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Piedmontese Salsiccia With Grapes

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    Posted: 03 May 2010 at 04:40

Lydias Piedmontese Salsiccia With Grapes

 

About a month or two ago, I was watching a PBS show called “Lydia’s Italy” or “Cooking with Lydia” or “Lydia Cooks Italian” or something like that. Lydia, a strong motherly type woman always cooks Italian food and gives you a history lesson to boot, ALWAYS cooks awesome food.

 

During this particular show I was struck by how easy and tasty this meal was and jotted down some notes. I put them away in my recipe binder and now they have come to life as close to her way as I can remember~ With a twist.

 

Here are the goods for the meal, minus the spices which will come later. That's one pound each ground pork and beef.

 
 

And here’s the spices. Cardamom plays an important part in the flavor and you can’t skip it. We also have crushed red pepper flakes, oregano, basil and red & green peppercorns. My first twist was my addition of the red pepper flakes. Her recipe did not call for it, however she used spiced ground pork, which I did not.-

 
 

Mix the ground pork and ground beef 1:1 ratio and add the spices. Here is the oregano, and add twice as much basil.

 

This many red pepper flakes-

 
 

About 2 good TBSP cardamom and 1 TBSP pepper and mix the meat well. No worries, the more you handle it, the tighter it will hold in the pan, and that’s okay.  Then roll it out into sausage shapes like this-

 
 

Then roll them in bread crumbs like this-

 
 

Then set aside. They go back into the fridge for an hour or two to chill.

 

Meanwhile grate the Romano cheese-

 
It’s hard and grates nicely. Its pungent cheesy-dairy smell is delicious
 
 
From WIKI: Romano cheese is a type of cheese that is known for being very hard, salty and sharp. It is usually grated. It is different from normal cheeses because it requires more milk per pound, most water being lost in the process. Most of the romano cheeses made in the United States are made from cow's milk or with a mix of cow's milk and either sheep or goat milk.

Romano cheese is made by a special method called "rummaging curd" which involves draining the curd quickly after molding. The surface is then pierced slightly before the cheese is salted. The cheese should age for five months before eating, and if the cheese is to be grated. Romano cheese has a fat content of 27%, and a water content of 32%.

This cheese is named after Rome itself, where it has been made for over two thousand years, originally in the region of Latium. It is one of the oldest Italian cheeses.

All we need is a nice bowl full and the rest in a baggie into the cheese drawer. It won’t last long there, but that’s another story….

 

Now we brown the sausages in some olive oil over med/low heat like this, turning them over 4 times to brown all over

 
 

Once they are all browned set them aside and discard the oil. Deglaze the pan with a generous splash of marsala and toss in a nice handful of currants for good measure. This is my twist~ currants. If grapes and Marsala are good, adding currants for the triumvirate must be better~ and it is!

 
 

Once deglazed, add sausages back in and the white grapes, and heat over medium until hot. You want the grapes hot but not to burst, so check them often.

 

Meanwhile I’ve made the capellini and tossed in with some olive oil and chopped parsley-

 

Fix up a plate like so. Arrange as you like it, casually, because it smells so good there is no time for fancy stuff….this is time to eat!

 

Generously sprinkle the grated romano….incredible depth this cheese adds to the plate.

 
 

The sharpness of the grape skins, immediately followed by the warm sweetness of the grapes themselves, balanced by the sharp tanginess of the Romano cheese makes a samba-like dance in your mouth from the tip of your tongue to the back of the throat, exciting your senses an making your belly growl.

 
 

Add a bite of the meaty goodness and you are tasting heaven itself! Luscious meat, perfectly cooked, tickles the palate on top of the dancing already taking place. Simple, rustic, and all ingredients easily accessible;  this is truly a provincial dish worthy of a royal table… a great example of rustic cooking at its best.

 
 
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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2010 at 07:05
wow! that is truly one incredible italian feast! a great ingredients list with components that go together perfectly, and a presentation that looks simple yet elegant and beautiful! it just keeps getting better!
 
congratulations on a perfectly-executed italian supper! i can almost taste it just looking at it and reading about it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2010 at 02:44
What an unusual combimnation of ingredients! I'm dying to give this a try...sounds crazy enough that I'm sure I'll like it.
Go ahead...play with your food!
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