Sausages with finocchio and potato
This is a simple one-pot dish, easy to prepare and a crowd pleaser. And you can make it seasonal by swapping out the peas for another veggie once spring has passed, for example tomatoes in summer, butternut in autumn, sweet potato in winter.
For best results, use high-quality fresh Italian sausages or, if in France, saucisses de Toulouse. Once the sausages and veggies have been combined, the dish simmers in water or broth, which lends depth of flavor. It may be prepared in advance and reheated.
The quantities below will serve 2 people.
2 sausages (1/2 pound/220 g)
1 large bulb finocchio (fenouil)
1 large or 2 medium potatoes (3/4 lb, 300 g)
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 dried cayenne pepper, crushed (optional)
3 cups homemade chicken broth, water or a combination
1 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup peas (3 ounces/90 g), or 1/2 pound (220 g) peas in the pod
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
fresh basil for garnish (optional)
Using a very sharp knife, chop the sausages into bite-sized pieces.
Chop off the fronds of the finocchio, cut the bulb in half and chop into slices. Peel the potatoes and chop into large cubes. Peel and mince the garlic.
Heat the oil to sizzling in a large skillet. Sauté the sausage pieces over high heat, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned.
Turn the heat down to medium. Add the finocchio and sauté, stirring, until it starts to brown, about 10 minutes.
Add the garlic, fennel seeds and cayenne and sauté briefly, about 1 minute.
Add the potatoes and broth or water. Bring to a simmer. Add the salt and pepper.
Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Add the peas and lemon juice, and cook for three minutes more.
Serve piping hot, garnished with fresh basil or another herb. Serves 2.