There’s an Italian deli in Richmond where I often see a bake of sausages, peppers and onions in the window and I’ve been meaning to try something similar at home. I’m not sure it’s really Italian but I certainly used the very best Italian sausages, which I bought from the fabulous Corto Italian Deli in Twickenham. Freddie and I went down there this morning, and of course had to stop for me to have a cappuccino too. We shared a croissant and when Marco saw me spooning little bits of my cappuccino froth into (nearly) 17-month Freddie’s mouth, which brought a big smile to his face, he made him his very own – and very first! – babyccino. It was a great success. I’m not sure we’ll be able to go to Corto again without ordering Freddie a babyccino too.
Corto have the very best of Italian produce to serve as meals in their deli or to buy to take away. These gorgeous sausages are over 94% pork … very meaty!
They’re like no others I can buy – locally at any rate. They come from Sienna and I always choose the ones with fennel seeds for flavouring.
I decided to do it as a complete one-pot dinner for us and add not just onions and peppers, but potatoes and tomatoes too. And while I was at it, that nice bulb of fennel in the fridge would make a good addition as well, I thought. I parboiled the (new) potatoes first as I would do that with any kind of roasting of potatoes. The rest of the vegetables I added raw. So … I cut 2 red onions thickly, with the grain not against it. I cut 1 red pepper and 1 yellow pepper into thick slices. I cut the fennel into 8 pieces and 5 medium-large tomatoes in half. I cut my parboiled new potatoes in half too. I lay them all in a large ovenproof dish and drizzled over some extra virgin olive oil, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and sprinkled over some dried oregano.
I mixed it carefully with my hands. Then I cut the sausages in half at an angle.
You can see how wonderfully meaty they are. I lay them on top of the vegetables.
I put it into a 200C/180 Fan/Gas 6 oven for about an hour, until all was nicely browned. I stirred just once, about halfway through. It’s quite a forgiving dish too and will keep on a low oven if necessary. I took it from the oven a little before we wanted to eat so the sizzling died down and it cooled slightly.
We ate it in the garden just as it was, no extra vegetables or even a salad. Everything was there: meat, potatoes, vegetables – and a wonderful ‘juice’ from the cooking, which Jonathan decided to mop up with bread.
Despite the heat of the day, there was now a cool breeze blowing through the air, which was very welcome. And despite the heat of the supper, its fresh summery and Mediterranean flavours were very welcome. We loved it. And it was a perfect midweek supper dish.