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Crisp Sausage Cakes with Red Wine Prunes

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  1. 1 cup dry red wine
  2. 5 thyme sprigs, plus more for garnish
  3. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  4. 8 pitted prunes, quartered
  5. 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  6. 1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
  7. 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  8. 1 teaspoon chopped sage
  9. 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the wine with the 5 thyme sprigs and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Simmer over moderate heat for 4 minutes. Add the prunes and cook until syrupy, about 6 minutes longer. Discard the thyme sprigs and let the syrup cool.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the sausage with the garlic, basil, sage and a large pinch of pepper; knead until combined. Form the mixture into 1-inch patties.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet until shimmering. Add the sausage patties and cook over moderate heat until cooked through and well browned on both sides, about 8 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
  4. Arrange the sausage patties on a platter and top each with a piece of prune. Skewer with toothpicks, garnish the platter with thyme sprigs and serve.