Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Italian Sausage and Pepper Sandwiches

Photo courtesy my Mac
    I'm always looking around for new recipes and ideas. Recently, I found one right on my own food blog. Down at the bottom, Taste of Home has a button that features a recipe of the day. I discovered a recipe for Italian Sausage Pepper sandwiches. I followed that as a basic guide, because of course, I didn't quite have everything it called for and I didn't see the need for a casserole, so I threw it all in the slow cooker on high for a few hours and was good to go. (Tip - the sturdier the bun the better.)

Italian Sausage and Pepper Sandwiches
3 peppers (bell or Hungarian waxed), red, green or yellow, cut in half and then in 1/2 inch slices
1/2 onion, cut in thin wedges
2 T. olive oil
1/4 tsp. crushed red peppers (optional)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tomatoes, cored, seeded and cut in quarters or eighths or chopped in chunks
1/2 small can tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 tsp.  parsley
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
sprinkle of salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper (black is alright if you don't have it)
1/16 cup or couple tablespoons of wine or water
6-8 Italian sausage links

   In medium skillet, heat oil and saute' peppers and onions for about 5 minutes just until they start turning tender. Add garlic and crushed red pepper, if using. Let cook, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes. (Olive oil burns hotter than vegetable or canola so watch out.) Add tomatoes, spices and a splash of wine or water to adjust thickness. Let simmer for an hour to blend flavors if using on pasta or use immediately in one of the recipes below.

    With Italian sausage - On grill or in skillet, brown Italian sausage links (or brats) and place in crockpot. Add marinara sauce and cook on high 2 hours for flavors to blend through and meat to reach 160 degrees. Toast some hoagie buns. With slotted spoon, scoop out a link and veggies and place in bun. Top with shredded mozzarella or Italian cheese blend.

    For casserole - double above recipe and combine meat and veggies into a 13x9x2 sprayed casserole dish. Bake in 350 oven for 35-40 minutes. Serve as a main dish.
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