“I’m not a chef, I’m Italian”- David Rocco

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Scents of Summer: Sausage and Peppers

If you have ever walked through a street fair during the hot days of summer, you are met with the lovely, various scents of all the food around you.  Zeppoles, funnel cake, falafel, cotton candy, corn on the cob. But nothing quite makes my mouth water like the aroma of sausage and peppers.  You know exactly what I’m talking about. The smell of the roasted peppers, the caramelized onions, the hot and spicy smell of the sausage. Pure perfection. Honestly, as silly as it may sound, that smell always makes me think of summer, usually because that’s when the street fairs are around.

So, this past weekend for dinner, I made a classic sausage and pepper stir-fry. Nothing fancy. No tricks up my sleeves. Just prepared the classic way. Some things don’t need a new twist and to me, this is a perfect example. It’s simply amazing the way it is. One of the great things about sausage and peppers is that it’s very easy to prepare, there’s not a lot of prep time and not a lot of steps. Another thing I love about sausage and peppers is how many different ways you can use it. Of course, the classic street fair style is served on a nice, toasted Italian hero. You can also have it with pasta, over polenta, a salad, on top of pizza, use it instead of Bolognese in lasagna. I’ve also been known to go a little nuts and add it to an omelet with some mozzarella or make an Italian quesadilla with some parmigiana and mozzarella. Anyway you have it, it’s delicious.

Sausage and Pepper Stir Fry

1/2 lb Italian Sausage (sweet or hot, whatever you prefer)
1 Red Bell pepper, sliced fine
1 green bell pepper, sliced fine
1/2 of 1 large red onion cut
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Vegetable oil, for stir frying
Salt and pepper (Quanto basta)

Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet pan over medium-high heat, I recommend around 1-2 tablespoons of oil, since sausage is naturally pretty oily, you don’t need too much. When the oil begins to simmer, put the whole sausage in the pan. Continue cooking until sausage is browned on all sides and no longer pink in the center.

Drain sausage and let it cool for just a few minutes and then slice. I like thin slices, but you can obviously cut it the way that you like it. Add another tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pan and continue to heat. Add garlic and cook, make sure the garlic gets nicely roasted, but not burned. Put the sausage back in the pan. Add sliced peppers and onions and cook, stirring, until peppers are softened and onions are caramelized.

Season with salt and pepper and serve! Buon appetito!