Sausage Bread

sausage bread This recipe connects me to my childhood, I remember my mom use to make this for special holidays and occasions. When I was a kid I thought making this was such a big ordeal, but when I got married and started making it on my own I realized just how simple it was to put together.

sausage bread You need one batch of pizza dough, you can either buy it or make your own. I have to admit working with yeast is not my favorite thing to do, I use to be more enthusiastic when I was younger, now I avoid it at all costs, I’d rather go out and buy a good quality pizza dough which fortunately I have many sources that surround me.

You’ll also need the best Italian sausage you can find, I like using hot, it adds so much flavor and honestly rolled up in all that bread dough you can hardly taste the heat. You’ll need a good melting cheese like mozzarella or in this case I used a cheese called Tuma, available only at Eastertime here in Chicagoland. Basically you will need a cheese that melts and then binds when cooled. Grated Romano, lots of black pepper and some fresh chopped parsley top off all the flavors.

There are any different variations of this bread but this is my favorite.

sausage bread Roll the mixture up being careful to seal the edges and baking it seam side down so no leakage occurs.

sausage bread Every time I make this I say I should of added some additional red pepper flakes or more Romano, so don’t be afraid to spice it up!

sausage bread

You won’t believe how something so simple to make can taste like a million bucks, I hope you try it!

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4.7 from 3 reviews
Sausage Bread
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 ball of pizza dough, store bought or homemade
  • 1 lb. of hot or medium Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 8 oz. of brick mozzarella, cut into small chunks, do not use fresh mozzarella. I also like Tuma cheese which is only available during Easter time
  • a good ½ cup or so of grated romano cheese.
  • fresh parsley
  • black pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 egg for brushing on top
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Have your dough at room temperature before rolling out.
  3. Brown sausage in a skillet with a little bit of olive oil,cooking until you see no pink, breaking up the pieces into medium crumbles, let it cool down a bit before adding to the dough.
  4. Roll your dough into a large rectangle.
  5. Scatter cooked sausage all over dough leaving a 1 inch border all the way around.
  6. Sprinkle you chunked mozzarella or Tuma cheese evenly all over sausage.
  7. Sprinkle grated cheese, evenly all over.
  8. Sprinkle chopped parsley, all over.
  9. Grate black pepper on top of mixture, at this point you could add some additional red pepper flakes or more grated cheese, it's up to you, depending on the heat of your sausage.
  10. Start to roll the dough, jelly roll style, tucking in the ends as you're rolling so no leakage occurs while baking, pinching dough making sure it's sealed at the seams.
  11. Place large log unto a parchment lined baking sheet, seam side down. ( make sure seam is pinched and sealed.)
  12. Brush top and sides with beaten egg, (you won't use the whole thing) grate some black pepper on top.
  13. Bake for 30 minutes then check, you want a deep golden brown, I did 10 more minutes on my top shelf to make it nice and golden, but you be the judge according to your oven.
  14. Let it rest before cutting into it so that the cheese sets, use a serrated knife and cut small slices, not thick ones.
  15. Serve as a appetizer, lunch with a salad or an addition to any special meal. You could even have some warm marinara for dipping, but I enjoy it just as is.

 

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Corona Beans with Sausage

corona beans and sausage

Are you familiar with Corona beans? They’re a large white bean way bigger than cannellini, an old fashioned heirloom bean from Europe, Italy has a fondness for them. They’re big to begin with in the dry state but when you cook them they become huge, the picture doesn’t really show how big they get but I measured them to be about an inch and a quarter in their cooked state.

They have a nice creamy texture similar to a potato.

slow cooked corona beans

I picked up a bag at the Rancho Gordo store in the Ferry building in San Francisco last week on our vacation, it can be difficult to find Corona beans in the stores most of the time but online you should have no problem.

You will find many producers of these beans but Rancho Gordo is one of my favorites, In fact I love all their beans, and I’m not getting paid to say that!

I decided to go out and buy a new crock pot since I never used mine and gave it away to my daughter, I wanted to slow cook my Corona’s after I saw my friend Cathy make a pot of Greek Gigante beans, which is also a large white bean. She tossed all the ingredients into the crock pot including the dry beans, not pre-soaked, but dry.

I have to say I wouldn’t recommend tossing in dry Corona’s they took forever to cook and to reach that creamy point, it was close to twelve hours, so next time I would definitely pre- soak them overnight to get them started and reduce the simmering time, like I said these beans are huge and they’re not exactly the same type as the Gigante beans that Cathy used, so my recipe instructions will be slightly different than hers.

corona beans and sausage

This is my Italian version of pork and beans! Beans flavored with parmesan, garlic, onions, bacon, thyme, tomatoes and red pepper flakes then after they’re cooked, topped with a ring of the best Italian sausage you can buy, which will be pan seared and placed on top for serving. This is comfort food, stick to your ribs food, a welcome to fall!

corona beans and sausagecorona beans and sausage

You have to be patient, this isn’t a quick meal, you can make the beans the day before if you want either in the slow cooker or simmering on top of the stove, I guarantee your house will smell amazing and it’s definitely worth the wait!

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5.0 from 2 reviews
Corona Beans with Tomatoes, Bacon and Sausage
 
Giant delicious white beans called Corona. Slow simmered until nice and creamy, comfort food all the way!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 8 oz. dried Corona beans that have been soaked in water overnight for at least 8 hours, then drained
  • 3 oz. bacon, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes or squished whole tomatoes
  • 1 or 2 parmesan rinds
  • a small handful of fresh thyme sprigs
  • a big pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb. cooked, pan seared Italian sausage to serve on top of beans when finished cooking
Instructions
  1. Place every single ingredient into a heavy pot or crock pot, simmer low and slow for hours, soaking the beans overnight will shorten the time. The true test for doneness is to taste at least 5 beans because beans all cook at different times.
  2. They should not be hard or have a crunch to the bite but rather they should taste creamy and soft like a potato.
  3. They could take anywhere between 3 - 6 or more hours depending on how high your flame is or how fast your crock pot takes.
  4. Keep tasting for salt, and remember they blow up, and the liquid will absorb them.
  5. Remember they should reach the creamy point!
  6. Serve them in pan with curved sides topped with the pre-cooked sausage ring.

 

 

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Lasagnetti with Crumbled Sausage, Asparagus and Zucchini Coins

lasagnetti pasta

I always gravitate towards the unique non traditional pasta shapes, when I see a shelf full of them I always have to grab a bag or two. My pantry is stocked with different shapes just waiting to be cooked up, so every now and then I will showcase one here on my blog.

Like these cute little lasagnetti which I recently found, they look like mini one inch square lasagne sheets. As far as what kind of sauce to serve with it, my first idea was to toss them into marinara and then dot the whole thing with fresh ricotta and a little romano, but I wanted something different this time and since fresh asparagus has been popping up all over in my area I used that as my inspiration to make this dish.

The combination of roasted zucchini coins, asparagus, medium spicy Italian sausage and sauteed grape tomatoes turned out to be the perfect flavor combination to grace my lasagnetti. Of course, any sturdy pasta shape would do, but if you’re interested my fellow Chicagoans, I got this pasta at Caputo’s.

If you’re looking for something a little different for your next dinner party I would suggest this dish, not only does it taste great it looks really nice spread out on a platter!

It’s fun to get out of your comfort zone every now and then!

Lasagnetti with Crumbled Sausage, Asparagus and Zucchini Coins
 
Ingredients
  • 3 small yellow squash cut in ¼ inch slice
  • 3 small zucchini cut in ¼ inch slice
  • 1 lb. fresh asparagus cut diagonally
  • 12 or more grape tomatoes cut in half
  • 1 large shallot finely chopped
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed
  • ½ cup each of white wine, chicken broth and pasta water
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb. of cooked lasagnetti or any sturdy pasta, reserve ½ cup pasta water
  • 1 cup of ricotta
  • fresh basil and grated romano for garnish
Instructions
  1. Roast zucchini coins and asparagus on a baking sheet drizzled in olive oil at 425 until golden brown.
  2. Saute the tomatoes in olive oil in a small skillet.
  3. Brown sausage in a skillet with the chopped shallot and garlic cloves, my sausage is very lean so I add a little olive oil when browning. When sausage is cooked through add in the wine, broth, ¼ cup olive oil and pasta water, this will be the base for your sauce.
  4. Toss everything into a large bowl coating the cooked pasta with the sauce, tossing with grated cheese, fresh snipped basil and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Place on a platter and dot with fresh ricotta and a drizzle more of olive oil if needed.
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