Like many Italian-American families, the Feast of the Seven Fishes is a big part of my holiday every year. As the little cousins have married and made babies (like, 12), the original dinner has become a pig roast and we all do smaller, more traditional dinners with our perspective families. This year I was in charge of apps (as was my mom, sister and sister in law) at the big party and oddly it was my “I’ll eat anything as long as it makes me feel full” husband who came up with my addition.
I asked him what would be on an appetizer table that would make him swoon – he says bacon wrapped scallops. Ok, money-bags-mcGee, what is the second most wonderful thing you’d like to see? SAUSAGE. I think, interesting, let me peruse the net. Now this isn’t exactly an elegant dish, but I can tell you it sure is man-pleasing. Every last piece was gone in about ten minutes and the men were swarming and saying things like, what IS this???
My recipe is a conglomeration of what I found online, but after tasting the end result I wouldn’t change a thing. This is more British than Italian because of the onion and sage, as well as the dipping mustard. If you used Italian seasonings you could dip in marinara – there’s definitely room for creativity here. This can be served hot or room temp which made it a no-brainer for traveling, and the time involved is short. I will definitely be remembering this for future parties! Though I didn’t freeze them, I read online that once prepared (pre-baked though), they will freeze wonderfully. Lastly, in case you don’t yet know that sausage is the atom of calorie bombs, I’ll tell you. This is not healthfood.
Makes 30-40 (two bite) rolls
1 tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
1 onion, diced fine
1/2 tsp. dried sage
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 1/2 lb. bulk sausage (I used Bob Evans)
2 sheets frozen puff pastry (or 1 17 oz. pkg.), thawed (24 hours in fridge or 20 minutes on countertop)
1/2 c. Grey Poupon mustard for dipping
1. Preheat oven to 375 and line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add oil and then onion. Saute, stirring occasionally, until onion is lightly browned and soft. Stir in sage and oregano.
3. Combine onion mixture with sausage in a mixing bowl and stir until evenly combined.
4. Spread flour on countertop. Take one sheet of puff pastry, unfold and roll with a rolling pin until it grows about two inches in each direction and is smooth and flat.
5. Rinse hands under water quickly and take a handful of sausage. Roll to a 1 inch-thin log and position down the long side of the puff pastry. Continue rolling logs and attaching them until you have one long rope of sausage right on the edge of the long side of the puff pastry.
6. Roll the edge of pastry over the sausage and then roll once or twice more. Slice the sausage roll away from the puff pastry (down the long side – you should use about half of the puff pastry sheet).
7. Repeat with the second half of that sheet and then continue onto the second sheet. You should have four long rolls when you are finished.
8. Using a serrated knife, cut the rope into 1 inch chunks (or if serving dinner portions, 3 inch chunks). Place chunks two inches apart on parchment paper.
9. Beat egg in a small bowl and brush over each piece. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
10. Cool long enough to handle and transfer to serving dish. Serve with mustard.