Tasty Italian Sausage Recipe

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 | Source

Sausage in the Pan with Bay Leaves

5 stars from 6 ratings of 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.

Cook Time

Prep time: 1 min
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 16 min
Yields: 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 | Source

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.

Its botanical name is laurus nobilis.

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

Laurel Trees

Bay Laurel Plant One Gallon
Bay Laurel Plant One Gallon

Pretty ornamental shrub that grows easily almost anywhere


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.)

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 | Source

© 2013 Penelope Hart

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Comments 39 comments

travmaj profile image

travmaj 3 years ago from australia

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

Sounds delicious. Thank you.

GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 3 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

It really is scrumptious maj! And thanks.

wilderness profile image

wilderness 3 years ago from Boise, Idaho

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

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

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

sen.sush23 profile image

sen.sush23 3 years ago from Kolkata, India

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.

Better Strangers profile image

Better Strangers 3 years ago from Midwestern USA

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

chef-de-jour profile image

chef-de-jour 3 years ago from Wakefield, West Yorkshire,UK

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.

GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 3 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

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.

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

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.

GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 3 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

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

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 3 years ago from Hawaii

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

GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 3 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

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

GiblinGirl profile image

GiblinGirl 3 years ago from New Jersey

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

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

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.

GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 3 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

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.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

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.

GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 3 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

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

Thank you.

CarNoobz profile image

CarNoobz 3 years ago from USA

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

GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 3 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

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


Buon appetito.

Thanks for your comment and votes!

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 3 years ago

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

GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 3 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

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

Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

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!

CarNoobz profile image

CarNoobz 3 years ago from USA

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

GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 3 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

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.

newusedcarssacram profile image

newusedcarssacram 3 years ago from Sacramento, CA, U.S.A

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

GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 3 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

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


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

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

GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 3 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

Oh absolutely. Many thanks for commenting.

RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO

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!

GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 3 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

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.


VVanNess profile image

VVanNess 3 years ago from Prescott Valley

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.

GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 3 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

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

Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 2 years ago from Brazil

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

GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 2 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

You could try! All the. Ext.

Anne Harrison profile image

Anne Harrison 2 years ago from Australia

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

GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 2 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

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!

pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 23 months ago from sunny Florida

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+++

Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 23 months ago from Germany

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.

GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 23 months ago from Rome, Italy Author

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

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