I no longer buy what I call "grocery-store ground beef". Lately, I have not been happy with it. Instead, I buy the pre-formed hamburger patties and use that. It is quality beef, not something leftover that the store grinds up to get rid of. It has been worth the extra money. Until now.
On this day, I had planned on getting one pound of ground beef. But one pound of those pre-formed patties hovered at ten bucks! No thanks!
It upset my dinner plans and shopping. What to do? Voila! Italian sausages were on sale for 4.99 a pack. And it was a brand I like. I scooped them up along with a large green pepper, red onion, and a can of fire-roasted tomatoes, a loaf of Italian bread.
This can be done stovetop. You could put it in the oven, but if you're home it is satisfying to have something simmering on the range. Going back and forth to see how it's doing. A taste here and there ... a bit of seasoning ...
This is not a thick, spaghetti-like sauce. It is more brothy and, I think, cleaner.
Be sure to slice the garlic. It is a bit more mellow as it simmers in the pan. If it's in your budget, colored peppers add a nice touch ... otherwise, green is just fine.
You could certainly also add black olives and/or mushrooms.
I now douse all fresh meat purchased from the grocery store with boiling water. Many processing and shipping measures have been ... "relaxed." IMHO.
- 1 lb. Italian sausages (I used mild) just under one-pound
- 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced into ribbons, some cut in half
- 1/2 large red onion, sliced
- 1 garlic clove per sausage, peeled and sliced
- 1 14.5-ounce can "fire roasted" tomatoes (I used Hunts)
- 1 tablespoon Italian spices or "to taste)
- Pinch or two of Aleppo pepper flakes (fewer if using red pepper flakes)
Heat a kettle of water to boiling. Pour over sausages in a colander. Douse a few times. Remove and pat dry.
Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan. Add a bit of oil and add sausages. Be prepared for splatters. Over a medium, medium-low heat, fry sausages just until they begin to turn brown on at least two sides.
About halfway, add your onions, bell peppers, sliced garlic. When they begin to go limp, add your can of fire-diced tomatoes with juice. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning of choice. Add about 1/2 can of water. Give a good stir. Reduce to simmer and slowly cook for about 2 hours.
Just before serving, melt in a couple tablespoons butter.
Serve as is or over rice/pasta. Great with a side of garlic bread, fresh salad and/or melon.
This is easily doubled or tripled (be careful of the garlic and Italian seasonings, though) and great for a picnic instead of the usual hot dogs.