Italian Sausage “Hash” With Poached Eggs

  This little bit of everything recipe has been one of our most astounding successes.  While there are a number of ingredients, it is easy to make, holds well on a buffet and is a real crowd pleaser!  An outstanding vegetarian version of this can be made by substituting vegetarian sausage crumbles for the Italian Sausage. 

Serves 8 – 12

1          Pound sweet Italian sausage

½         Pound hot Italian sausage

2          Tbsp olive oil

1          Medium sweet yellow onion, chopped

8          Ounces Baby Bella or Crimini mushrooms, sliced

½         Small bulb fresh fennel, sliced thinly

1          Tbsp chopped garlic

1          32-Ounce bag “Southern Style” frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed

¼         Cup chopped sun dried tomatoes

2          Roasted red peppers, chopped

1          14 ounce can diced tomatoes in juice, no extra seasoning such as basil or garlic (San Marzano are the best, Red Pack and Muir Glen organic are also very good.)

2          Tsp dried basil, or ¼ cup fresh basil cut into a chiffonade

1          Tsp dried oregano

½         Tsp fennel seeds

2          Cups vegetable or chicken broth

½         Cup shaved Asiago

1          Bag six-cheese Italian blend (Kraft, Acme or Sargento all make this), divided

1          Pound ricotta, either whole milk or lowfat.

1          Dozen of the best large eggs you can buy – don’t skimp these make a big difference

¼         Cup apple cider vinegar


Cooking Directions

Preheat oven to 400˚ F., spray large baking dish with cooking spray

 Strip sausages from their casings and sauté until barely cooked, drain in colander to remove grease, set aside.

 Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat, add onion, mushrooms, fennel, and garlic. Sauté until softened and fragrant and all juice from the mushrooms has been absorbed.

 In a large mixing bowl add the thawed potatoes, onion mixture, roasted red peppers, dried and canned tomatoes (including juice), basil, oregano, fennel seeds and broth, stir well until combined.  Add sausage, shaved Asiago, ½ bag of six-cheese blend, and ricotta.  Stir until all items are evenly distributed.  Spread in prepared baking dish, bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to brown evenly.  Remove from oven, and turn the oven to broil.

 After the hash is cooked, fill a deep, wide frying pan with 1 ½ inches of water, add vinegar and bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium.  Gently break eggs into the boiling water (you can do them a few at a time).  Poach until barely cooked, but holding their shape, about 2 minutes – they will finish cooking in the last step.  With a slotted spoon, lift from water and blot gently with a paper towel.  Place on top of casserole, repeat until all 12 eggs are cooked.  Sprinkle the remainder of the cheese over the top of the eggs, place under broiler until cheese is melted and lightly browned, about 1 – 2 minutes.