I learned of this sweet pork sausages and roasted grapes recipe in Umbria during the harvest when the wine grape is in abundance and quick and hearty dishes are prepared for the workers laboring in the vineyards.
In the traditional recipe, the grapes are cooked in a cast-iron pan along with the sausages, but I’ve gotten into the habit of roasting the grapes separately, which caramelizes them and concentrates their flavors more. You can do this in a toaster oven rather than heating up a large oven for such a small amount of fruit. Whatever way you cook them, it’s a lovely dish, especially when served with polenta.–Julia della Croce
LC A Grape is a Grape is a Grape? Note
Actually, as anyone who drinks wine knows, a grape is most definitely not a grape is a grape is a grape. And yet a more open-minded mentality works just fine in this recipe. Yes, it’s especially lovely when made with the large, robust black grapes available in fall—especially those found in Umbria. But it works just fine with the plump domestic red grapes that hail from California. To impart a little extra flavor, toss a sprig or two of fresh rosemary on the grapes after tossing with the oil. Or pan-roast everything all together to get the flavors of the pork and the grapes mingling and melding.
Sweet Pork Sausages with Roasted Grapes Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 10 M
- 35 M
- Serves 4
- 8 sweet Italian pork sausages
- 1/2 cup water
- 12 ounces seedless black or red grapes, stripped from their stems
- Olive oil
- 1. Use a sharp knife or a fork to prick a few holes in each pork sausage. Place the sausages and the water in a seasoned cast-iron skillet or other heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Cook until the water has evaporated and the sausages have begun to color lightly, about 12 minutes. If the sausages become quite plump during cooking prick them again to release the excess fat. (Do not prick them too much, or they will dry out.) Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook the sausages, turning them occasionally, until browned all over and cooked through, about 20 minutes more.
- 2. Meanwhile…
If you would like to cook the grapes separately from the pork sausages, preheat a toaster oven or an oven to 375°F (190°C). Wash and dry the grapes well. Toss them with a little olive oil in a toaster oven tray or a rimmed baking sheet and spread in a single layer. Roast the grapes until brown and bubbly, about 15 minutes. Note that they can burn easily because of their high sugar content, so keep an eye on them as they cook.
If you would like to cook the grapes in the pan alongside the pork sausages, add them to the skillet when the sausage cooking water has evaporated. Proceed as directed for the remainder of the cooking time.
- 3. Transfer the grapes and sausages to a large warmed platter, leaving behind any excess fat in the skillet, and serve presto.
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Sweet Pork Sausages with Roasted Grapes Recipe © 2010 Julia della Croce. Photo © 2010 Christopher Hirsheimer. All rights reserved.