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. 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.