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Italian Sausage Recommendation SD

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My grandmother is a WW2 warbride transplant from Rome Italy. At least once a month she asks me to either pick up or take her down to Mona Lisas in Little Italy with the prime objective a scoring some Italian sausage (salami, morta, as well) for her sauce.

This sausage is incredible- period. It is skinny (I like it like that), has the quintessential pork sweetness, rich in anisette, and incredibly tender.

I dont know why I never thought to write about this before - but check it out. Pick up some fresh basil too and youre halfway there.

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  1. Mona Lisa is a godsend. It's the only place in San Diego (at least the only one I know of) that carries certain products, including bresaola, carnaroli rice (the gold standard for risotto -- better than arborio) and San Daniele prosciutto (the best, along with prosciutto di Parma). My latest find was "panna" (cream). The closest thing we have to Italian panna is heavy cream, which works ok for cream sauces but not great. Also, I think the basil you mentioned is the best in town, and at 75 cents it's a steal. I actually think there are a lot of things they should carry that they don't, but beggars can't be choosers.

    I've stared at that sausage a hundred times but never bought it. How does your grandma use it?

    2 Replies
    1. re: mangiatore

      She browns it in the olive oil when making her tomato sauce - thats all I can tell you. I really need to watch her and make notes one of these days before its too late (even though I can tell you I know this woman is gonna live past 100).

      Love me that bresaola too.

      1. re: mangiatore

        I'm not famiilar with "panna", but something we've found that works better than heavy cream in sauces is Nestle's Table Cream (imported from Australia) which is usually on an end-cap at Ranch 99.

      2. I like Mona Lisa's sausage a lot, but you should also try the sausage at Assenti's across the street sometime, just as a contrast. Slightly different varieties than at Mona Lisa, but also very good. Their pasta is excellent (the smoked mozzarella raviolis are amazing).

        1. Try Petes Meat in Little Italy. Good sausage.

          2 Replies
          1. re: keith stone

            Agreed. And he's from the Old Country :)

            1. re: phee

              Pete's rocks. Great recommendation.