My work day ended around 4 pm yesterday and I had a meeting to get to by 6. I was hungry, but there weren’t any leftovers hanging around to heat up. I opened the refrigerator rather glumly, not expecting any great revelations. Then I realized there was a package of quality Italian sausage from the market just waiting to be cooked.
Before I knew it, the oven was pre-heating to 350℉, I’d browned the sausage, par-cooked some tiny potatoes in the microwave for a couple of minutes (oops, one exploded; should have pricked them with a fork first!) and cut two small onions into pieces. Another survey of the refrigerator yielded the last of a package of fresh thyme … not quite so fresh any more, but still acceptable. Oh, and I chopped a red chili pepper into chunks too, for a hit of piquancy and vibrant colour.
Normally when I make sausage I brown it and then finish it off in the oven in the same skillet. Because I was adding vegetables, I didn’t want them to absorb the fat that had oozed from the mildly spicy links, so I went in search of something else. I’d usually make a dinner like this on a baking tray, but when I opened the cupboard the first thing I saw was the lovely white oval roasting dish. Ah, a touch of class for my quick and rustic dinner!
Putting it all together was a breeze: a drizzle of good olive oil on the bottom of the roasting dish to keep things from sticking, a quick arrangement of the sausage, potatoes, onions and chili pepper, and a tender tucking in of the thyme (okay, maybe it wasn’t so tender, but I like the alliteration here). Another drizzle of olive oil over the vegetables, followed by some sticky balsamic vinegar, a grating of pepper and a sprinkling of kosher salt, and into the oven it went for 30 minutes.
The prep for this dinner took about 10 minutes, maybe a little more. I wasn’t pulling a Jamie Oliver and trying to make dinner in 15 minutes; I was just trying to get a good meal together at the end of a long day. I didn’t plan to write about this dish, but it looked so pretty and appetizing when it came out of the oven that I posted a snap of it on Instagram, and someone asked for the recipe. Recipe? I wouldn’t exactly call this a recipe. It’s just how I throw dinner together sometimes.
What can I say … it was a good throw that made for a very good catch. I can’t wait to enjoy the leftovers this evening!