A new way to eat sausage and potatoes

When I first moved to Italy I was living in Rome and teaching English, but the money wasn’t enough to pay all the bills, so I picked up a second job working for a tour bus company.

It was a new start up and quite frankly really, really badly run (went out of business after two or three years but I was long gone by then).

We wore these horrible uniforms that made us look like the French Gendarmerie, had a boss that was completely bonkers and I had to ride around on a bus all day with crazed drivers and the pay was bad, really bad.

On particularly bad days I used to treat my self to a slice of pizza from a baker that was just around the corner from the company’s teeny, tiny offices.

A word about pizza in Rome. There are essentially too types of pizza that you can get – the classic pizza Napoletana – which is the round, thin crust wonder that we are all familiar with and then there is pizza al trancio (pizza by the slice).

This type of pizza is baked in rectangular pans and has a much thicker crust and heartier toppings. At that time (’94/’95) a 100 gr slice of pizza cost 1000 lira and a soft drink cost 2500 lira, so with 5000 lira I could get myself a pretty decent and filling meal.

My favourite pizza that this place made was in bianco – no tomato sauce on it at all.

But it did have sausage. And potatoes.

Sausage and potatoes

I liked it so much that I never ordered any of the other types they had available.

After I stopped working there I really didn’t feel like going all the way across town just for a slice of pizza, so I started making it myself.

Sometimes I buy fresh pizza dough from the baker, sometimes I make it myself. This time I tried making it in my bread machine for the first time.

I love the way it turned out and I love how easy it was – just pour in the ingredients and walk away!

Mamma's new toy

Pizza dough in a bread machine:

200 ml water

45 ml extra virgin olive oi

350 gr all purpose flour

5 gr salt

7 gr active dry yeast

Put all the ingredients into the machine, turn on the appropriate program and wait for the dough to be ready.

When the pizza dough was ready I stretched it onto a 30 cm by 40 cm baking sheet and let it rest for 20 minutes.

Ready to go in the oven

For the topping:

250 gr sausage

3 medium sized potatoes

salt and pepper

extra virgin olive oil

Peel the potatoes and boil them in salted water until tender.

Remove the sausage meat from the casing and break up with a fork.

Cook the sausage in a pan without any added oil or fat of any kind (it will release its own) continuing to break the meat into small pieces.

When the meat is cooked drain and set aside.

When the potatoes are cooked, drain and set aside to cool.

Once the potatoes are cook enough to handle, mash them with a fork or pastry cutter, whatever you have handy, just don’t make the potato too smooth, leave it lumpy.

Spread the potato all over the pizza dough, then do the same with the sausage.

Lightly press down on the sausage and potato so that it goes into the dough a little bit.

Season to taste and drizzle with a little olive oil.

Bake at 220°C for 20 minutes.

Serves from 4 to 6 people.

Hot out of the oven and ready to slice

22 comments to A new way to eat sausage and potatoes

  • ahahah! I can’t believe it!! This is what I had for dinner after class :) Gooooo Rome!

  • Love your last two posts – seems you like sausage as much as I do. But if I do pizza, I must do the thin crust dough, and I usually do sausage and spinach. Mmm.

    Thanks for stopping by my page the other day – good to see you again too, as it were. 😉

  • Oooh! The famous bread machine I’ve heard so much about. As luck would have it I made pizza with the kids today but didn’t read your post till now. Next time I’ll definitely try sausage and potato.

  • Rosanne

    I know I always say the same thing but this looks delicious!! Also, I would love to be hanging around Rome eating Pizza right now…..

    • Joanne

      You could leave the munchkins with me and have a second honeymoon!! Or we could leave both our husbands behind to mind the children and go off on our own, whatever 😉

  • Oh my goodness, I’m ready to make this right now! I love how this sounds, yum, yum, yum!

  • This sounds awesome, Joanne. Perfect dish for cold days. I love your new toy! :-)

  • Jeff - Your freakin' cousin

    I have been told that it is ideal to leave the pizza dough in the fridge overnight before using it (Tastes better, easier to use). Your thoughts?

    • Joanne

      I have used pizza dough both after storing it in the fridge and immediately after it rises and I have to say that I haven’t noticed a difference in taste – I think the quality of the oven is a much more important factor as far as taste is concerned. As for it being easier to use – I find it easier and more pliable when it hasn’t been in the fridge – in fact I let it reach room temp before using it. Maybe my fridge is too cold. It isn’t pastry dough, that has a high fat content that needs to be kept cold. And pizza dough really isn’t meant for rolling. It needs to be pulled and tugged and stretched in the pan (and tossed if you know how – I don’t). I think the important thing is that the dough doesn’t dry out, so if you put it in the fridge, cover it well or wrap in a damp dish towel and plastic wrap or a bag.

  • Jeff - Your freakin' cousin

    One more thing – What about some rosemary on that?

    • Joanne

      Rosemary would be good on this (think of pizza bianca that is just oil, salt and rosemary) but … I left it off diliberately because while I enjoy the flavour of rosemary in food, I hate the little needles in my mouth. A good compromise for me is rosemary flavoured olive oil (just a sprig of rosemary in the bottle). If you add rosemary to this, don’t put too much, it can easily over power everything else.

  • Jeff - Your freakin' cousin

    BTW – if you take requests, I would love to read your thoughts and ideas on Farro. I’m going to tackle it this weekend for Kelley and her mom.

    • Joanne

      M has used farro in the past, sometimes using it as if it were rice and cooking it risotto style or cold in a salad. I should include it here, you’re right, thanks for the reminder. I’ll send you an email later with more info.

  • Man, this look amazing. Perhaps I need to run to the Forno for lunch later today.

    • Joanne

      Honestly, I think Rome has the best pizza al trancio in Italy, and some of those places in the center are to die for (there is an amazing one near Fontana di Trevi). Cheap and tasty!

  • Roz

    When I want rosemary flavour without the little needles I put dried rosemary into an old pepper mill and grind it onto roast potatoes, garlic bread -whatever. It works really well.

    cool site.

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