Kitchen Supper was great last night. I cooked an old favorite of ours from Australian chef, Bill Granger (which I have admittedly posted on this blog before, but it is such a great recipe - and so easy - I feel compelled to do it again) - Baked Italian Sausages with Potatoes and Rosemary.
Unlike last time I posted about this recipe, I made it for 10 people this time and I roasted it in a big paella pan and brought it to the table that way. It looked lovely - the crunchy and oily ciabatta bread mixed in with the golden, sizzling sausages and the olive-oil drenched potatoes. The smell of rosemary and roasted garlic steeping in oily pan juices was heaven and nearly an amuse bouche in and of itself. Granger is a master of the simple and fabulous. Love him. (This is him - all white-linen-shirt-wearing barefoot chef walking on the beach with his daughter.)
During the evening, I found myself standing in the kitchen watching this lovely group of new friends - David, balancing a wine glass while trying to help Lucy, Hidaya and Edie “jump rope” with a sewing tape, Rachel and Warren, both teachers, so passionate and knowing about kids, huddled together in the corner talking shop, Kian, who was always so quiet and elegant as we passed in the halls, just a bundle of energy and stories of Shanghai, Craig, a singer in the chorus at the Met who I had seen in the elevator that day and just a few minutes in our house seemed like a friend I had known for years, Jaffer from Zanzibar, works at the world bank and who like David, prodded the girls until they shared their toys and who served as chaperone and nurse when they started jumping off the couch like little paratroopers, Amy, who should have been elected to the board of our building (the building elections were held just before supper) because she is pure drive, a burst of light and energy and charisma and her husband Alex, sturdy and calm on the outside, sweet and quietly, honestly, charming underneath. The girls ran in and out of rooms, pleased to be unleashed and free. Everyone else stepped aside as they slipped through their legs, sipped their wine and went back to their conversations.
Later, after the kids fell prey to their tired bodies and passed out on blankets on the floor, we sat around the table, surrounded by empty plates and melting candles, finishing bottles of wine, talking about politics and picking at shards of frozen chocolate on a platter in the middle. So many places around the globe were represented – Zanzibar, China, Australia, Germany and places closer to home - and they all spoke freely, shared stories and it was obvious how many miles everyone had traveled just to end up all together in one place on this one night. I am pleased to know these people will be a part of our lives over many nights just like this one for years to come.
So, here’s the recipe for this yummy dish for four people. For ten, I spit-balled it and used 20 sausages and two small bags of small red potatoes. I upped the spice amounts to taste and used about a half loaf of bread. The bread really makes this dish, so no skimping there. I threw the whole thing in a big paella pan and served it with a salad of greens, goat cheese, toasted almonds and garden tomatoes, with a little extra virgin olive oil (the good stuff), the juice of a whole lemon, salt and pepper. I prepped almost all of it ahead of time.
So simple - enjoy!
Baked Italian Sausages, With Potatoes And Rosemary
This recipe serves four.
* 8 Italian Sausages (chicken sausage also works well, but you’ll need to add a little more olive oil)
* 800g. Potatoes (Scrubbed and Sliced)
* 1½ teaspoons Paprika
* 1 Rosemary (Stalk)
* 4 Garlic Cloves (Unpeeled)
* Sea Salt
* Freshly Ground Black Pepper
* 2 Slices Ciabatta Bread
* 50ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* 1 handful Continental Parsley
1. Slice the sausages into 4cm pieces and place in a large roasting pan (or in two two cast iron frying pans)
2. Slice the potatoes and chill in a separate container of cold water in the fridge.
3. Add the paprika, rosemary, garlic cloves, sea salt and pepper to the sausage.
4. Tear the ciabatta into bite size pieces and add to the roasting tray.
5. Drizzle over the oil and gently toss to combine.
6. Place roasting pan in fridge and enjoy the rest of your day knowing that dinner is in the bag.
45 minutes before you want to eat:
1. Heat oven to 400 F.
2. Take potato slices out of water (pat dry with a paper towel) and place in roasting pan. Mix with sausage and spices to coat.
3. Place pan in the oven and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30-40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the sausages and bread are golden brown.
4. Top with continental parsley and serve with a green salad.