Braised Sausages with Sauté Purple Cauliflower

(“Salsiccia alla Siciliana con Cavolfiore dell’Etna Affogato”)
(“Sasizza e u Bastardu”)


In Catania, the quality of the meat used to make sausages is different and typical, deriving from the farmers practice to rear the pigs, the variety of grazing, centuries of experience and the pride to produce the best possible meat. The art to make sausages flourishes in the area. Every town in the province of Catania produces a variety of tasty fresh, dry or cured sausages.
The difference in taste is due to the diverse feeding which is the result of the local produce. The chubby links are made with meat coarsely chopped and flavored with a few anise seeds, salt, pepper and peperoncino, the red flaky chili pepper.
The purple cauliflower used in this preparation is called “u bastardu”.
This purple variety that grows exclusively at the foot of Mt. Etna is available only in autumn and winter to the locals. 

When shopping in your local supermarket, prefer a purple or green cauliflower. When preparing it give some extra gusto by adding ½ minced clove, a few anise seeds and if you like the zest of ½ lemon.





For the Sausages

  • 2 lb. Sweet sausages with fennel seeds


For the Cauliflower

  • 1 cauliflower, remove the stem and separate in florets
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • 6 scallions minced and placed in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 6 anchovies rinsed filleted and chopped
  • ½ lb. pitted black olives
  • ½ lb of shredded fresh provoletta cheese or mozzarella 
  • salt and pepper



The Sausages
Place the sausages in a heavy skillet and add enough water to cover ½ of the wheel, cook uncovered over a medium flame until water is absorbed and fat is rendered, about 10 minutes.

Turn the sausages to cook the other side. Bring the heat to low and add enough water to cover the sausages ½ way. Move wheel around, to make sure that the sausages are not sticking to the bottom of skillet. Continue braising the sausages in their own liquid and add a few tablespoons of water if it becomes to dry.

                                       Broccolo bastardu

The Cauliflower
When ready to prepare the cauliflower rinse it and use it while still wet.
In a 5 ½ quart sauté pan making layers, dispose all the ingredients in this order:
At the bottom of sauté pan place 3 tablespoons of olive oil, then fill the bottom with a layer of cauliflower, some minced scallions, few piece of anchovies, some black olives, a little salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a few pieces of cheese. Go easy on the salt because the anchovies will give out salt when cooking.

                Scallions AnchioviesBlack Olives
Make another layer starting with the cauliflower and following the same order until you have disposed of all the ingredients.
Pour a cup of red wine over the top and cover with a lid smaller than the pan and place a weight on top of it.

You can use a small pot filled with water to press on. 
Cook over a low heat for 1 hour, add a few tablespoons of water if it    becomes to dry.


The Serving
Arrange on a serving dish, placing first the cauliflower “affogato col vino rosso”, which means drown in red wine, and top with “la salsiccia brasata”, the braised sausages.

                                      Sicilian Red Wine