Though a massive Italian sausage and pepper sandwich can look unwieldy and out of control, what actually makes it so mouthwatering is its balance. The sweetness of the peppers helps quell the spiciness of the sausage, and the bread perfectly soaks up all the juices. I say this even though I don't think I've ever actually experienced this ideal in real life. Most of the examples have come from state fairs and questionable street carts. The sausages were dry, the peppers greasy, and the bread stale. It made me wonder: can this classic ever actually taste good?
Turns out it can. The trick, at least with this recipe from A Good Appetite, is to brown the sausages first in the skillet, remove them, cook the peppers and onions with some fresh herbs, and then return them to the skillet with a little red wine. They essentially steam for the rest of the time. The result is perfectly cooked sausage, which picks up all the flavors of the onions and peppers.
- 1/2 tablespoon oil
- 2 Italian sausages
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cups mixed bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh basil, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons red wine
- 2 soft hoagie rolls
Pour the oil into a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the sausages, and cook for a few minutes on each side until they are well browned. Set the sausage aside.
Add the butter along with the red onion, bell peppers, oregano, and basil. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onions are soft.
Pour the wine into the skillet, add the sausage back in, cover, and turn the heat to medium low. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the sausages are completely cooked.
Serve the sausages in the hoagie rolls, and top with the peppers.