The mild autumn temperature has been perfect for strolling in the city. In fact, schlepping around in a relaxed state of mind in the Big Apple makes me appreciate NYC more. In addition, with the early evening sunsets this time of the year, it throws intense, picturesque light and shade against the sky-high buildings.
When in Rome
Recently, on one of our Sunday night strolls, we ended up in the middle of Little Italy. Little Italy is home to anything Italian, e.g., pizza joints, Ferrara—a place that is famous for their desserts and sweets—a plenitude of touristy restaurants and souvenir shops like the Christmas New York shop, which offers a year-round collection of Christmas-themed objects, which feels a little odd this time of the year. What kept us in Little Italy was the annual San Gennaro festival.
An immense number of people had fun at game booths that incorporated water-aiming games, BB guns and dart arrows. Often, a few lucky folks walk away with an oversized stuffed toy
Alcohol is plentifully available. It’s a folks’ feast and the atmosphere invites munching on alarming fare—there were oversized hero sandwiches with plump sausages, fried Zeppoles, funnel cakes, white nougat candy with nuts in it that is broken off with an ice pick right in front of our eyes, cream-stuffed cannolis, and the obligatory gelato in all kinds of colors and flavors.
Most of the food was perfect for a drinking night out where all self-control has gone downhill already. To me, the indulgent tip of the iceberg was the fried Oreo cookies. Yes, that’s the famed Oreo cookie dipped into batter and then deep fried.
It’s almost as indulgent as the batter-dipped and fried stick of butter I encountered here last year. Anyway, please enjoy! After all, the over-excessive fair occurs only once a year. For my friends and I, we went for raw clams, corn on the cob with butter, and roasted meats on sword-like skewers.
Everything was delicious. So much so that, we didn’t even go on a guilt trip from all that hideous, vein-clogging cookery. In all disclosure, we also shared an Italian sausage that was divine. Perhaps you know that saying, “When in Rome…”
Actually, we liked the sausage so much that I picked up some Italian sausages from the local butcher and cooked them at home. I wanted to keep it simple and went with the Gennaro festival version. Here is the recipe:
Italian Sausage Feast
(recipe makes four portions)
4 Italian sausages
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as grapeseed or canola
1 green paprika (pepper), seeds removed and sliced
1 onion, peeled and sliced thinly
2 coves garlic, peeled and chopped
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika powder
10 grindings of black pepper from the mill
- Heat a skillet on medium heat. Add oil and sausages. Cook sausages for 4 minutes, then turn sausages over and cook for 6 more minutes.
- Add prepped onions, peppers, garlic and season with salt, pepper and paprika. Cook vegetables for 10 minutes.
Chef’s Note: Cooking the sausage with the rest of the ingredients assures a lip-smacking dish. The next time I make it I’m going to add bite-sized pieces of cooked potatoes.