Monday, December 30, 2013

An Early Happy New Year

Despite good intentions, I never got to blog on Christmas. I hope all my foodie friends and readers had a very Merry Christmas. As always, we had too much food (thank heavens for freezer bags). New Year's Eve will be quiet, dinner out, then home to try to stay awake to watch the ball in Times Square come down. I know it's after the fact, but I wanted to share our Christmas dinner and wish everyone a Happy New Year.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Sausage and Peppers Revisited

I'm sure you've all got your own recipe for sausage and peppers. My tried and true comes from a 1983 issue of Bon Appetit and marks the first time I roasted red peppers over an open flame. When I'm lazy, I simply fry the peppers and onions. Wandering around the Food Network site, I came upon a recipe from Giada for sausage and peppers. What caught my eye was the Marsala listed in the ingredients. I decided the wine would be an excellent addition. Here is the recipe as I tweaked it.

Serves 4-6
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lb sweet or hot Italian sausage (I actually used Italian turkey sausage this time)
3 red bell peppers, seeded and sliced
2 Vidalia onions, sliced
1 tsp Kosher salt
ground pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbs tomato paste
1 cup Marsala wine
1 can (15 oz) diced petite tomatoes put through a food mill
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
4-6 Italian sandwich rolls, optional or 1 lb. cooked pasta

Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausages and cook until brown on both sides, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain.

Keeping the pan over medium heat, add the peppers, onions, salt, and pepper and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the oregano, basil, and garlic and cook 2 more minutes.

Add the tomato paste and stir. Add the Marsala wine 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. Add the tomatoes.

Cut the sausages into 4 to 6 pieces each, about 1-inch cubes. Add the sausage back to the pan and stir to combine. Cook until the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes.

Serve in bowls over pasta. Or, serve as a sandwich., 
It took incredible will power to eat just one sandwich. I think that this preparation is every bit as good as the one with the roasted red peppers. I do not like chunky tomatoes, nor do I like my sausage, peppers, and onions with a heavy tomato sauce,  which is why I pressed them through a food mill. The resulting "sauce," which is greatly reduced, just adds a wonderful flavor. This is definitely going on the Christmas Day menu.