Oktoberfest is a huge annual celebration of Bavarian culture held every year in Munich, Germany, and it gives people all over the world an opportunity to break out the sausages and beer and join in the festive spirit of the event. For this menu, add a green salad, a basket of rye toast, an apple tart for dessert and you’ve got a seasonal meal to remember.


You can use lean German-style sausages such as bratwurst or weisswurst, but I prefer Italian sausage for its higher fat content, which balances the sharp, briny sauerkraut. Sauerkraut packed in jars and found in the dairy case has a much fresher flavor than canned kraut.

Makes 4 servings

1½ pounds sweet Italian sausage links

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 medium-size sweet apple, such as Macoun or Macintosh, cored and chopped

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 bay leaf, broken in half

12 ounces sauerkraut, rinsed and drained

1 cup dry white wine

Freshly ground black pepper

Cut sausages into 3- to 4-inch lengths. Heat oil in a large skillet with a lid. Add sausages and cook over medium heat until nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and apple, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the onion and apple are golden and sausages are well browned, about 5 minutes.

Stir in caraway seeds, bay leaf, sauerkraut and wine, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook for a few minutes to concentrate the liquid and intensify the flavors. Season well with pepper and serve.


This yummy combination is a take-off on a classic German dish called käsespätzle, or cheese noodles. You can use almost any shredded cheese (Jarlsberg is a good substitute), but Gruyere is traditional, and its sweet nutty complexity adds real depth.

Makes 4 servings

3 tablespoons butter

2 medium-large onions, coarsely chopped

12 ounces medium-wide egg noodles

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups shredded Gruyere or Jarlsberg cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Heat butter in a large skillet. Add onion and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until quite soft and lightly charred on some edges, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the egg noodles until al dente, about 5 minutes. Scoop out and reserve about 2/3 cup of the cooking water and drain noodles in a colander. Return to the cooking pot or to a heated bowl and toss with the cheese and caramelized onions, adding a bit of the reserved cooking water to create a looser mixture. Season with salt and pepper and top with a sprinkling of parsley.

Brooke Dojny is author or co-author of more than a dozen cookbooks, most recently “Chowderland: Hearty Soups & Stews with Sides and Salads to Match.” She lives on the Blue Hill peninsula, and can be contacted via Facebook at:


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