Throughout the valleys of Ticino you can find the beloved Luganighe sausage.
Although it originated further down the continent (in the Lucania region of Italy, where it probably also derived its name), it has been an important staple in northern Italy and Ticino since the early 1800s.
According to the Kulinarisches Erbe, it permeated the daily life of Italian Switzerland, and was made in all corners of the canton. Popular during carnival, it was almost always accompanied by a side of bright yellow saffron risotto, and it's still served this way today. Workers in the Val Verzasca ate Luganighe with another Ticino favourite, polenta, for lunch. Sometimes, it even served as breakfast with soup and cheese, or coffee.
Because fresh pork was rarely consumed in the late 19th and early 20th century, the Luganighe sausage was a way to quickly process the pig's meat and preserve it for many months. Once or twice a year, the pigs would be slaughtered and the meat would be mixed with herbs (like garlic and nutmeg, with one account even listing vanilla) and wine, and stuffed into casings.
Today, you can buy Luganighe all over Switzerland and it's the perfect accompaniament to any grill party.
Too lazy to fire up our coal grill, I perched the sausages on seasonal vegetables and popped it in the oven. This would also work on a grill-friendly baking tray.
salt and pepper
4 Luganighe sausages
Preheat oven to 200 C / 400 F / gas mark 6.
Roughly chop the vegetables and put them in a large bowl.
Drizzle over a little olive oil, mix, then season with salt and pepper.
Spread onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
Arrange the sausages on top.
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the everything has browned.
- You could also easily do this on the BBQ with a grill-friendly baking sheet.
- You can use any variety of sausage that you have—I've done it with Cervelat and St Galler Bratwurst as well.
- The vegetables don't matter so much—just use what you have. You could even pop some potatoes on yams on there and skip a starchy side.
- Though it tastes best with:
(and a slice of gorgonzola on top)