Main Dish – Sausage Cacciatore

I may be making progress.

My bad habits are still lurking (although I’m using fewer substitutions). But I’m learning that fresh ingredients (and the right ingredients), the correct tools, and careful attention to detail are what make really great dishes. This doesn’t mean I’m suddenly some amazing cook.

Maybe I’m improving a little though. And I’m learning from the people around me who do it well. Two of my co-workers at the library are Italian moms and great cooks. Once I was listening to them talk about how they feed their families and a wrote a poem.

Italian Mamas
They spoke of food
7 fishes dinner,
pasta e fagioli,
words unfamiliar in my mouth. 
 
Of dinner that weekend,
the proud mama said,
“We stuffed him full.”
She smiled,
“like a sausage.”
The other mama nodded, knowing.
“He was probably too skinny anyhow.” 
 
As I listened, I wondered
if I’ve ever properly 
been fed

Sausage Cacciatore

Well, obviously, I’m well fed. Too well. But I loved hearing them talk about their love of food, and how that spilled over into their families.

Hearty, savory, and satisfying. Those words describe this delicious dish from Dianne F. The dish combines sausage, potatoes, onion and garlic with mushrooms, sweet peppers, and crushed tomatoes.

I learned something this week–this time about the pans specified in recipes. The Cooking School book I referred to a couple of days ago gave some tips for good cooking. One of them was to cook with the correct pan. I’d never really thought about this before, but obviously, having the right pan means the food is cooked properly. A few weeks back, I made the roasted potatoes from our Redeemer cookbook, and used my large 9 x 13 pan. But it was too small, so the potatoes came out kind of mushy instead of crispy like they would have if they’d had more surface area to cover.

So with that in mind and seeing Dianne’s tip about using a very large roasting pan, I pulled my big pan out of the freezing garage. I only use it once a year when I make my Thanksgiving turkey, but it accommodated the ingredients of this dish perfectly.

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In the spirit of all things Italian, I found this box of crushed tomatoes from Italy. A box of tomatoes? You heard me right.

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I added the tomatoes and mushrooms to the sausage, and it made this delicious combination. Like I said: hearty, savory, and oh-so satisfying.

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And I’ll leave you with a zinger from my favorite show:

“How you must hate to be wrong!”

“Certainly not. I am not familiar with the sensation.” — Violet, the Dowager Countess of Grantham (from Downton Abbey)

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