French and Italian go together like the best of friends, so when Polidori Sausage gave me an assortment of their yummy meat, I knew I was going to love it. What I didn’t know was how versatile the sausage would be, finding its way into nearly every one of my home-cooked meals… and even enjoying a French twist!
“Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French.” -Alice May Brock
Who knew you could eat so much sausage and never get bored?
Before I give you my top 5 recipes for Polidori summer meals, I’d like to share a little bit of background on the local meatery…
The Polidori Legacy
In the carriage house of the old Coors Family (yes, that Coors) Mansion in the chic Highlands neighborhood hangs a picture of Mamma Polidori – her real name is Ana Polidori, but after cooking a ton of her sausage, I feel like we’re family.
Mamma Polidori and her husband owned a grocery store in North Denver when Ana started giving her family heirloom Italian sausages to friends as gifts.
The sausages were a hit and residents were asking for them constantly. The grocery store quickly started to produce Mamma’s recipes which she brought from the Abruzzi region of Italy.
Today the Polidori family makes more than just Italian sausage — you’ll find chorizo and delicious german bratwurst, too!
Now, here are my 5 favorite things to do with Polidori sausage this summer:
1. Hot Sausage and Peppers – an italian street food treat
When the weather heats up, I love to go spicy on my food. These hot sausages give a great kick to any wine or sauce you cook them in and also rub some of their heat off on the veggies, too!
1 Pack Polidori Hot Italian Sausage (you can sub mild if you don’t like the heat)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Bell Peppers (different colors are fun)
4 garlic cloves, diced
1 large onion (not red), sliced
1 Tbsp of dried oregano
1 small can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt to taste
1. Brown the sausage slowly in a skillet or frying pan – I like to cut the spiral up into smaller pieces so they fit better in my pan. If you have sensitive eyes, be especially mindful of the red pepper flakes when browning the sausage.
2. Increase your temperature to high, then add your onions and peppers. You’ll want a little blackening on the veggies to get a nice flavor.
3. Add garlic.
4. Add the red wine if you want to (I did, of course!) and stir with your wooden spoon.
5. Toss in the remaining ingredients if you want to make a tomato sauce base for your sausage.
6. Serve alone, on pasta, or on a hoagie roll. Maybe even try a baguette? Voilà, a new sandwich!
2. Brautwurst and Sauerkraut
This is a real simple recipe I came up with in Paris when I was too poor to afford cuts of meat for every meal and kept craving that German street food I smelled at the markets. The Polidori bratwurst worked so well with it, I had to include it in this list.
1 pack Polidori Bratwurst
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 (15 ounce) jar sauerkraut, drained
1 medium onion, sliced
1 can or bottle of beer (hefeweizen is best, but I used PBR and it turned out just fine!)
6 hot dog buns or 6 hoagie rolls
6 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
1. Heat oil in a skillet and brown the sausages with the onions. You don’t need to cook them fully yet, but give them some color.
2. Add sauerkraut (and beer, if you choose — hint: more beer makes plumper brats and juicier kraut, less beer makes crispier kraut and browner brats). This is my favorite part! The sauerkraut will steam and sizzle a bit, but don’t be afraid. Just dump more in and stir to cover and surround the sausages.
3. Bring to a slow boil, then reduce heat and simmer until sausages are cooked through.
4. Serve as is, or on buns or rolls.
Of course you can pair this with some of your leftover beer, but of course, I like to go with a Riesling!
3. Pasta, Sausage, and Fruition Farms Ricotta
I got this great big jug of fresh ricotta from Fruition Farms when I visited a few weeks ago, and I was DYING to make a big hearty pasta with a dollop of this stuff on top.
1 pack italian sausage (hot or mild)
1 lb your favorite pasta
1 jar your favorite pasta sauce (or make your own!)
1 dollop of fresh ricotta cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1. Boil water for your pasta. Cook to al dente and drain.
2. Cook the sausage in a pot or deep skillet. Once firm, chop the sausage and re-add to the pot with your pasta sauce. Salt and pepper to taste.
3. Plate pasta and pour generous serving of sausage sauce on top. Immediately top with a dollop of fresh ricotta so it melts just a little.
4. Pair with some vino and enjoy!
4. Mild Italian Sausage Omelette
The French usually have pastries or sweets for breakfast, so things like omelettes are often lunch or dinner meals. I love eggs and this omelette is so easy to make, you might want to start eating it for dinner, too!
1 pack Polidori Mild Italian Sausage
3-4 eggs (I prefer cage free, and Cottonwood Creek Farms make have great ones!)
Veggies of your choosing
A splash of milk
Salt and pepper to season
1. Cook the sausage in a pan until firm enough to slice.
2. At the same time, whip together your eggs with a splash of milk (it makes that extra “fluffy” omelette)
3. Cook veggies in a pan, add the sausage to finish cooking.
4. Once you have a nice mixture, make sure the pan is nice and oiled, then pour the egg mix all around. Gather the egg mix ass it cooks into a 1/2 circle.
5. Let the egg mix cook until just the top is wet. Then flip the half circle to cook the other side.
6. I like to top my omelettes with goat cheese or salsa, but get creative! Pesto? Feta? So much can go with sausage!
5. French Lentils and Sausage Pot
This is probably my all time favorite way to cook sausage. It’s sort of like an easier cassoulet with lentils instead of beans, and you can do it all in one pot!
Recipe from French Tastes:
1 yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, small diced
1 stalk celery, small diced
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1.5 cups dry green lentils
1 quart chicken stock
1.5 tsp fresh minced rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tsp Dijon mustard
splash of red wine vinegar
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp salt
1 lb hot Italian sausage, about 1 pack of Polidori
1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large cast-iron pot or dutch oven. When hot, add the onion, carrot and celery. Saute for five minutes, stirring frequently, then add the garlic and continue sautéing for another two minutes.
2. Add the fresh rosemary, dried thyme, bay leaf, smoked paprika and lentils. Mix well then pour in the stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 25 minutes until lentils have absorbed most of the liquid. Stir in the Dijon mustard and red wine vinegar and continue simmering until all the liquid has been absorbed.
3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place sausages on a baking sheet and lightly mist with cooking spray. Place in the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes, flipping midway through. You want the sausages to be crispy and golden.
4. When the sausages are finished roasting, place in the pot with the lentils and serve together. Season lentils with additional salt to taste.
What are your favorite sausage dishes in the summer? Do you like italian sausage or brats better? Let me know in the comments!