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Jan 16, 2007 04:07 PM

Menu starring Fresh Italian Sausage

Yesterday we made 4 dozen links of fresh Lucanica sausages, using Paul Bertolli's recipe from "Cooking By Hand." The sausage features organic pork from a neighboring farm, is flavored with rosemary, black pepper, and garlic, and is quite extraordinary. Now I need suggestions for a dinner party menu on Thursday night. I was thinking of starting with antipasto, and then serving the sausage grilled alongside a tomato sauce with pasta. Dessert is a densely chocolate torta from Lynn Rosetti't website. What would you serve? And any wine suggestions? Many thanks for your suggestions.

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  1. I would skip the tomato sauce and serve it with broccoli rabe and pasta. Classic and fabulous!!! Is that sausage recipe available online?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Felixnot

      Agreed, broccoli rabe is clearly the way to go.

    2. There's nothing like fresh made Italian Sausage. It goes well with sauteed onions, tricolored peppers, dry white wine, and capers and/or olives. Also great in a frittata, scrambled eggs, and much more. You can serve it with Sauteed spinach with garlic, fresh ground pepper, and lemon. Stuffed artichokes are great as well.

      1. i'd skip the tomato sauce too. a savory torta would look impressive. it's basically a cheese pie wrapped in puff pastry (i've also used phyllo). mix ricotta, fontina and parmesan with eggs and spinach. prepare a pan with layers of dough in bottom and up sides. add cheese mixture to pan, then cover with more dough. brush dough w/ a yolk and bake.

        wonderfully rich. if you make it in a springform you can unmold it too. serve with charred raddicchio or trevisano for added color.

        then again, italians wouldn't have a chocolate cake for dessert, lol. i'd make something citrusy, if i were having the cheese torta.

        1. There seems to be consensus here against a tomato sauce, although Bertolli suggests it with the sausages polenta -- and also on wilted greens. I'll consider the rabe with pasta, although I know some find rabe rather bitter. (My guests are not necessarily the most sophisticated bunch, but are the members of a non-profit board who I'll be treating.) Re: the chocolate torta (and it's Lynn Rosetto Kasper's recipe from her Splendid Table newsletter), it originated in Naples ca 1900 and was served by a Signora Bimbi at an estate in Puglia. However, I know traditions differ from region to region in a country. I used Bertolli's book, which has a whole chapter on pig, but the recipe can be found at

          1 Reply
          1. re: TNExplorer

            I'll stick up for tomato sauce. Last night I had fresh Italian sausage from a local pork butcher, fresh pasta and a roasted tomato sauce that I put up this summer. With freshly grated romano cheese and a solid red wine it was great. I had planned to serve broccoli rabe as a side dish but never got around to it.

          2. A Milanese friend serves grilled sausages with polenta that is poured onto a marble slab in the middle of the table. Melted red peppers and onions OR a chunky, oniony tomato sauce go along with it, as well as some fontina melted in. Everyone scoops their own polenta off the table. It is a festive and impressive meal, but without a marble slab the polenta could be simply passed around.