FEATURED AUTHOR RECIPE
Marie DeRisio is the figurative mother in On Borrowed Wings. She is, in many ways, more nurturing than Adele Pietra’s actual mother, Gertrude. Always ready with a warm meal and a word of support, Mrs. DeRisio accomplishes wonders in her tiny, overcrowded tenement. This humble home is a safe haven for Adele, particularly when she fears she cannot maintain the charade of being a boy. Though Mrs. DeRisio does not suspect that Adele is anyone other than a rather slight male freshman, the reader knows better. The reader knows, too, how much Adele actually has in common with Marie. For one thing, both love homemade Italian fare. Sausages and Peppers is a recipe Adele enjoys frequently at the DeRisio home.
My mother’s mother, who is known to everyone as “Nonnie,” is one hundred percent Italian and a marvelous cook. Like Mrs. DeRisio, Nonnie has a knack for concocting delicious foods in about the same time as it takes most people to set the table. Though she is over 90 now, Nonnie is still an active hostess, with no shortage of guests or creative recipe ideas. Nonnie inspired both the character of Marie DeRisio and this particular dish.
In On Borrowed Wings, Mrs. DeRisio’s Famous Sausage and Peppers is one reason why Marie’s kitchen is always crowded! Friends, relatives, and neighbors just can’t get their fill of this classic recipe. Fortunately, there’s always enough to go around. Best eaten with a fork and a spoon, and a crusty loaf of Italian bread.
Prep time: 1 hour
1 pound hot or sweet Italian sausage
Yield: 3-4 servings