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ROASTED SAUSAGES AND GRAPES

ROASTED SAUSAGES AND GRAPES

1 1/2 pounds Italian hot sausage

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1 1/2 pounds Italian sweet sausage

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

6 to 7 cups (2 1/2 lbs.) red or green seedless grapes, stems removed

4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Parboil sausages in water to cover for 8 minutes, to remove fat. Melt butter in large, flameproof roasting pan. Add grapes, and toss to coat. With tongs, transfer sausages to roasting pan and push down into grapes so sausages will not brown too quickly.

Roast in oven, turning sausages once, until grapes are soft and sausages have browned, 20 to 30 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer to heated platter. Place roasting pan over medium-high flame and add balsamic vinegar. Scrape up any browned bits in roasting pan and allow vinegar and juices to reduce until thick and syrupy.

Pour sauce over sausages and grapes and serve immediately, accompanied by Al Forno's Mashed Potatoes.

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AL FORNO'S MASHED POTATOES

2 pounds small red potatoes, quartered, skins on

1/2 cup heavy cream

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp.

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Place potatoes in saucepan, with water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to boil, lower heat, simmer until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain; return to saucepan. Over very low heat, coarsely mash potatoes with masher or 2 forks, adding heavy cream and butter. Stir in salt to taste. Serve piping hot.

Recipes from 'Cucina Simpatica,' by Johanne Killeen and George Germon