Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tuscan Bake

Sometimes it’s a wonder that I’m 100% Irish. For some reason, the inherited O’Farrell and McGeehan DNA do not compel me to cook as my ancestors did. No disrespect intended, I don’t cook Irish food, ever, and wouldn’t be at all familiar with most recipes from the old sod. I never cared for the obligatory corned beef or cabbage. My tastes lean toward Italian food, and though I’ve never been to Tuscany, or Italy for that matter, I love to cook as though I have!

This is my interpretation of a sausage and peppers dish that my sister-in-law Carolyn makes. She is half-Italian on her mother's side, and learned to cook in her Grandma DiBlasio's kitchen, so there's credibility here! Adapting her recipe, I add potatoes and chicken because there’s a local restaurant, Forno Tuscano in Saratoga Springs, that serves it this way and my son Jeffrey orders it every time.

In the rare case that there are left-overs, you have the makings for a terrific hot sandwich.

Tuscan Bake - Serves 4 or more

1 lb. sweet Italian sausage links
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about a pound)
2 Vidalia onions (or any onion you like)
2 green peppers
2 red peppers
4 red potatoes, unpeeled
¼ cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh black pepper
Grated parmesan cheese

Cut sausages and chicken into 1-1.5 inch chunks.
Quarter red potatoes.
Cut peppers and onions into bite-sized pieces.

Toss all together with garlic in olive oil in roasting pan. Add a little more oil if necessary. Grind black pepper over it all and sprinkle lightly with salt.

Bake at 400 degrees F, stirring half way through, until sausage gets crispy, the chicken is fully cooked, and potatoes are fork-tender, about 40 minutes (depending on your oven). Sprinkle with cheese and let that melt for a minute or two.

Serve with a green salad, soft rolls or Italian bread, and a side of marinara.

Upcoming Post: Chunky Chicken Salad!

Photo credit:


  1. Jeannie - I have childhood memories of my mom (Ginny Scavuzzo) making this dish once a week for us as kids. The Italian influence of my step-father was the inspiration as her roots are German/English. I had no idea they would serve it in a restaurant - it seemed so peasant to use growing up, but we loved it!!

  2. Jude - So good to hear from you! I think this recipe is like many of those with humble origins. They're so basically good and so full of nostalgia that restaurants are tapping into that with a lot of success. Please say hello to your mom for me. She made the best whipped cream frosting I've ever had. I've tried to duplicate it but can never get it just right. It's a gelatin thing, I think! Anyway, thanks for posting. Let me know if there's anything you'd like to see on here, or if you have a favorite recipe and story I can post here. I'd love to. Thanks! - Jeannie

  3. Oh this sounds DELICIOUS! Will have to make it soon!

  4. Jeffrey reminded me that Forno Tuscano serves this drizzled with a balsamic reduction. I'd forgotten that part!