I was looking through some old family recipes and noticed how short they were. The instructions, and sometimes even the amounts given for the ingredients, assumed you know how to make the dish. These recipes served mainly to prod the memory, not teach. Unlike the remedial approach taken by today’s TV chefs, these culinary heirlooms weren’t cooking lessons, but rather helpful reminders to competent cooks that exuded respect and confidence.
I’m beginning to wonder if the overly-detailed, hand-holding recipe is a North American phenomenon. Is it a result with our obsession with perfection, or the inevitable evolution of our “For Dummies” approach to life? Like my grandmother’s recipes, other countries allow some wiggle room and are more relaxed in their delivery. The recipe below, Sausages in White Wine, is a prime example. I got it from Marzia, who runs a lovely villa in Tuscany where my family stayed a couple of years ago. She doesn’t detail the kind of sausages used, the type of oil, the amount of broth or even how much flour to add. You’re the cook. You decide.
Although I’ve added a few conversions for those who don’t speak metric, I haven’t changed the basic instructions or ingredients. Take note: this is what an old fashioned, I-assume-you-know-your-way-around-a-kitchen recipe looks like. So, with Marzia’s permission, I take you to Tuscany. Enjoy your exploration.
Sausages with White Wine
- 400 gr (3/4 to 1 pound) of sausages
- 1 glass of white wine
- 50 gr (2 tbsp) of butter
- 1 spoon of flour
- a little bit of broth
- Prick the sausages and cook them in a frying pan in a bit of oil on low for 10 minutes. Drain and remove the skin.
- Pour the wine into the pan and cook until reduced by half.
- Add the butter and flour and cook on low for a few minutes.
- Add a little broth and cook 5-6 minutes to reduce sauce further.
- Return sausages to the frying pan and cook for 10 minutes.