to pick a president and el tigre numero uno of the ragù world, it'd be ragù Napoletano, a meaty stew with big chunks of beef, pork, and sausages simmered until fall-apart tender in a rich tomato sauce flavored with wine, onions, garlic, basil, and plenty of good Southern Italian olive oil. It's the precursor to Italian-American Sunday gravy: just add some meatballs, serve it with spaghetti, and you're there. It's also the perfect dish for a lazy Sunday with family or friends at home.
'Sausage' on Serious Eats
The pressure cooker is an amazing device for making flavor-packed stews in very short order. In this version, black beans are stewed together with spicy Hatch chilies, smoky Andouille sausage, and fall-off-the-bone tender chicken legs. It all cooks in under an hour start-to-finish.
There's something very comforting and satisfying about a meal served and cooked in one pot. One of my favorite one-pot meals is clay pot rice. For this version, I wanted to use an ingredient that's not normally seen in clay pot rice: spicy Italian sausage. Combined with slivers of chicken, marinated dried mushrooms, and a sweet and savory sauce, this speaks comfort to me.
This easy black eyed pea stew starts with andouille sausage and pork belly cooked until browned and crisped, then gets flavored with the Holy Trinity of Cajun cuisine: onions, celery, and green bell peppers, along with some leeks and garlic for extra flavor. Tender braised kale transform this into a full-on meal, while a shot of apple cider vinegar brightens up all the flavors.
The first time I had cassoulet in its home turf it was a revelation. This loose, almost soup-like stew of beans and meat was so far removed from all versions of cassoulet I'd had in the United States, or even in other parts of France. It was a large, bubbling vat of beans and meat, covered in a crust so dark that it was almost black. Rich, meaty, and overwhelmingly simple, the main flavor was just that of the cured meat, a good stock, and beans.
Roasted in the oven and basted with beer, these German-style pork sausages turn out juicy, tender, and lightly browned all over. Quick-pickled peppers and onions, meanwhile, add a flavorful, bright counterpoint.
Homemade Italian sausage is formed into patties and stuffed with nuggets of mozzarella cheese. Then, the burgers are heavily pepper-crusted on the rims and finished with a dollop of creamy ricotta, red sauce, and fresh basil. Perhaps best of all, though, is the garnish of vinegar peppers that roast in the oven (or, alternately, cook in a tin right on the grill).
A base of roasted red pepper cream sauce swaths pre-cooked, medium-sized pasta shells. I like the sauce smooth and silky, so I purée the roasted pepper mixture before adding a combination of heavy cream and half-and-half, along with three cheeses: ricotta, Fontina, and Asiago. Italian sausage, garlic, and onions, boost the sauce with extra flavor.
In recognition of the transition from summer to fall, this dish takes a summertime staple—bratwurst—and turns it into a filling with rice for stuffed cabbage rolls. The rolls are then bathed in a bacon-and-beer-infused tomato sauce and baked until tender.
Greek loukaniko with orange and leeks is a brightly flavored sausage that's perfect for summer grilling.
Rich, hot beer-cheese soup may not sound like ideal summer fare, but this version is made with a warm-weather cookout star—smoky grilled brats—that transform it into a dish that's seasonally appropriate. Flavored with cheddar and spiked with a bit of Velveeta for improved texture, it's my go-to meal when I want a taste of my Midwestern roots.
Instead of being bound in traditional sausage casing, Cypriot sheftalia (lamb-and-pork sausage) is wrapped in sheets of caul fat, which renders over a live fire. As the fat drips, little towers of flame lick the meat, creating a super crusty exterior that's still moist and juicy inside.
Spicy chorizo sautéd with avocado and poblano peppers makes for a flavor-packed, adult-friendly upgrade to standard sloppy joes while still maintaining the sweet and savory quality that makes the originals so darn delicious. Once you've got the chorizo on hand, this recipe comes together in under 30 minutes.
Fresh homemade Mexican chorizo with warm spices and a vinegary tang is cooked until charred and crisp along with onions, poblano peppers, and smoky chipotles. The mixture gets stuffed into soft warm corn tortillas and topped with salsa verde, cilantro, and a slew of other garnishes. It's one of the simplest and most delicious tacos you can make.
Coq au vin was one of the first dishes that Jamie Geller learned to cook. As she tells it, her mother-in-law taught her how to gently simmer chicken in red wine sauce shortly after her wedding. The recipe in her new cookbook, Joy of Kosher, is a version of that dish—the chicken and red wine remain the same, but Geller has added slices of flavorful veal (or chicken) sausage to the mix.
Italian Sausage and Fontina Shooter's-Style Sandwich With Onions, Peppers, Fennel, and Sun-Dried Tomato-Caper Relish
Juicy Italian sausage bound with melted Fontina cheese is all packed into a pressed sandwich with sautéed onions, fennel, and red peppers and stopped with a rich and tangy sun-dried tomato and caper relish to balance out the fat. This is one hell of a sandwich.
A homey Chinese and American mashup made with steamed soft silken tofu in a sauce flavored with hot Italian sausage and sliced shiitake mushrooms.
After years of drinking Negronis, I've grown to love the sensation of bitter broccoli rabe, just so long as it's balanced by something else. In this dish, the foil comes from both spicy sausage and some fresh pesto.
Classic sausage roll meets beef Wellington, these easy to assemble brunch bites will be well-received at any breakfast table.
An easy, hearty, sausage and kale soup with black eyed peas, flavored with rosemary and lemon zest.