It was all I could do to get out of bed this morning, and since I was working mostly from home today, it was all I could do to resist getting back in bed this afternoon. It’s been drizzly, cold, and gray today and while I don’t like how this bodes for the next six months, and am seriously considering buying one of these, today it felt cozy. Wear something fuzzy, drink hot tea all day, light candles, cozy.
When it feels like it does outside, I want something warm, savory, and aromatic wafting from my kitchen inside. Bonus points if that something is mostly hands-off, like this sheet-pan dinner (collecting bonus points). Spicy sausages are roasted alongside cubed sweet potatoes, sliced fennel, and onions until the sausage crisps and everything else softens and slumps. Throw it on a pan, throw it in the oven, cuddle up on the couch with a blanket or two, and wait for dinner to essentially make itself.
This meal is simple and relies on good ingredients and clean flavors. It starts with slicing. Let’s get started!
Sweet potatoes are peeled and cubed. Fennel is sliced. Don’t be afraid of those stalks, they’re not as scary as they look, and in fact can be saved for the next time you make your own homemade stock! Onions are peeled and quartered. Sausages are taken out of their wrapping. That’s it. Arrange all of vegetables on a sheet pan.
Season with salt, pepper, and a little dried sage then drizzle olive oil over the top and toss to coat. Nestle the sausages in with the vegetables and that’s it! Dinner is prepped.
Put the whole thing into a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, then take the pan out, flip the sausages, toss the vegetables around a bit, and put it back in the oven for another 20 minutes.
The vegetables should be tender and smell impossibly good. The fennel and onion become sweet and mellow and the sausages their spicy counterpart. I like my sausages to be crisp on the outside, so while they were fully cooked, I lined another pan with foil (I know! I said only one pan!) and put them under the broiler for a couple of minutes.
Serve it all together. A couple of sausages with some potatoes, onions and fennel on the side is dinner. Add maybe a green salad with a bright, acidic vinaigrette to counteract all that earthy warm goodness? Man, I always think of these things after the fact.
Do as I say, because by the time I say, said dinner is long gone and I’ve had time to really think about it. You think about your dinners a week later, don’t you?
The roasted vegetables’ flavor concentrates and caramelizes and acts as the perfect balance for the spicy, crisp sausage. Add a little dollop of spicy brown mustard on the side for good measure, because I’m a Haley and that means there has to be a sauce.
The point of this dinner isn’t that it’s balanced and wholesome and smells like home should smell. The point of this dinner is that it’s dreary and gray and drizzly outside and your dinner should be as cozy as you are.
Here’s the recipe:
Roasted Sausages with Sweet Potatoes, Fennel, and Onion
- 1 medium onion, quartered. Leave the root in tact so the leaves of the onion stay together
- 1 fennel bulb, sliced, stalks discarded (or save for your next homemade stock!)
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed in 1 inch pieces
- Olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 pound Spicy Italian Sausages (about 5 links). You could sub sweet sausages, brats, or chicken sausages easily enough!
- Spicy brown mustard for serving
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Arrange vegetables in an even layer and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and dried sage. Toss to coat. Nestle the sausages in the vegetables and place entire sheet pan in the oven.
- Let cook for 20 minutes, then take pan out and flip the sausages and gently toss the vegetables. Roast for another 15-20 minutes, or until the sausages are completely cooked.*
- Serve immediately with spicy brown mustard.
*If you’re like me and you like your sausages a little crispy and even a little scorched, place them on another pan lined with foil and put them under the broiler for a couple of minutes.
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