Once, I had a law professor who said, “they are two things in life that you don’t want to see how they are made; first is the sausage and second is the law.” We all laughed so hard, and I remembered this analogy every time I looked at a sausage!
There was a time that I cared and wanted to know what's in my sausage, but somehow after college, I was able to move on from those troubling thoughts. Ever since, the possibilities have become endless, and I created this easy sausage appetizer inspired by my favorite fast food "the pizza"!
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (10”x15”), defrosted
2 lb. bratwurst sausage (about 7-8 links)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced in small squares
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
3 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 small red onion, sliced in 1/4" pieces
1 tsp of Aleppo pepper (if not available, use Ancho chile or paprika)
Kosher salt and black pepper
1) Defrost puff pastry overnight in refrigerator, and leave it out at room temperature about 10 minutes before you are ready to unroll it.
2) Cover a 13" by 18" sheet pan with parchment paper over foil for easy cleaning.
3) Remove sausages from casing. Place a 12" nonstick pan over medium heat, and arrange sausage meat in the pan. With a flat wooden or rubbery utensil, break each sausage into very small pieces. Toss and turn sausages frequently. Once all sided are golden-brown, remove sausages using slotted utensil and discard the grease.
4) Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan, and add the diced onions. Season with little salt and black pepper, and sauté until lightly golden about 5-7 minutes. Add in tomato paste, garlic and Aleppo pepper, stirring everything and sauté 2-3 more minutes.
5) Mix in browned sausages to sautéed onion and let everything come together over low-medium heat for 5 minutes until flavors combine. Set aside.
6) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
7) Place the defrosted puff pastry over a clean counter surface, and unroll it gently until flat. Gently lift it up with your both hands, and transfer it to the lined-up sheet pan.
8) Dived mozzarella cheese to half and spread 1.5 cup evenly over the dough. Then, gently spread the sausage mixture over the cheese. Next, top it with red onions. finally, in a polka dot fashion, spread out the remaining mozzarella, so the finished dish shows off all ingredients.
9) Bake for 25 minutes, until the pastry is puffed and golden brown. Allow to cool 15 minutes, and with a sharp knife cut to bite size squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Be ready to assemble the toppings right after puff pastry has been rolled out. If not prepared, place the pastry on its lined-up sheet pan and put it in the refrigerator until ready to assemble.
- Do not rush through the process of browning any sausages. Keep them on medium heat, so they can cook evenly. Cooking sausage on high heat will toughen their texture.
- I prefer parchment paper to foil. Cheese easily sticks to foil, and makes it harder to separate pastry after baking. Parchment paper also does not react with food and it is better for health and flavors.
- Resist temptation to overload the dough with more ingredients (weight wise) to insure pastry will rise properly.
- Substitute pork sausage with chicken or turkey varieties, that are available in kosher and halal styles.