These hearty sandwiches are a riff on the classic Philly Cheesesteak, only with sausages in the leading role; the recipe doubles easily for larger families (or appetites), and leftovers can be quickly transformed into a hearty pasta sauce the next day.
2 tbsp (30 ml) canola or olive oil
4–6 fresh Italian beef or pork sausages (1–1 1/2 lb/500–750 g)
2 tbsp (30 ml) butter
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 red, yellow or orange bell peppers, seeded and sliced
1 tsp (5 ml) Italian seasoning or dried thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
4–6 long rolls or hot dog buns, split in half lengthwise and toasted, if you like
Grated or thinly sliced cheddar, mozzarella or provolone (optional)
Set a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Cook the sausages until browned on all sides; if you like, remove them from the pan and slice into thick pieces on a slight diagonal, then return them to the pan to cook all the way through. Otherwise, leave them whole and poke with a fork or the tip of a knife to keep them from splitting.
Remove the sausages and set aside on a plate. Add the butter to the pan and sauté the onion and peppers for 5–6 minutes, until soft and starting to turn golden. Add the Italian seasoning or thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Return the sausages to the pan and toss to combine everything well.
Stuff the sausages, peppers and onions into the split buns. If you like, place them stuffed-side-up on a baking sheet, sprinkle with cheese and place under the broiler until the cheese melts.
Per serving: 633 calories, 41 g fat (17 g saturated fat, 20.7 g monounsaturated fat, 3.8 g polyunsaturated fat), 108 mg cholesterol, 27 g carbohydrate, 25.6 g protein, 2.5 g fibre
Within a few days, chop the leftover refrigerated sausage, peppers and onions into smaller pieces and bring to a simmer with jarred tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes.
Pour over spaghetti, penne, rigatoni or your favourite pasta shape. The chunky sauce would also do well in a layered lasagna, or top your pasta creation with cheese and bake it for a casserole-style baked pasta.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, Aug/Sep 2016.