After living in Italy for as many years as we have, I tend to avoid choosing Italian restaurants here in North America when it comes to dining out. It isn’t that all these restaurants are all bad. Still, I find many of the dishes are too “Americanized” and have lost their original natural simplicity and end up with too many added ingredients that really do not need to be there. In addition, the portions are almost always too large.
When dining out in North America, we prefer restaurants that stay true to their roots, especially those specializing in Italian cuisine. One of our favorite restaurants in Naples, Florida, is Osteria Tulia, or its sister restaurant Bar Tulia.
One dish offered on their small plates menu that is very popular is Brussels Sprouts with Sausage. Though it may sound like a simple dish when appropriately cooked, roasted Brussels sprouts are delicious, and having the fat and juices from the sausage cook along with the sprouts just brings them up to a new level.
I prepare roasted sprouts weekly in my house, so I just cooked them as I usually do, but added some crumbled sausage meat removed from the casings, as well as some thinly sliced garlic. We recently enjoyed a side dish of roasted Brussels sprouts at a restaurant in Plymouth, Michigan that added a drizzle of balsamic vinegar to the finished dish and I loved that version as well. This dish is so tasty, I could easily enjoy it as a main course, and sometimes do!
- 1 1/2 Pounds Brussels Sprouts
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
- Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
- 2 Italian Sausage Links, Meat Removed From Casings & Broken Into Small Pieces
- 3 Garlic Cloves, Peeled & Thinly Sliced
- To Finish: (Optional)
- Good Quality Balsamic Vinegar
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut off the ends of the Brussels sprouts, pull off any discolored outer leaves, then cut in half.
- Mix the sprouts in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
- Pour the sprouts onto a baking sheet pan lined with foil.
- Use your fingers to break up the sausage meat around and on top of the sprouts.
- Roast for 15 minutes, then stir and turn the sprouts over.
- Cook another 10 minutes, then add the garlic and stir.
- Continue to cook, until crisp and golden on the outside and tender on the inside, about another 10 minutes.
- Serve warm, drizzled with balsamic vinegar if using.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 212Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 576mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 13g