As I’m sure many of you know, my first career found me on the road playing music for 12 years. Being gone for 2 – 3 months at a time, I missed a lot of what went on with my wife and son and each time I returned home I was fascinated by the stories and happenings of all that I missed. And our son Justin, was always quick to point out the successes and failures of the foods produced in my absence. One of the successes was Sausage and Apples. To this day, I do not know where Joyce came up with the original recipe, but it was very good.
Now, it’s been years… make that decades since we’ve made that dish. Having some Granny Smiths sitting in a basket and needing to be used, Joyce remined me of Sausage and Apples. Not remembering her recipe, I figured I’d just dive in and cook. I’ve always liked to caramelize Granny Smiths, they provide a terrific sweet/tart mix and that is the flavor profile that I wanted in this dish. But, be careful to not make it too sweet. It’s a true balancing act. For the sausage, I found a really fun one. It’s Boulder Sausage, Cranberry-Orange. When combined with the apples, it’s a no-lose taste! So, here is my take on Sausage and Apples. It’s fun, so enjoy…
Sausage & Apples
Fill a bowl half full of cold water and place it next to your cutting area.
Peel, core and slice the apples. Depending on the size of the apples, you will get 8 – 10 slices per apple. Cut them as equally sized as possible and place them in the water.
Wipe down your board and dice the onions and mince the garlic.
Melt 3 T of butter over a medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Stir frequently and cook to translucent, 2 – 3 minutes.
Break up the sausage if using bulk, if links, remove from the housing and then break up. Add the sausage to the onion-garlic and mix well. You want to make certain that you have small portions of sausage, so keep breaking it up as you cook.
When the sausage is about half cooked add the wine, and reduce by half.
While the sauce is reducing, remove the apples from the water, place them on a towel and dry the slices off.
When reduced, remove the mixture and liquid to a bowl and set aside.
Add the 3 T of butter to the pan and melt down.
When melted add the apples and stir frequently for about 3 minutes.
Bring a pot of water to boil and as the water reaches a boil add enough salt to taste like the sea! Add the pasta of your choice and cook off.
Add the maple syrup and cook 2 – 3 minutes.
Add the Nutmeg and Cinnamon and mix well.
Cook the apple mixture an additional 3 - 5 minutes.
Add the sausage mixture, mix well and reduce the liquid. If after 5 minutes the consistency is still too liquid, raise the heat and add pasta water a little at a time. Stir constantly and thicken the sauce.
At service, place the pasta in a bowl, top with the apples and sausage and ENJOY!!!