This month, the Allrecipes Allstars teamed up with Johnsonville sausage. I have to tell you, I love their brand all the way around. Beyond the fact that they make sausage that I routinely buy anyway, they are ridiculously generous with both swag and feedback. So allow me to gush about it for a few hundred words.
Johnsonville sent coupons for ground Italian sausage. I discovered after I bought sweet Italian links (my store didn’t have ground) that my coupons could probably have been used for bratwurst or something else, but I kind of wanted to push the Murse into eating the Italian anyway. I mean, we’re huge fans of brat, so it’s not like we really need to try it, you know? Not to sound like a low-brow jerk, but I’m not going to take a brat and make it into something different. It’s going to get simmered in beer and thrown on the grill. When it’s nice and charred, it’s going to be topped with Bavarian sauerkraut and mustard on a potato bun, and it’s going in my face. Period. No fancy bratwurst recipes for us, thanks.
Italian sausage, though, is something that can be played with. We don’t ever eat it on a bun, though I know that many do. I don’t use it much at all because the Murse says he doesn’t like it. Well . . . he said that before I started using it. I decided on three recipes that used ground Italian sausage, which meant decasing my links, but each one was worth the effort.
First up was Johnsonville Italian Sausage Lasagna. I chose this one because getting Archoo to eat veggies is like pulling teeth, and the recipe has spinach inside of it. He couldn’t possibly either pick it out or really taste it among the other flavors. I never, ever, use ricotta cheese for anything, so I substituted cottage cheese as I normally would. Otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly, and it was very good. (A quick aside: Did you know that freeze-dried cottage cheese is a thing? It is! We used to get it in #10 cans [the really big ones] on the boat when I was a cook in the Coast Guard. We didn’t serve it regularly because it probably wouldn’t taste very good on its own — it was kept specifically for making lasagna, and it was DELICIOUS!)
Next, I made Italian Sausage Market Meatloaf. Again, I was going for a meal that masked the veggies with an overwhelming flavor of deliciousness for the boy. This meatloaf is LOADED with veggies. Spinach, corn, onions, red peppers; it’s got it going on! And it has CHEESE inside of it! WHAT?! Stuffed meatloaf? Baby, I am there. This is so amazing. I was thoroughly impressed, and the Murse reported that he couldn’t taste the sausage in it at all. The picture does not do this meal justice . . . make it. Put it in your mouth, I urge you!
Last, but certainly not least, I made Italian Wedding Soup. This time, I was cooking JUST for the Murse and myself — no amount of coaxing is getting soup into my kids. I’m not even going to try to go there with their messy eating habits, anyway. I followed everything about this recipe, down to the fennel, which I wasn’t sure about. To be completely honest, it smelled kind of funny while it was cooking. I kept poking around trying to figure out what it was, and I was very apprehensive when I discovered that it was coming from my pot. All’s well that ends well, though. The soup is absolutely perfect.
All of the recipes taste completely different, and they showcase the diversity of sweet Italian sausage for me. I can’t wait to try a few more recipes from Johnsonville in the future. . . even if it means that I won’t be cooking up a beer brat!
I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position), and I’m not compensated for my work with Allrecipes.com.
Products received from advertisers are only used for experienced-based reviews on ilkaisha. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of Sonja.