Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sizzling Sausages and Grapes

     Leave it to the Italians to think of pairing rustic sausages with sweet, roasted grapes.  I was drawn to the simplicity of this dish, an easy one pot meal that you can toss together in your dutch oven.  Roasting the grapes heightens their sweetness, turning them almost into a jam-like consistency and when cooked with the spicy sausages, it's an unusual but very tasty combination of flavors. In my 12 inch dutch oven the casserole baked for one hour and fifteen minutes with 12 coals in a ring around the bottom and 28-30 on the lid.  It's not necessary to turn the sausages at the halfway mark but it will help them to brown more evenly. The polenta soaks up juices and a dash of balsamic vinegar right before serving helps this peasant dinner to really shine.  From Better Homes and Gardens the Ultimate Casseroles book.

Sizzling Sausages and Grapes
1 1/2 lbs seedless red grapes, stems removed and rinsed
1 16 oz tube cooked polenta, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 red onion, cut into thin wedges
2 Tblsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped OR 1/2 tsp dried
6-8 sweet and/or hot Italian sausages (about 1 1/2 lbs total)
2 Tblsp balsamic vinegar

     Lightly oil or spray 12 inch or larger dutch oven.
     In large bowl, combine grapes, polenta, onion, oil and rosemary; toss to coat.
     Spread mixture evenly in prepared dutch oven.
     Using a fork, prick each sausage in several places.
     Add sausage to dutch oven, nestling them into the grape mixture.
     Bake at 350 degrees for 60-75 minutes, turning sausages halfway, or until sausages are cooked through and grapes are slightly shriveled.
     Drizzle with balsamic vinegar right before serving.
     Makes 4 servings.

Nestle sausage in polenta, onions and grapes

Roast at 350 degrees for 60 to 75 minutes

Serve with a slotted spoon and drizzle with balsamic vinegar

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