Skewered anything makes a perfect party food. It's such an efficient presentation, leaving one hand free to hold a cocktail glass or gesture wildly, Italian-style. Appropriately enough, today's Cook the Book recipe is an Italian sausage kabob, in which little sausage meatballs share a skewer with cherry tomatoes and mozzarella bocconcini.
Adapted from Simple Italian Snacks by Jason Denton and Kathryn Kellinger, these pork sausage spiedini are colorful, boldly flavored, and easily doubled or tripled for a crowd. For a really elegant presentation, be sure to shape your meatballs the same size as the tomatoes and cheese.
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- 12 ounces bulk sausage, or sausage meat removed from its casings
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh basil, plus additional for garnish
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound bocconcini
- Fragrant extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
In a medium bowl, use a fork to break up the bulk sausage. Add the minced garlic, the 3 tablespoons minced basil, the salt, and the pepper, and blend the ingredients with the fork. Form balls of the sausage mixture, the same size as the cherry tomatoes. (The heat of your hands will soften the fat in the meat and bind the shape.) Place the meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until they are brown and have rendered their fat into the baking sheet, 12 minutes.
Thread the meatballs, bocconcini, and cherry tomatoes onto 12-inch bamboo skewers, alternating and using 2 of each per skewer. Drizzle olive oil over the skewers and sprinkle with the remaining minced basil.