The Italian Sausage and Pepper sandwich is something with which I was completely unfamiliar until I married my New Jersey-born husband, who says that they are pretty much everywhere along the northeastern seaboard. Here in the Mississippi Valley they are far less common. The northeastern variety, I'm told, consists of a grilled sausage topped with peppers and onions; I kick up my own version by simmering them in a spicy marinara sauce, and using a combination of yellow and sweet onions, as well as using both red and poblano peppers to give it more taste. You can sprinkle them with a little Parmesan cheese if you like, or not. They are delicious either way.
Italian Sausage, Pepper & Onion Sandwiches
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into ¼” slices
1 poblano pepper, cut into ¼” rings
1 yellow onion, halved and cut into ¼” strips
1 Vidalia onion, halved and cut into ¼” strips
1 clove finely minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 grilled Italian hot or sweet sausages
1 jar your favorite marinara sauce (or homemade, of course!)
4 hot dog rolls
Prick the sausage all over with the tines of a pickle fork. Place in a saute pan with about 1/4” of water in the bottom, cover, and simmer over low heat for an hour, turning at about 30 minutes, until the water has evaporated and the sausages are tender and evenly, but lightly, browned.
Transfer sausages to a medium-large pot, cover with the marinara sauce and bring to a simmer. Cover pot and allow sausages to simmer in the sauce for 45-60 minutes.
At this point you can serve the sausages on top of your favorite cooked pasta, or use them for sandwiches. I tend to make a double batch of these to use for both purposes.
While sausages are cooking, prepare peppers and onions. Place olive oil, pepper strips, and onion into a large skillet, and turn on the heat to high. Once the peppers and onions begin to sizzle, reduce the heat to medium/low and saute for 20-25 minutes, or until the peppers and onions become soft, but not mushy. Stir in the garlic, and cook for 1-2 more minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Add the salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Place sausage into bun, drizzle marinara sauce on top, and smother with peppers and onions.
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