ITALIAN SAUSAGE CLASS IS IN SESSION: CHEESE AND PARSLEY, “LUGANEGA”, BARESE SAUSAGE

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Class is in session, sit down and “FA ATTENZIONE”  (pay attention).  Today’s class is not about sausage making it’s simply about a particular type of Italian Sausage, the thin Cheese and Parsley sausage that goes by a host of names.  It can be called BARESE SAUSAGE (quite the popular name of it in Canada), Cheese and Parsley Sausage, the most used in the NYC and surrounding areas, LUGANEGA which is the ancient name for a COILED ITALIAN PORK UNCURED SAUSAGE, also called Lucanega, Lucania and many Italian-Americans whose ancestry is from Bari and Puglia or Basilicata refer to it as “SHIVILATZ”…which definitely is an American corruption of a dialect word.  Take it from this Italian American, we confuse ourselves with 1000 names and pronounciations for the same thing.

Pure LUGANEGA most likely was a coarse ground pork sausage  with spices for preserving it and made in long coils came from LUCANIA now called BASILICATA.  It’s the region my maternal grandfather Innocenzo Scaramuzzi was born in and immigrated to NYC from when he was 25.   I blame him for my insatiable taste for this delicious treat.

008  There I am with Grandpa, Christmas Day 1978.  Much of what is in my cooking comes directly from his style, region, and dishes.  Grazie Grandpa. I n my home region of NY/NJ cheese and parsley sausage held together with a crisscross of wooden skewers always signaled the beginning of the Summer as the most popular way to make them was on the grill and Summer is our grilling season.  Today they are sold year round and many places refer to them as Luganega.  Those sausages contain fresh chopped parsley, grated Provolone or Pecorino, lots of ground black pepper.  Most likely if you asked for Luganega in Italy you would get the more Northern Italy style which is a thicker continuous coil of sweet pork sausage, no cheese or parsley.   Basilicata makes a fennel version and local hot chile spiked version.  No studies have been done on this to back me up so if you know of the “REAL” reason why, please comment back to me..but…my assumption is that since the Barese-Americans all seem to have the special name of it (Shivulazz) and the Canadians call it Barese Sausage…the Cheese and Parsley version must be from Puglia (Bari is the capital of Puglia).008  A beautiful locally made Cheese and Parsley ring.  This became the grilled version you see in the top picutre.    Succulent and bursting with flavor this sausage it too be savored.  I can’t speak any more highly about it, get out and find a ring.  Best way to cook it?  Over Charcoal or Roasted or Pan Fried.  Takes only about 15 minutes to cook it all the way thru, just not over too high of any heat source.  You want to create a crisp caramelized casing on the sausage.  Let it sit for 5 minutes after removing it from the heat source.  This is a thin sausage, yes, cooks quickly but it’s tight wrapping means it could still be raw where the coils touch.  15 minutes should do it.  Cut a piece from the center if you’re not sure and cook a little longer, just don’t overcook because when it’s dry is just not as good.  Rub a lemon over the sides of it right before serving along with a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Serve it over a bed of greens, cooked with garlic and oil OR raw, it’s just beautiful.

It can also be served with a variety of sides and along with small meatballs.  Stuff cut pieces into Brick oven Italian loaves of bread, with roasted peppers, with fried peppers and onions..dice it up and add to a pasta dish or roast with potatoes, carrots, celery.  In concluding this “class” on a type of Italian sausage..while there may be certain recipes that are most traditional with a food by no means is it the end of what you can do with it.  There are many ways to make a dish out of these Luganega.  Try your hand at it…and let me know what you came up with.

Happy Cooking!!

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18 thoughts on “ITALIAN SAUSAGE CLASS IS IN SESSION: CHEESE AND PARSLEY, “LUGANEGA”, BARESE SAUSAGE

  1. lorithecook

    I was born and raised in Brooklyn and the local butcher was right around the corner. My Mom would tell me to run to Carmine’s and get a ‘pinwheel.’ I was young and it was easy to remember :))

    Reply
  2. Bob Miloscia

    I never post anything on the internet but this is a special occasion. I had to thank you for posting this blog as I have searched periodically over the past 15 years trying to find out what that awesome sausage was that I had as a kid in the 70’s-80-s. My grandfather (Italian American with heritage from Bari) would pick up the coiled sausage from a butcher in Corona Queens and cook it on the bbq in the summer. Best sausage ever. Now get this… he and we always called it “Chitavelet” which is my phonetic spelling as I could never find anything on it over the years. Having read your blog I now believe he was referring to Shivilatz. The sausage we had I remember had pork, lamb, cheese, parsley, etc… If you can recommend a place to buy it I appreciate your input. Thanks again!. It’s the little things in life. 🙂

    Reply
    1. A FOOD OBSESSION Post author

      within the blog..there’s no recipe for the sausage itself..but how i prepare it..the sausage around me is so well made according to tradition. You’ll see in the text how I prepare it..

      Reply
  3. Jen

    I’m so glad I found this! My great grandparents lived in Brooklyn and had a butcher there that made “chivolette”. They were from Bari as well. We’ve had such a hard time finding it because it goes by so many names. We finally tracked down an apprentice of my great grandparents’ butcher who’s now out on Long Island. I would love if anyone found a recipe!

    Reply
  4. John

    I found a place on Staten Island that sells several versions of Shivalate (this is what I called it when I was a kid). Family Fruit on Hylan Blvd sells parsley and cheese, broccoli rabe and cheese, lamb, and chicken versions. Whenever I’m home to visit, I make sure to pick up a few rings.

    Reply
    1. A FOOD OBSESSION Post author

      Thanks for the info on the lamb version. I can’t find it here at the jersey shore where I live. I’ll have to go back “home” to Staten Island and go to family fruit !! Thx!!

      Reply
  5. Theresa Zarrella

    They have Pork and Lamb chivolette on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, NY. It is great. I bring it back to Florida with me every time I go to New York.

    Reply
    1. A FOOD OBSESSION Post author

      Thanks Theresa!! It’s a good thing I DON’T live close to Arthur Avenue because I’d be broke. I hyperventilate when I shop there…so many things that are so traditional and old school that you only find there…like that lamb civilazza!! Next time I go I will hunt for that ..appreciate the info! Ciao!

      Reply
  6. Carol

    Also from Brooklyn, always had ‘gevelat” or you can find in Italian Market in Philly at Cappuccio’s who calls it chevelat. They will mail order, might be pricey but worth it. 215-922-5792. That’s where I go from the Mainline. Call ahead to make sure they have some or can make it for you. Learned this the hard way:)

    Reply
    1. A FOOD OBSESSION Post author

      lucky to live in such an ItalianAmerican region, lots of places to get them around me…the chicken version quite popular, but for the lamb vrsion i’d have to go up to the Bronx…”SHIVILAZZA”!!! delicious.

      Reply
  7. actorsteveleeds.com

    Can someone tell me where the recipe to make the sausage from scratch. When I was a kid my grandfather, who was from Bari, went to one butcher because he made this sausage,
    Today I am making my own soppressata, capoicola, etc. and I am looking for the recipe for Barese Sausage- SHIVILAZZA

    thanks

    Steve

    Reply

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