Different versions of this recipe have been around since I married into the Tronti Family and since my dad married an Italian woman (Lisa) in my twenties. I never had the pleasure of tasting Randy’s Grandma’s recipes since she passed before we met but I hear such lovely things about her and the way she cooked and how good her food was, while Randy’s Grandfather would tend to his gardens and make his own wine. What a wonderful childhood that must have been for my husband.
(Randy’s Father’s Family)
I wasn’t really passionate about Sausage and Peppers until I had Lisa’s Sausage and Peppers. We had them on French bread with cheese and it was love at first bite. Randy bit into his and looked at me and said, “This is what my grandma’s sausage and peppers tasted like”, with a nostalgic look on his face. Lisa gave me some verbal directions on how she made them and I have cooked them ever since. Through the years, however, I have made a few slight changes and have come up with my own version. It’s pretty easy to do, but in order to be successful you’ve got to plan ahead and start early.
Italian Sausage and Peppers
6 Pounds Italian Sausage
¼ Cup Olive Oil
½ Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
4 Large Onions, sliced
6 Red Bell Peppers, sliced
2 Teaspoons Dried Basil
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste
8 Cloves Garlic, minced
3 Cans Chopped Tomatoes, or 9 Vine Ripe Tomatoes, chopped
1 Bottle of Beer
1 Pound Provolone Cheese, thinly sliced
French rolls, warmed in the oven
Place all the sausage in a large pot of water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes. This will help with crisping the skins of the sausage and preventing flair-ups on your grill, plus it will help to render out a lot of the fat as the sausages contain a lot of fat which will make for a greasy sauce. Barbeque the sausages on medium heat until they are golden brown with crispy skins.
Meanwhile, in another large pot, heat the olive oil then add the crushed red pepper, sliced onions, bell peppers, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Sauté until the onions are soft and caramelized. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer away until the sausage is ready to come off the grill. Add the sausages and the beer and continue to simmer for at least 90 minutes, gently stirring occasionally, until the sausage is tender and juicy.
Serve on French rolls with provolone cheese slices, and melt the cheese under the broiler.