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So, having a sports writer for a son, and a dad who dragged us to every brand of sports in Boston, you join in. As a kid, my dad would make us keep score so that he knew we were paying attention.
For our dining pleasure on Sunday afternoon, while we were watching the Padres vs the Diamond Backs, I decided we could imitate being at the game and I'd make sausage and peppers. This is a pretty simple dish, but it can go so wrong, with the wrong sausage. Use Italian sausage for this, no breakfast links, or bratwurst or Andouille---it just doesn't work.
Sausage and Peppers
2 pounds Italian sausage (I use sweet, as I'm not fond of spicy sausage in this)
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large sweet onion, like Vidalia---you'll need about 2 cups, thinly sliced
4 cups thinly sliced yellow, orange and red bell peppers, or Italian long frying peppers (see note 1)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper
1/4 cup tomato puree or chopped tomatoes (see note 2)
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
Put the sausage and water into a microwavable dish, cover, and cut a few vent holes in the plastic wrap. Cook for 5 minutes on high. You can also do this on the stove top in skillet. What you are doing here, is almost cooking the sausage through--it takes less time that doing them in a skillet on the stove top and the sausage is juicier.
Preheat the grill or a grill pan, and grill the microwaved sausages, until they are cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the oil, add the onion, and saute until it begins to turn translucent.
Add the peppers, and oregano, season with salt and pepper. saute until the peppers are softened.
Add the tomatoes, basil and parsley, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the sausages back into the pan, and simmer another 5 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper, serve on soft Italian rolls and pretend you are in the stands cheering on your team.
Cook's Note 1: It can be difficult to find Italian peppers, they are long and thin, and authentic for these sandwiches, but they can be hard to find outside of a metropolitan area. Here in San Diego, Specialty Produce has them in stock. They tend to cook up faster since they have a thinner skin. If you can't find them, colored bell peppers work really well here, as you can see. Don't use green peppers, the flavor just isn't what you want.
Cook's Note 2: At the ball park you might not get peppers with tomatoes, because they are making the peppers and onion on a flat top grill. It's up to you whether you use the tomatoes or not---we like it this way, but it's really a personal taste decision.
So our team lost, and I decided that sausage and peppers was a bad luck lunch, but that doesn't mean that I won't make it again since it's summer and there is a baseball. ⚾