Cathy’s Kitchen – Italian Sausage and Ravioli

Watch as Cathy makes a delicious recipe for Italian Sausage and Ravioli using Usinger’s Italian Sausage.  The original recipe is in the Usinger’s cookbook and the one Cathy made is listed below.

Usinger’s Italian Sausage and Ravioli – Cathy’s version

(Original recipe courtesy of long-time Usinger’s employee, Evelyn Braun.)

1 to 1 ½ pounds Usinger’s Italian Sausage (pre-cooked or fresh)

2  medium onions – chopped

Olive oil

2 – 24 oz. jars of pasta sauce  (your choice of variety)

1 – 25 package of frozen cheese ravioli

Shredded Parmesan Cheese for topping

Coat skillet with olive oil, then add chopped onions and Italian Sausage.  If you are using pre-cooked sausage, slice it before adding to the skillet.  If you are using fresh sausage, add the link to the onions and brown.  Once cooked, slice the sausage and return to the pan with onions.

While browning sausage and onions, cook frozen ravioli per instructions.

Using a four-quart or larger pot, start adding ingredients.  Empty the sliced sausage and onion mixture into the pot, then add the pasta sauce.  Fold the ravioli into the meat mixture and cook on the stovetop until bubbly.  Add the shredded Parmesan Cheese, cover and simmer for five minutes.

You can also bake this meal.  Spray the casserole-baking dish with no-stick cooking spray.  Then, after cooking the sausage, onion and ravioli, layer these ingredients with the pasta sauce into the dish.  Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly, then top with Parmesan Cheese, cover and bake for five minutes longer.

Serves 6 to 8.

Cathy’s Portuguese Soup

Watch Video

8 cups chicken broth

3 pounds total of Usinger’s Andouille and Chorizo Sausage – split each sausage link lengthwise, then cut the halves into 1” to 1-1/2” chunks

2 ½ pounds of peeled potatoes, chunked in large pieces

2 cans of diced tomatoes  (14.5 oz cans)– salsa style or fire-roasted

2 bell peppers, diced

1 head cabbage – chopped coarsely (I substituted one and a half pounds of bagged coleslaw mix made up of green cabbage and carrots.)

3 medium onions, chopped

8 medium carrots, sliced

3 tablespoons of minced garlic

2 cans of kidney beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed

2 cans of garbanzo beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed

Salt and pepper


Combine all ingredients in a large pot (I use an 18-quart one) – adding the cabbage last.  Hold back 2 cups of the chicken broth.


Once all the ingredients are in the pot, pour the remaining chicken broth in, then add enough water to completely cover the ingredients.  Bring to boil, then simmer until thick (about 3 hours).


Serves 8 – 10 generously.


Make it your own by adding different types of Usinger’s Sausage and bacon to the soup!

Italian Sausage and Ravioli

1 lb. Usinger’s Fresh Italian Sausage

2 small onions, sliced thin

2 T. butter or margarine

1 – 15 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce with mushrooms (reserve 1/2 C. for top)

10 oz. pkg. frozen cheese ravioli (reserve five or six for top)

Parmesan Cheese (grated) for topping

Melt butter. Brown sausage slowly and turn frequently. When done, cut into slices. Pour any accumulated fat from pan and return the sliced sausage to pan. Pour spaghetti sauce over sausage. Cook frozen ravioli per instructions. Fold gently into meat mixture. Cook ’till bubbly. Put the reserved ravioli on top; drizzle the 1/2 C. remaining spaghetti sauce on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese. Cover and simmer five minutes.

Serves 4. You can double or triple recipe.

Roly Poly’s

Usinger’s Smoked Polish Sausage with Garlic

1 Can refrigerated country-style biscuits

Shredded Swiss Cheese

Use Ratio of 2 Polish Sausage to 1 can of 10 biscuits

Slice each sausage into 5 chunks. Make a lengthwise slit in each sausage. Tuck 1 tsp. of shredded cheese into the sausage. Separate biscuits at perforations. Take one of the biscuits and completely wrap the sausage chunk. Seal tightly. With the above ration, you will have 10 large puffs. Drop into hot oil in Dutch Oven or deep fat fryer. When golden brown, drain on paper towels. Serve with hot mustard sauce.


If making these for a crowd, keep them in a moderate 250 degree oven until they are all fried.


Yield’s about 10 Roly Poly’s per 2 Polish Sausage.



Wisconsin Cassoulet

1 lb. dry navy beans

4 celery tops

2 bay leaves

2 sprigs parsley

3/4 C. chopped celery

1 C. chopped onion

3/4 C. chopped carrots

1 tsp. thyme

1/4 tsp. savory

1/3 C. maple syrup

2 tsp. salt

1/4 lb. Usinger’s Hickory Smoked Bacon, chopped

3 chicken breasts, skinned, boned and cubed

1 small pork tenderloin, cubed

3 C. chicken broth

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 can stewed tomatoes

2 T. chopped parsley

1/4 tsp. dry mustard

1/4 C. brown sugar

1/4 tsp. cracked pepper

2 slices of thick bread, toasted in 160 degree oven for 2 hour, pulverized

1/2 lb. Usinger’s Smoked Kielbasas, cubed


Soak beans overnight; drain. Put beans in soup pot and add water to cover beans. Add celery tops, bay leaves and parsley and simmer for 30 minutes while preparing meat and vegetables.

Brown the cubed pork and chicken in 4 T. of chopped bacon. Set the browned meat aside. Brown celery, carrots, and onion in 1/2 C. chopped bacon. Add the browned meat and vegetables with drippings to beans. Add remaining ingredients, except for Kielbasa. Simmer for 1 hour.


Add Kielbasa and stir. Continue simmering for 2 hours. Sprinkle bread crumbs over top, pushing down into soup with spoon. Simmer for an additional 30 minutes.


Serves 10




Apple/Sausage Oven Pancakes

16 ozs. Usinger’s Little Link Pork Sausage, cooked and browned

(or 16 oz. Usinger’s Fritzies, heated and browned)

2 C. pancake mix

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 C. milk

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

2 apples, chopped, with skin on


Mix all ingredients, except sausage and apples, until batter is smooth. Add chopped apples. Stir. Pour into well-greased 10 x 13″ dish. Arrange cooked sausage on top. Bake in pre-heated 450 degree oven for 20 minutes. Serve hot with maple syrup.

Serves 6-10 hearty appetites.



Braunschweiger Spread

8 oz. Usinger’s Braunschweiger

8 oz. Cream cheese, softened

1 pkg. dry onion soup mix

Dash of Worcestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients until creamy. Chill

Serve with crackers

Polonia Medley

1 C. onion sliced

3 lbs. Usinger’s Fresh Kielbasa

1 C. strips bell pepper

3 T. pine nuts

3 T. raisins

2 C. crushed tomatoes

1 C. heavy cream

8 oz. of wide noodles or dumplings, cooked

fresh mint (optional)

Sauté onion and kielbasa (cut into 1″ sections) until lightly browned. Add bell pepper strips, pine nuts, and raisins. Stir and add crushed tomatoes. Simmer covered 30 minutes.

Add cream and gently stir (do not boil). Serve over noodles or dumplings and garnish with mint if desired.

Serves 9 to 10.