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Tasty Italian Sausage Recipe

Penelope has three grandchildren, two girls and one boy- so far. They have beautiful names! She writes stories and she tells them stories.

Italian Sausage in the Pan with Bay Leaves

Italian Sausage (luganica) in the frying pan with bay leaves and a few drops of balsamic vinegar

Italian Sausage (luganica) in the frying pan with bay leaves and a few drops of balsamic vinegar

Sausage in the Pan with Bay Leaves

This is Luganega Sausage

The sausage in the pan here is an Italian sausage called Luganega but you can make this recipe with any pork sausage. Luganega is sweetish and not very fat, which make it ideal because the sausage in this recipe is cooked in a pan - not grilled, or broiled, or barbequed and will hold its tasty juices. The most suitable sausage to buy or ask your butcher for would have the following characteristics:

  • the least fat pork sausage
  • sausages that don't have added flavorings, like herbs
  • sausages that are not spicy and 'hot'
  • not 'fat free'
  • American, British or Italian sausages are all fine

This tasty Italian sausage recipe calls for a few bay leaves, which can be freshly picked off a bay leaf bush, or bought, dried.

It also calls for a few drops of balsamic vinegar.

It's the simplest, quickest recipe but it makes a real feast out of sausages which you can make and serve as a brunch, a lunch, a family supper, or as an original dinner party dish - and even breakfast.

Skillets and Pans

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

1 min

15 min

16 min

Half a pound of sausages serves two adult portions

Ingredients for More Sausages in the Pan

Adding extra sausages?

If you make 2lbs sausages 2/3 bay leaves are fine.

If you make 4/5 lbs sausages, 3bay leaves are OK

Bay leaves impart a strong flavor which is wonderful but you don't want to overdo the taste and drown the balanced flavors.

No need to put any oil or butter in the pan, the sausages have their own fat and it will come out when they're heated.

If you are making lots of sausages then by all means add more balsamic vinegar, but not too much. Say 1 tablespoon for 12 sausages.


  • 1/2 lb Sausages
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Easy Sausage in the Pan with Bay Leaves

  1. Heat a small frying pan on a medium heat
  2. Add the sausages
  3. Prick them here and there to let the juice out
  4. Gently brown the sausages, turning for approximately 10 minutes
  5. Add the bay leaves and cover for about 5 minutes
  6. Turn them, so they get nice and brown on all sides in the juices in the the pan
  7. When they are cooked, add a dash of balsamic vinegar and turn the sausages around for a few seconds till the vinegar liquid cooks off (about 10-20 seconds)
  8. Turn off the heat, cover with a lid until ready to serve (but don't wait too long; these are good hot).

Bay Leaf Bush or Tree

Bay Leaf Bush

Bay Leaf Bush

Did you Know This About Bay Leaves

Bay leaves are laurel leaves from the bay laurel tree or shrub.

They are one of Apollos symbols.

The Greeks and then the Romans used to crown their fighters and athletes and gladiators with wreaths of laurel.

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Its botanical name is laurus nobilis.

It is the source of the words baccalaureate and poet laureate.

Laurel Trees

Bay Leaf

Bay leaf or (laurel) is a particular, wintry tasting aromatic leaf which doesn't enhance all foods as much as say, parsley, or rosemary, or sage do.

Bay leaf has a tree/wood-like smell; it's strongly pungent and there's something eucalyptus in there too with maybe some mysterious hints of wild mint or sorrel - those sorts of smells.

It's not a leaf you'd generally add to your home made stock, or use to flavor roast chicken or many fish dishes. No. It's particular. Bay leaf accompanies few foods really well - aside from sausages. Here is a short list of other foods which taste good with a little bay leaf, (laurel).

  • Brown lentils are good with a bay leaf
  • Scandinavian people like to use it in pickles
  • Russian people sometimes put it in Borscht
  • I think certain pork stews would be tasty with bay leaf as would game or wild boar, but not too much of it
  • One small leaf could be very nice in pasta sauces that cook for a long time

It is a pleasantly 'new' to taste a pan of cooked sausages that have had a few leaves of bay in there to lightly flavor them up. The sausages taste more sausagy.

I learned this recipe from a Roman painter years ago when I first came to live in Italy. He was my husband's best friend. His dishes were as wonderful as his paintings, always touched with original flair. He enjoyed explaining what and why he was doing things as he cooked.

"This cuts the fat" ("Questo taglia il grasso")

Note About Taking Off Sausage Fat

If your sausages are very fatty, then you could drain the fat off towards the end of their cooking - just before you add the balsamic vinegar - but leave a teaspoon in so that the sausages don't stick to the bottom of the pan and can mix nicely and tastefully with the balsamic vinegar.

A little fat is good for you, no matter what they tell you!

Balsamic Vinegar on Sausage

Adding a dash or two of the balsamic vinegar to this tasty Italian sausage recipe at the end cuts the fattiness. It sharpens and heightens the sausage flavors whilst giving you a delicious brown sauce to pour over your food. You don't taste the vinegar!

Suggestion: Add the vinegar by sprinkling it over the sausages very gently and then turn them over straight away. (They can't be zonked with vinegar. It has to be a subtle addition.)

Just Ask Susan's Deliciously Different Sausage Recipes

What to Serve with Tasty Italian Sausage Recipe

This tasty Italian sausage recipe would be great with hash brown potatoes, or with fried potatoes, Yorkshire Pudding, or with lentils, or simply on its own with chunks of your home made farmhouse loaf.

If you have enjoyed this recipe, or have tasted it and would like to rate it, I'd appreciate it. The stars are up above! (under the photo of the Luganega sausage cooking in the pan). Thank you!

Home Made Bread Nice with Italian Sausage Recipe

Home Made Bread

Home Made Bread

More Italian Recipes from Goodlady

  • Healthy Cheap Recipes: Linguine Pasta al Garden Fresh Pesto Sauce
    Here's a recipe for Italian Linguine (or spaghetti) with Garden Fresh Pesto' made from basil, which grows everywhere in Italy in the summer and conserved through the year as pesto sauce, (with EVOO). Making cheap meals from seasonal produce is a deli
  • Using Balsamic Vinegar in Cooking; 3 Tasty Recipes
    Balsamic vinegar is a flavorful syrupy-sharp ingredient for cooking meats and vegetables as well as a cold vinegar for salads. 3 tasty, quick to make, rustic recipes here for hearty winter dishes that taste great cooked with balsamic vinegar.
  • Very Useful Tips on Cooking with Garlic
    Garlic tastes better without the green shoot, which is bitter. Here's a video of how to take the shoot out. And a selection of quick, simple Italian recipe ideas with garlic - used chopped finely, coarsely and used whole!

© 2013 Penelope Hart


Sp Greaney from Ireland on August 07, 2020:

I love using balsamic vinegar but I've never added it to any kind of sausages with bay leaves. What an interesting way of flavouring them. Must try this.

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on May 25, 2018:

Thanks for reading, commenting and enjoying your sausage dinner.

Larry W Fish from Raleigh on May 24, 2018:

Thanks for sharing! I love Italian sausage, in fact had it for dinner last night.

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on February 19, 2015:

Thanks for the pin and vote and comments everyone! Enjoy because it's so good!

Thelma Alberts from Germany on February 15, 2015:

I still have sausages here in my fridge but I have to buy balsamic vinegar to try this recipe. Bay leaf is always in my cupboard. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on February 15, 2015:

Sounds good I will see if I can find this particular kind; we love these done up in the pan.

I have never made using a bay leaf so will have to give it a try.

Angels are on the way to you

Pinned and voted up+++

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on June 13, 2014:

Hope you post your home made sausage recipe!

This is a superb recipe for any kind of sausage but I imagine a home made sausage cooked this way would be the absolute tops!

Anne Harrison from Australia on June 12, 2014:

Sounds delicious, especially as I'm experimenting with making my own sausages. Look forward to trying it!

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on February 03, 2014:

You could try! All the. Ext.

Mary Wickison from USA on February 03, 2014:

I am envious. The sausages here aren't great, I never thought of using balsamic vinegar on them, maybe that will help.

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on January 17, 2014:

Please drop in after you have finished your sausage meal and tell us how you like it. Thanks fir your kind comment.

Victoria Van Ness from Fountain, CO on January 15, 2014:

I LOVE sausage, and we don't buy it and cook it nearly enough. Thank you for the wonderful recipe. We will definitely be able to take full advantage of it next time we purchase it.

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on March 30, 2013:

Hiya! Yes, THIS you can do! And it is great, so hope you enjoy it lots.

Nice of you to drop by and many thanks for your kind share.


Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on March 30, 2013:

This is a gorgeous hub! I love the sound of the sausage - balsamic vinegar is a staple for me:)

I tried making my own sausage from scratch (stuffing the casing) and I couldn't do it. THIS - I can do!

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on March 18, 2013:

Oh absolutely. Many thanks for commenting.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on March 18, 2013:

The bay leaf in added to the sausage must give it an a mouth watering flavor.

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on February 14, 2013:

Maybe nothing in the world more tasty than a well cooked sausage!


newusedcarssacram from Sacramento, CA, U.S.A on February 14, 2013:

I don't know what is more testy than this...

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on February 12, 2013:

Hope you find a nice sausage GlimmerTwinFan. Just avoid the too fatty type.

Great you have Italian again CarNoobz!

Thanks so much for your comments here!! Great people.

CarNoobz from USA on February 12, 2013:

Yes, we've got it here (Italian), but the locals all eat Portuguese, so I just got used to it =) But Italian is BACK on the menu lol

Claudia Porter on February 12, 2013:

This looks delicious and I like that it has less fat. May have to make a trip to the butcher and try this this weekend. Thanks!

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on February 07, 2013:

That's good! Thanks Om for the 5 stars!!! Appreciated greatly.

Om Paramapoonya on February 07, 2013:

Yum! I love using balsamic vinegar. Once again, you're making me hungry! Rated 5 stars :)

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on February 05, 2013:

Can you get Italian sausage in Hawaii? I just looked it up and you can

Buon appetito.

Thanks for your comment and votes!

CarNoobz from USA on February 04, 2013:

Oh YEAH, that Italian sausage looks so good. Since moving to Hawaii, I've mostly been eating Portuguese sausage (we even have it at McDonald's), but that pic made me INSTANTLY crave Italian sausage. YUM!

Voted up

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on February 04, 2013:

Oh Alicia! Hello. They really are delicious and I hope you'll enjoy a plate of them, perhaps with your Manna bread!

Thank you.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on February 04, 2013:

The opening photo looks so enticing, GoodLady! This is an easy recipe that sounds like it should be delicious, just like all your other recipes. Thanks for the instructions.

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on February 04, 2013:

You really must GiblinGirl and I do hope your husband loves it, you too of course!


Luganega is the most perfect sausage for this recipe! Perhaps where there is a strong Italian tradition I. An area of the USA, you could find it. Nice to know for readers. Many thanks Teaches. Appreciated.

Dianna Mendez on February 04, 2013:

I have had this wonderful sausage at a friend's home. They are Italian and get them fresh from a local butcher's shop in Ohio. You can't compare this delightful taste to other sausages, it is unique. Thanks for the memory and recipe idea.

GiblinGirl from New Jersey on February 04, 2013:

Sounds yummy and very simple to make. My husband loves sausage - I may just have to try this one out.

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on February 04, 2013:

What could be simpler than sausages in the pan and a loaf of bread? Thank you Natasha.

Natasha from Hawaii on February 04, 2013:

That loaf of bread looks amazing! Great recipe, as always.

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on February 04, 2013:

It's SO simple and totally delicious and different tillsontitan. Many thanks for your votes and share!

Mary Craig from New York on February 04, 2013:

What a simply delicious idea! Definitely not difficult to make but it looks tasty and healthy. I'm sure the balsamic adds just the right touch.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on February 04, 2013:

Happy sausage eating everyone! Cheers. Come back and please tell me how your meal went.

Thanks wilderness, Susan, sen.such23, Better Strangers and chef-de-jour.

Greatly appreciate you dropping in and leaving such yummy comments.

Andrew Spacey from Sheffield, UK on February 04, 2013:

Delicioso! Bellissimo! Thanks for this simple yet absorbing recipe which I hope to try out very soon. We are seldom without sausage. It is such a wonderful creation - in a full English, in a roll with tomatoes, in a stew! Using balsamic sounds magical, and the bay leaves will give it a hint of savoury sweetness.

The bit I liked most about your hub? You mention Yorkshire pudding! Yes, another classic. Votes for this.

John Manfredi from Midwestern USA on February 04, 2013:

The vinegar is something my mother taught me. Basil is next -thanks!

Sushmita from Kolkata, India on February 04, 2013:

Penelope, I am only virtually acquainted with Italian food, particularly such little tricks that go specific to a country. Your hub is written in the manner of a balanced serving of good food, with the recipe, information on ingredients and culture and the personal stories interestingly juxtaposed. Voted up, up.

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on February 04, 2013:

Hubby is going to love your recipe! So am I :)

Dan Harmon from Boise, Idaho on February 04, 2013:

We love sausage and have it at least once a week. You can bet this will be on the menu soon.

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on February 04, 2013:

It really is scrumptious maj! And thanks.

travmaj from australia on February 03, 2013:

Sausages on my menu tonight - will certainly try the bay leaf and balsamic.

Sounds delicious. Thank you.

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