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Author Notes: Here’s an old-fashioned recipe that uses Italian sausage in a way that has been largely, and undeservedly, forgotten. It is a nicely balanced blend of sweet, sour, and savory. Serve this over shaped pasta, such as campanelle, chiocciole, fusilli, or radiatori.
- 1 pound pasta, cooked
- 4 medium links of sweet Italian sausage (about 3/4 pound)
- 1 1/2 cups seedless red or black grapes
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste (may not be needed)
- 1. Prick sausages all over with a fork. Cook sausages in two tablespoons of oil and a couple of ounces of water in skillet, turning frequently. As the water evaporates, sausages will begin to brown, and a nice fond will form on the bottom of the pan. Deglaze with more water, scraping up the browned fond, and continue cooking until sausages are nicely colored and firm.
- 2. Remove sausages to cutting board. Slice the sausages at an angle, about a quarter-inch thick. Return the slices to pan. If the pan seems dry, add remaining olive oil. Brown the cut sides of the sausage, then add grapes. Cook, stirring, until a few of the grapes begin to burst, giving up a bit of their juice.
- 3. Deglaze with balsamic vinegar.
- 4. Toss with hot drained pasta, adjust seasoning if necessary, and serve.