As you can imagine, my taste testers get quite the workout during Farmers’ Feast weeks. Day after day, they wait patiently for their first bites of new dishes inspired by seasonal, local foods from the Ottawa Farmers’ Market. Their opinions and suggestions help me a lot in my recipe development process, but sometimes I worry they’re getting a tiny bit spoiled by my cooking. Sometimes, a new dish that I think has a fantastic flavour is sometimes met with indifference, but that was certainly not the case with this one, which garnered enthusiastic thumbs up all around. Delicious hot Italian sausages from locally-raised animals at Pork of Yore were the star of the show, helped considerably by a supporting cast of fantastic fall vegetables. I’ll be making this one-dish wonder again and again, particularly because it was so fast and easy to pull together.
- 4 Italian sausages (mild, medium or hot)
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 large white or yellow fleshed potatoes
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 large onion
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 1 green Poblano pepper
- 8 cremini mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) olive or canola oil
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) dried basil
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) each salt and pepper
- 1 cup (250 mL) grated Mozzarella or crumbled feta
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Line a roasting pan with foil.
- Peel the white and sweet potatoes then cut into 3/4 inch (2 cm) chunks. Note when peeling the sweet potatoes, it’s important to get right down to the darker flesh. There is a yellowish layer under the skin that should be removed so that the potatoes don’t turn brown when cooking.
- If you’re in a hurry and need to speed up the baking process, you can parboil both kinds of potatoes in a medium-sized pot of boiling, salted water for about 5 – 6 minutes, until just barely tender (obviously it won’t be a one-dish meal if you need to take this step, but it will shave 15 minutes off the baking time). Drain the potatoes.
- Cut all the other vegetables into 3/4 inch (2 cm) pieces.
- Slice sausage crosswise into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces.
- Put potatoes, all other vegetables and sausage pieces into the lined roasting pan.
- Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with seasonings, then toss gently to ensure everything is evenly coated. NOTE: You can make the dish ahead to this point, then cover and refrigerate for up to 48 hours before baking.
- Cover pan with foil and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes (15 if the potatoes have been parboiled).
- Remove foil and cook an additional 20 – 25 minutes until everything is well-roasted and potatoes are tender.
- Top with cheese and put back in the oven for a minute or two, until the cheese has melted.
Serves 6 – 8