Sicilian dish salsiccia con papate e pomodori al forno is not only easy to make but also delicious. The addition of fennel seeds is what adds a Sicilian twist to this Italian sausage and potatoes dish. A Italian sausages and potato bake is a hearty comforting dish that helps keep the evening chill at bay with memories of sunny days on vacation in Sicily. Moreover, Italian sausage and potatoes in the oven are an easy one pot dish to make on a weeknight. You can throw the sausages and potatoes bake together and do other things while the dish comes together.
Italian Sausage and Potatoes
We love a good sausage bake because it’s easy comfort food (e.g., the British Toad in the Hole).My kids have loved sausages of all kinds – Spanish chorizo, Austrian kasekrainer, German currywurst or Polish kielbasa. In this baked sausage and peppers and potatoes dish, we bring home the flavours of Italy.
We love the convenience of an Italian sausage and potatoes bake as opposed to a pan meal because it requires less attention. Even fussy eaters like baked sausage and peppers and potatoes. Parents will appreciate that it contains a healthy combination of protein, carbohydrates and vegetables.
To make it more family-friendly, we have made some amendments to this Italian sausages and potatoes dish.
- My kids are not fan of spicy food so we used plain Cumberland sausages or sweet Italian sausages. You can add chilli flakes to control the spiciness of the dish. To be honest though, the spicy Italian sausages taste the best.
- In my mixed heritage family, the peas make it more British and sneaks in another vegetable. Alternatively, try mushrooms (fry them at the same time as the sweet peppers). Sure you can serve broccoli or something else on the side but on a busy weeknight, who has time?
- The topping of Pangrattata makes it more American (a la Mac and Cheese) and adds a satisfying crunch.
- The one pot dish is easy to clean up.
In addition, we have tried to make this Italian sausage and potato recipe slightly healthier. It’s no longer one pot, but pan frying the sausages separately first allows you to drain off some of the fat coming out of the sausages.
With the removal of the spicy sausages, we had to add some extra zing to the Italian sausage and potatoes bake as well. We added some extra flavour in the form of red wine, tomato paste and extra herbs to Diana Henry’s original recipe. This variation makes the dish less spicy hot and more spicy sweet.
Recipe adapted from here which itself comes from Diana Henry’s cookbook From Oven To Table.
Italian Sausage and Potatoes Recipe
We have made several variations of Italian sausages and potatoes recipes but this one is our favourite.
- 10 chunky, spicy, good quality Italian sausages
- 8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes (you may want more if your sausages are not spicy)
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds slightly bashed
- 2 onions sliced fine
- 450 g potatoes, cut lengthwise into thinnish pieces
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced fine
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 2 tablespoon tomato puree
- 1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced
- 200 g of peas
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- 250 g chopped tomato
- 200 ml of red wine *
- 30 g pecorino cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley or fresh oregano leaves
*Yes, red wine in a family-friendly dinner. We’ve been cooking with red wine for family meals for years. Maybe I’ve gotten too European! At any rate, the alcohol burns off while cooking and the remainder adds a rich body to tomato dishes. If you still balk at using red wine, substitute vegetable stock or hot water.
Check out my garden-grown plum tomatoes! We get so many plum tomatoes, we freeze bags of them to use for later cooking.
- Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas mark 5.
- Cut each sausage into three, widthways.
- Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a pan. Quickly brown the sausages – just to get a bit of coler not to cook through.
- Drain the fat from the sausages
- In a wide, fairly shallow ovenproof dish or pan (about 30cm across) add a couple of tablespoons of the olive oil and the sausages.
- Add the chilli and fennel seeds and cook for another minute.
- Toss in the onions, potatoes, garlic and peppers and season.
- Stir in the herbs.
- Finish tossing, leaving most of the sausage lying on top.
- Cook in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Take the dish out of the oven and stir everything round.
- Add tomatoes and wine.
- Add peas.
- Sprinkle on the cheese.
- Put back in the oven and cook for another 30-40 minutes (or until everything is golden and the potatoes are soft).
- About 10 minutes before its done, sprinkle on the pangrattato if using.
- Serve from the dish.
Pangrattato is simply a fancy Italian word for “breadcrumbs”. Like everything else foodie, Italian breadcrumbs are just a little bit better than regular breadcrumbs.
Italian breadcrumbs are super easy to make and a good use of leftover bread. You can add different herbs to the breadcrumbs to go with your underlying dish. For example, in this Pangrattato recipe variation there’s chilli flakes because the underlying dish calls for chilli flakes.
We throw pangrattato on top of many Italian dishes. It’s add a satisfying crunch to pasta dishes and even risotto. It’s been nicknamed “the poor man’s parmesan” but we use it in addition to parmesan as well!
- stale bread
- fresh rosemary
- fresh garlic
- chilli flakes (if wanted)
- olive oil
- Process stale bread and rosemary in a food processor
- Heat olive oil and butter in a frypan, then add crumb mixture to pan.
- Mix to coat crumbs in butter and oil, then fry over medium high heat until crumbs are browned and crisp.
- Add crushed garlic to breadcrumb mixture and continue to fry for 1-2 minutes then remove from heat.
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