¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 links (4 ounces each) sweet Italian sausage
½ cup dry red wine
6 dried sweet peppers, stemmed, seeded and cut into ¾-inch-wide slices (see note)
cup small black olives, such as Nicoise or Gaeta, well drained
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Use the tines of a fork to pierce the sausage links in several places, then add the sausages to the skillet and brown them on all sides, 5-7 minutes. Carefully add the red wine, then cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the sausages are cooked through, 7-12 minutes; the time will depend on the thickness of the links. Transfer the sausages to a plate.
Increase the heat under the (uncovered) skillet to medium-high and bring the sauce to a low boil; cook until the wine is thickened and syrupy, 3-5 minutes. Pour the wine sauce over the sausages, and use paper towels to wipe out the skillet.
Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil in the skillet over medium heat until the oil shimmers. Add the peppers and a pinch of salt; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the peppers to a clean plate.
Add the olives to the oil and cook, stirring occasionally, until warmed through, about 1 minute. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the olives to the plate with the peppers. Cut each sausage on the diagonal into 3 pieces and transfer to a serving platter. Top with the peppers and the olives, and drizzle with the wine sauce. Serve hot.
Cook’s note: In Italy’s Basilicata region, the dried sweet red peppers known as cruschi are ubiquitous in local cooking. Here in the States, dried sweet peppers are difficult to find. You may substitute any variety of dried pepper as long as it is quite mild; aji and California chilies would work. oil for about 5 minutes, until the peppers have softened and begun to color lightly.
Nutrition values per serving (using fresh peppers): 330 calories, 24 g fat (6 g saturated), 7 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 19 g protein, 35 mg cholesterol, 740 mg sodium.
Adapted from “The Southern Italian Farmer’s Table” by Matthew Scialabba and Melissa Pellegrino (Lyons Press, 2012)Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.