My mother in law comes from a very small town in the northern area of Tuscany called the Mugello. To be exact, she’s from Alto Mugello, or high Mugello, way up in the mountains on the border of Emilia-Romagna. As such, she has some wonderful recipes that she makes, that are not on the average tourist agenda, but should be sampled by anyone who loves Italian food.
This is one such recipe. Her mom used to make this for her and her siblings as a kind of comfort food, and indeed, it’s perfect on a cold day. Agrodolce means sweet and sour, and it’s addictive. Normally it’s served on a special type of polenta that would be difficult to obtain ingredients for outside of Italy. So, you can serve it on regular polenta, or with bread.
Instructions for 4 people:
6-8 Italian sausages (salsiccia)
2/3 cup white grape vinegar, red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar (for less tang)
2/3 cup tomato puree (passato di pomodoro)
Step 1: Cut up the salsiccia into 2 inch pieces
Step 2: Add the sausage to a frying pan or saucepan on medium heat and cover. Let the sausages release a bit of fat and liquid. Keep the liquid in the pan.
Step 3: Once they start to cook a bit, turn up the heat to brown them a bit and get some color.
Step 3: While the pan is still sizzling hot and heat is on, dump in the vinegar. It will sizzle steam and start to burn off, uncovered. After the first puff of steam has finished, cover it, lower the heat to medium low and cook for 5 min.
Step 4: Add in the tomato puree, stir to combine, cover. If you see it’s too dry, add a half cup of water and let cook for another 5-10 minutes until the sausage is cooked.
Make sure the sauce doesn’t dry off, if it starts to dry, add water or tomato, until the sausage is cooked.
If you taste it and want less tangy sauce, add more tomato puree until “agrodolce” (sweet and sour), is to your liking.
Serve the salsiccia with the sauce on polenta, or with slices of bread to soak up the extra sauce. Buon appetito!