The sausage can be dried or smoked, and while curing ingredients vary significantly, curing salt is almost always used. Seasonings may include mustard seeds, black pepper, garlic salt, or sugar.
Sausage has its origins since ancient times as a method of preserving meat.
Summer sausage is not necessarily made in the summer. It is made with meat scraps, and some makers will combine meats for efficiency and flavor variety.
Lean meat is used to ensure that the sausage does not become rancid during the curing process.
Tortellini and Summer Sausage with Tomato Basil Vinaigrette
Before making the vinaigrette, boil and cook the tortellini according to package instructions.
1 cup chopped seeded plum tomatoes
1 cup packed coarsely chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
Place the first 6 ingredients and 1/2 cup of the olive oil into a food processor. While processing, add the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil, and process until well blended. You can season to taste with salt and pepper. But as the sausage is curd with salt, you may not want to add any salt to the mixture. Set aside.
Prepare the tomatoes, seeding them, and then placed them first in the processor, and put the seeds and veins into a small strainer, and placed it over the opening of the processor to allow the tomato juice to drip off over the cut plum tomatoes.
Next slice sausage into small strips, and slice into threes, 1 cup medium olives.
Add 1 cup of tomato basil vinaigrette to bottom of a large serving bowl. Next add prepared sausage, and olives.
Add cooled tortellini to the bowl, and mix till ingredients are will coated well with basil mixture.
Plate and enjoy.
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