In Tuscany, the region in Italy where my mom is from, there are a few staple appetizers that you’re most likely to see at a dinner table: crostini neri, bruschette, formaggi e affettati – those will almost never fail to appear. Crostini neri are a full on tradition and they’re the Italian version of jewish chicken liver pate (and better tasting, imho, but then again, I’m definitely bias), but what I want you to try out is the maybe less famous, but oh so delicious “crostini salsiccia e stracchino”.
They’re super easy to make and you will fall in love with them – but let me warn you, finding the right ingredients might prove an adventure. If you’re in NYC, the ingredients might be a little easier to find, but are still not always available. The bread is up to you, the traditional would want a tuscan style bread (which is baked with no salt, to enhance the foods paired with it), but I often use a sliced ciabatta or baguette and they turn out delicious anyways. Now to the hard ones to find: real Italian style sweet sausage and stracchino (or crescenza) cheese. I would recommend to go to your local Little Italy or Italian Market and cross your fingers like I always do. If you’re in NYC I suggest Agata & Valentina or Di Palo for the cheese, and Pat La Frieda for the sausages (which are so far my fav sweet Italian sausages – perfect for risotto or a nice broccoli and sausage lasagna). If you were in luck and you have all you need… here’s how easy the “recipe” is!
2 sweet italian sausages
1 package of stracchino (or crescenza) cheese
Step by Step
- Place the slices of bread on an oven tray (cut the slices so that they’re not too big, like bruschette!)
- Mix together the raw sausage (casing removed), the cheese, and a bit of pepper if you want. Make sure it’s all well combined
- Spread each slice of bread and bake in oven at 350F for 10-12 minutes
- Use the broiler for the last 5 minutes to make the top crispy
- Serve right away!
Hope you do give this a try and let me know how you like it!