Italian Sausage – Then and Now

Italian sausage is about the only sausage I like. Hubby will eat any sausage within arms reach. Since I do most of the cooking, he has to enjoy Italian sausage more often (mostly because I won’t cook or eat the other kinds).

I’m somewhat picky about the Italian sausage I will buy. One of the few disappointments of moving to the Portland, Oregon area is that they don’t have a good Italian deli. In Southern California, I could throw a rock in about any direction and hit an authentic Italian deli/market. So some time ago I determined I had to make my own if I wanted to get the flavor and quality sausage I loved. I won’t go into all the details – here’s a link to a post I wrote back in 2016 about making homemade Italian sausage. HOMEMADE ITALIAN SAUSAGE

I was running low on my sausage supply and had to make a batch recently. I always fry up a little to taste test to make sure I have the seasoning perfectly blended. I want to make sure it is just right before packaging up four or five pounds of it. And so I did today.

However, while I was in the kitchen thinking about what to make for dinner, I decided to dress up the sausage and turn it from a taste testing experience to a meal.  

Since this dinner was somewhat spur of the moment, I just cut up ingredients I had in the kitchen from the garden (zucchini, onions & tomatoes) and added them to the frypan. I started with the sausage (of course), frying it up and then setting it aside while I cooked up the zucchini and onions. I added it back to the pan after melting mozzarella on top of the veggies. 

I added the tomatoes when plating the meal and a dollop of fresh ricotta cheese. Perfecto!

Marinated tomatoes did give this dish a little zing. I was experimenting with a recipe for the tomato cookbook and decided to see how it worked with other ingredients. 

I made bruschetta with the fresh ricotta I made yesterday and marinated tomatoes I made today. Oh so good!

Serves 2

Sausage & Zucchini

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  • 2 Italian sausage links (about 1 pound)
  • 2 cups zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, marinated tomatoes*
  • 1/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese**


  1. Break up the sausage into small pieces and fry until just starting to brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Sauté onions and zucchini for several minutes until softened.
  3. Sprinkle vegetables with mozzarella cheese while still in the frypan to melt it.
  4. Add the cooked sausage on top.
  5. Plate the ingredients and top with marinated tomatoes and dollop of ricotta.


*You can substitute marinated tomatoes for chopped cherry & grape tomatoes drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and seasoned with salt. ** Store brand ricotta cheese can be substituted for fresh.


Calories: 398 cal
Carbohydrates: 12 g
Fat: 30 g
Sodium: 779 g
Cholesterol: 79 g
Protein: 20 g
Fiber: 3 g
The marinated tomatoes will be included in the tomato cookbook (estimated publishing Spring 2020). However, if you have a lot of cherry & grape tomatoes that are ripe and want the recipe now, you can contact me through the website and I’ll send it to you. 

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