This dish has humble roots. It started out as an attempt to replicate a childhood memory. I had a friend growing up named Paolo. His mother used to make sausage and peppers. But I’d had sausage and peppers before. I live in a city and there is no shortage of Italian restaurants, run by actual Italian people…from Italy! (My reigning favorite is my local place called…Italiano’s)
Anyhoo…her sausage and peppers were different. They were a bit kickier first of all and they sort of read like a Cajun dish as opposed to an Italian one. At any rate, the above doesn’t taste exactly like Paolo’s mama’s dish, but it’s a respectable facsimile.
Nik’s Sausage Extravaganza!
(Feeds 3 non-ops and me, with lunch to spare)
- 1 large onion, sliced into slivers
- 1/2 each of green, red, yellow and orange peppers (or any combo you like) cut into strips
- 1 lb. turkey Italian sausage (I used hot)
- 8 oz. turkey smoked sausage, cut into rounds
- 1 can tomatoes & chiles (I used hot, agin, use your discretion OR you can simply use Italian-style diced tomatoes), drained of canning fluides
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- Salt, pepper
- Optional: red pepper flakes
Spray a skillet with nonstick cooking spray and set it over medium heat. Allow it to get hot (3-4 minutes)
Add peppers and onion and sautee about 2 minutes, until softened. Meanwhile, remove the casings from your Italian sausage and slice in whatever sized pieces you like (Note: You can also leave the casings on and slice if that’s the way you like it!)
Add both types of sausage, mix into the peppers, reduce heat to low-medium and cover. Cook for about 7 minutes. During this time the veggies should release a good amount of water and steam the Italian sausage through.
Add tomatoes and chiles (or whatever tomatoes you are using) and stir through. Add tomato paste and stir until incorporated. You’ll know it’s incorporated because the liquid in the pan will thicken.
If desired, add any other spices (including red pepper flakes), cover and allow it to simmer about 10 more minutes. Keep an eye on it though. The liquid will be thicker and can burn more easily. Stir it every few minutes.
Remove the casings from the Italian sausages. For newer post-ops, you might want to brown this like ground beef (and while you’re at it, dice the smoked sausage instead of slicing it into rounds). For those further out, I cut into slices and cooked them that way. Any way you slice it, you need to get it in the pan and cooked.
Here’s the finished pan:
I’m convinced that child could even be convinced to eat Brussels sprouts if I sandwiched it between two pieces of french bread. Her only critique was (and after you read this, please go review the ingredients I listed), “it wasn’t spicy enough.”
Yeah. Everyone’s a critic, right?