01 May 2011

Oven Roasted Sausages & Potatoes with Paprika


This is one of those dishes that doesn't need so much preparation & explanation.   You just dump the tray in the oven and you have an hour to choose on whatever pressing matters to attend to.  Multiple choice:  A. Noisy children somersaulting all over the house that need parental intervention.  B. Find a "pesticide" for the toys that sprout from every inch of the floor.   C. Find another moving object as an alternative for a monkey copycat that tends to grab on to your legs hoping to peak at what's cooking.  D.  None of the above, I'd rather pretend to be a part of the bed and stay immobile for the next hour.   How I wish to choose D but I have to choose all of the above except D. Sigh.

Without the oven timer and the smell permeating the house, I would most likely forget that I have something sizzling in the oven.   It's a treat at home when I cook this because everyone loves it.  I would cook this everyday but it is not really a light meal so I try to minimize its appearance on the dinner table.


I associate this with Sunday cooking.  I don't know why.  I see it as home food.  You let your hair down and enjoy a home cooked, filling & simple dinner with the whole family noisily eating along with you.  Kind of like what the Romans fondly say "Giovedì gnocchi, Venerdi pesce, Sabato trippa" (Thursday gnocchi,  Friday fish, Saturday tripe).  In our household, it's Domenica salsicce e patate (Sunday, sausages & potatoes).


I have a big rosemary bush growing uncontrollably under the olive tree.  I always use my home grown herbs and lately, I found a better reason to use them more and more.  You see, I assigned my five-year old son as the official herb & lemon picker and he assigned his little sister as his official assistant herb & lemon picker.  When they round the corner of our house and pass in front of the kitchen window walking hand in hand, it's like I am watching the best touching movie of my life.  At times, they pick the wrong herb.  With this one, they picked up some lavender flowers and I saw them smelling their hands & flowers just like how I taught them.  Appreciate the different smells of our herbs.  I had to send them out again.  Then they came back with another kind of flower with similar leaves while twitching their noses.  Apparently, their noses were already telling them that they picked the wrong plant.  On the third try, they were already dragging their little feet heavily to the rosemary bush while I trailed behind guiding them.

Putting paprika in the potatoes is not the classic way of roasting the potatoes in Italy.  I remember eating this version in a friend's house a long time ago and I loved the perkiness of the taste so I always put the spice whenever I cook the potatoes.  Most of the time, garlic is mixed with the potatoes but I rarely add them because there is always someone who doesn't like garlic.



Oven Roasted Sausages & Potatoes with Paprika

Ingredients:
Serves 4
  • 1-1/2 kilos potatoes, peeled & diced
  • 1 tablespoon mild paprika
  • salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, halved (optional)
  • 6 rosemary twigs
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 salsicce or sausages, pierced with the tip of a knife
Directions:
  1. Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. In a large baking dish, put the diced potatoes. Add the paprika, salt, half of the rosemary and extra virgin olive oil. Mix with your hands until all the potatoes are evenly coated.
  3. In another baking dish, a smaller one, distribute the sausages with the remaining the rosemary underneath them. 
  4. Put both the potatoes and the sausages in the pre-heated oven and cook for 1 hour or until the potatoes and sausages are cooked through. If both baking dishes cannot stay on the top rack together, just put the sausages on the lower rack and switch places with the potatoes a few minutes before taking them out.
  5. If using the convection oven, turn on the fan around 15 minutes before taking them out of the oven. This will give the crunch to the potatoes. 
  6. Serve immediately.



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