July 24, 2007

Sausage and Peppers over Rice

Last nite I made Sausage and Peppers over Rice. I created this dish one day, long ago when I was craving one of those awesome Sausage and Pepper sammichs from a NJ boardwalk. Somehow the salty air and breezes always stirred up an appetite and this was what Id want. Last time I had this was maybe 10yrs ago. I went to a chat party in Atlantic City. I was home visiting my folks and planned to drive there for the party. We all had lots to do of course down there but I told the bunch I wasnt going home till I had one of those sammichs. Curiosity got the best of them and many of them followed me down the boardwalk. I found us a place that served ones that just looked delish! It was almost a foot long and only $3.00! Id never find anything like that here in CA. lol. So this recipe is a variation of that sammich I love. My kids love this and now my bf does too.

I will give you the amts. for what I made last nite but you can tweak it to what you need and more or less of something doesnt really matter . So if you dont like alot of peppers only add one, same with the onions.

SAUSAGE 'n PEPPERS OVER RICE serves 4 hearty meals
8 Italian sausages, cut into 1 in. chunks
2 green peppers, cut into 1in. chunks
2 med. onions, cut in half then cut into about 1/2 slices
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. fennel seed, crushed
S & P
1 jar Classico Tomato Basil Sauce
1 1/2c. rice plus 3c. water
Romano Cheese

First get your rice started. Add rice and water and a dash of salt to pot and cook till almost done. The reason for this is , it will continue to steam as you do the other and come out nice and fluffy when you fluff with a fork.
Next drizzle a bit of olive oil in a pan and heat. Add sausage chunks and brown well. I use Italian sweet sausage but if you like spicy then buy the hot. When brown remove from pan into a sm. bowl. Next add onion and saute till beginning to get soft. Add peppers and garlic and saute a bit more till they have a glazed look, maybe 10min. more. Next add tomato sauce, basil, parsley, fennel and S & P. Stir well then add the sausage and stir that in too with any juices that are in the bowl. Cover and cook on simmer for 15-20min. If too thick add a bit of water. You dont want it to stick and scorch.
For each serving put some rice on a plate, top with sausage mix and sauce. Grate some fresh Romano Cheese on top and serve.

This is one of the few times I use jarred sauce. I love the Classico brand and only use the Tomato/basil sauce. It has the NJ tomato taste Ive missed since I moved here and its a plain jarred sauce like I used to make from my garden tomatoes and basil. Its a good basic sauce.

I use dried herbs here but when I have fresh I always use them. Just depends on the season and whats in my refrigerator. You could serve this as sandwiches too on a nice crusty italian roll or bread cut into chunks but its messy. You could leave the sausage whole tho if your going to do that and just top with the pepper sauce.

Because theres only two of us here now, I always have leftovers. I put a layer of rice in a casserole and top with the remaining sauce and freeze. Then all I have to do is put it on a 350 degree oven and let heat thru. Ive even made this as a dish for a potluck and they all loved it! You could use loose sausage meat too but we like getting chunks of it when eating it. Oh and the reason I add crushed fennel seeds to this is because out here none of the Italian sausage has it in it. On the east coast thats how its made. I couldnt for ages wonder what the heck was missing from the sausage here out west. That was the key!

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