No more “but I don’t know what to make”. This recipe eliminates that favorite excuse we all use to put off inviting people over for dinner. Good timing as one of America’s favorite entertaining holidays, 4th of July, is right around the corner. And what’s better than sharing a lovely meal in the summer sun with a few beers and family and friends?
These sausage, pepper and onion sandwiches couldn’t be easier or quicker. Make them ahead of time and just reheat on the stove when you’re ready to eat. It can also easily be doubled or tripled if you are expecting a proper crowd, or just lots of extremely hungry people.
Now I know turning on the stove in the heat of summer isn’t always ideal, but (1) it’s definitely better than turning on the oven (though yesterday in the nearly 90 degree weather my daughter insisted on baking cookies….insane! but delicious!) and (2) no one has to be on grill duty.
These sandwiches go best with crusty Italian rolls, but if you can’t find those any roll will do. It’s also really nice over pasta. But save that for the winter. In summer, sausage sandwich on a roll is perfect casual dining fare.
Sausage, Pepper and Onion Sandwiches (serves 4-6)
Note: In the UK I have a difficult time finding sweet Italian sausage like they have in the States. I use the closest thing I can find – sweet chili sausages. If you don’t have Italian seasoning, use any one or a combination of these dried spices – oregano, basil, thyme, and/or parsley. The sausage, pepper and onion mixture is also nice over pasta.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound (400-450 grams) sweet Italian sausage (see Note above)
2 red peppers, sliced
2 onions, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (see Note above)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste (tubed tomato puree)
1 cup (250 ml) Marsala wine or dry sherry
14 ounces (400 grams) canned/tinned chopped tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
Sandwich rolls (crusty, Italian-style are the best)
Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausages and cook until brown on both sides, about 10 minutes. They should be cooked all the way or nearly all the way through (they will continue cooking when they’re added back into the tomato sauce later on). Remove from the pan and place on a plate lined with paper towel (kitchen roll).
Keeping the pan over medium heat, add the peppers, onions, salt, and pepper and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the Italian seasoning and garlic and cook 2 more minutes.
Add the tomato paste and stir. Add the Marsala wine, tomatoes, and chili flakes, if using. Stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the browned bits. Bring to a simmer.
Cut the sausages into bite-size pieces, about 3/4-inch (2 cm) cubes. Add the sausage back to the pan and stir to combine. Cook until the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes.
Split the rolls in half lengthwise. Hollow out the bread from the bottom side of each roll, being careful not to puncture the crust. Fill the bottom half of the roll with sausage mixture. Top and serve sandwiches immediately.
Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis