My nephew Wilson just started his second year of college at Brown University in Providence. I have followed a restaurant in Providence called Al Forno. They have been around since the 80’s and were the first to introduce grilled pizzas. I sent Wilson some $$ to go there and he and his girlfriend loved it-he thought it was the best pizza he had ever had! I loved living through his experience but ended up getting a used copy of their cookbook, Cucina Simpatica. It is an older cookbook, came out in 1991 but has wonderful recipes for grilled pizzas, baked pastas and more. I wanted to try the Roasted Sausage and Grape recipe and it did not disappoint! Serves 6-8 I served it with Al Forno’s mashed potatoes and it was delicious!
1 1/2 # Italian hot sausage
1 1/2 # Italian sweet sausage
3 T. unsalted butter
6-7 cups (2.5#) red or green seedless grapes, washed and stems removed
4 T. balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Parboil the sausages in water to cover for 8 minutes to rid them of excess fat. Melt butter in a large flameproof roasting pan, add the grapes and toss to coat. With tongs, transfer the sausages to the roasting pan with the grapes and push them down into the grapes. Roast in the oven, turning the sausages once until the grapes are soft and the sausages have browned, 20-25 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the sausages and grapes to a heated serving platter. Place the roasting pan on a burner over medium high flame and add the balsamic vinegar. Scrape up any brown bits and allow the vinegar to reduce until thick and syrupy. Pour the sauce over the sausages and grapes and serve immediately with Al Forno’s mashed potatoes.
Al Forno’s Mashed
2# small red potatoess, quartered, skins on
1/2 cup heavy cream (or half and half or sour cream or yogurt-my substitutions)
8 T. unsalted butter, room temp
1 t. kosher salt
Place potatoes in a saucepan with enough water to cover by one inch, bring to a boil and then simmer until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain and return to pan over low heat, coarsely mash the potatoes, gradually adding the heavy cream and butter. Stir in the salt to taste and serve piping hot.