Prepare the figs one day in advance
1 cup sugar
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 stick cinnamon
4 whole cloves
1 slice lemon
1 pound fresh small fresh figs, or ½ pound dried figs, cut in half
1 ½ lb. sausage (sweet Italian sausage)
1 Tbs. olive oil
4 Tbs. white wine
2 tsp. tomato sauce (unsalted)
freshly ground pepper
- Combine the sugar, vinegar, cinnamon, cloves, and lemon slice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil then simmer for 5 minutes. Add the figs, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Cool the figs in the syrup and let them sit, covered, at room temperature overnight.
- Pierce the sausage skins with a fork in several places. Heat a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Cook the sausages in the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the wine until the wine evaporates and the sausages are cooked and browned, about 10-15 minutes. Add a few tablespoons of water to the pan if it needed. Remove the sausages, cut them into 1-inch slices and set them aside.
- Pour most of the fat from the pan. Deglaze the pan with 4 tablespoons of water and the remaining 2 tablespoons of wine. Add the tomato sauce, salt, and pepper and simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes over low heat.
Remove the figs from the syrup. Save the syrup for another use. Add the figs to the pan, along with the sausages. Cover and cook briefly until the fits are heated.
- Serve from the pan or spear pieces of sausage and fig on toothpicks and transfer them with the sauce to a serving casserole and serve.
Notes: To use the leftover fig sauce-drizzle over Manchego cheese slices or drizzled over ripe brie. It can also be served over cooked fish and chicken.