Sausages to savor

  • Yanni's Sausage Grill owners John (Yanni) Vrattos, right, and his wife, Francesca make their links on Monday and Tuesday for the overflow crowd at their tiny store on Main St. in Penngrove. (John Burgess/The Press Democrat)

Dinner is often the last thing you think about as you navigate through the busy holiday season.

But even a few simple ingredients from your pantry can be transformed into a delicious feast when you've armed yourself with the cook's secret weapon: Sausages made by one of the North Bay's artisan producers.

Just saute the sausages with some vegetables, or throw in some cheese and pasta, and you've got a miracle meal in minutes.

Here are some folks who grind, mix, stuff and twist off a few of the North Bay's most luscious links.

Two years ago, John and Francesca Vrattos opened Yanni's Sausage Grill in a 270-square-foot kitchen with a small counter and three stools.

Despite its size, the Penngrove sandwich shop has gained a big reputation for its bold flavors.

"In 2009, our daughter gave us a Cuisinart, and that started the whole thing," said Francesca, who develops the recipes and works the front of the house.

In addition to a monthly special, the couple makes eight varieties of sausages ranging from Loukanico (pork, anise, orange and lemon zest) to "Gyro in a Link" (lamb, garlic, oregano).

"We do things that we like," John said. "And it works."

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