Spring has sprung early in Chicago. Now I’ve said it and of course we’ll get 18 inches of snow next week. But in the wake of winters trail, I decided to make one of my childhood favorites last night, Sausage and Peppers. Growing up my dad would make this on a Sunday night in winter, we'd all sit around the table eating it (except my younger sisters, who decided they hated it and were stuck with cereal).
I love sausage. I feel like everyone reading this is saying to themselves, “That’s what she said!!” As I was writing it, I said it to myself. Anyway, I do. I love them. There is something delicious about encased meats and when I go to Whole Foods and see them on sale, I can’t say no. Of course, when I go to Whole Foods and see any meat I love on sale, I can’t say no. Tonight, we’re having bison burgers because I couldn’t say no.
Anyway, I walked into Whole Foods to kill some time and ended up walking out with two pounds of delicious fresh made sausage (and that bison). I could have just grilled a few and been on my merry way, but as winter is coming to a close, I’m trying to get all my cold weather comfort foods in while I can. My dad’s gravy is coming soon. For those of you who aren’t an Italian from New York, Gravy is what most people call pasta sauce with meatballs in it. However my dad’s has sausage, meatballs and occasionally spare ribs and a braciole (pronounced BRA-joel) and is spooned on top of ravioli imported from Brooklyn.
So back to the sausage and peppers, this recipe is actually rather easy. More than anything, it just requires the time to let it simmer. My dad now uses his slow cooker, since I was home, I used my stove; same delicious results.
1lb Sweet Italian Sausage
1lb Hot Italian Sausage
2 of each color Pepper: Red, Orange and Yellow. I pick these because they are sweeter than the green peppers, cut into thick strips and then cut in half
3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1 Yellow Onion, chopped
3 Cans of good Crushed Tomato’s
2 TSP Sugar
2TBS Basil, Chopped
1 TBS Italian Seasoning
1TBS Olive Oil
Parmesan Cheese to Taste
In a fry pan, cook the sausages until golden brown on the outside.
While the sausages are browning, in a large pot on medium heat, add olive oil, garlic, peppers and onions. Cook until onions and peppers are soft, about 5-8 minutes. Add salt to taste. When onions are soft, add 3 cans of crushed tomatoes, sugar, basil and Italian seasoning. Stir ingredients together.
When the sausages are browned, you can either cut them up into smaller pieces about 1.5 inches think, or place the whole links into the tomato sauce. Honestly, depending on how I feel that day will depend on if I cut them or now.
Turn the heat down to low and let the sauce simmer for 3 hours; stir occasionally. During this time the sauce will become darker and thinner. It will also taste much bolder.
You can serve this on a hoagie roll, on top of a bed of rice like my dad does, or on pasta add some of your cheese and enjoy!