Dear Doris’s Italian Market and Bakery,
Please open a store in Nashville so I can get delicious homemade Italian sausage, sweet or spicy, with or without fennel, veal sausages, meatloaf mix and braciole-cut beef when ever I want them.
And, please send Lester and his delightful butcher friends from the Boca Raton store, to the opening. They know stuff.
and the best cannolis, with real cannoli cream.
At Doris’s, I buy sausages galore: pork, veal and chicken, freeze them, pack them in my suitcase, and fly them home with us to Nashville. My husband goes with me to Doris’s because the store is so much fun to browse in, but he starts to shake his head when I start filling up the cart with pounds and pounds of sausages. Always the more practical one in the family, he wonders how I plan to get it all home. “Don’t worry honey,” I say, “I always find a way.”
This year, because I was working on a recipe for a Portuguese stew, my sweet husband searched out and found fresh Portuguese linguica at Boca Brazil Supermercado. It’s one of the many reasons he is my Valentine and no other.
I, meanwhile, am my grandfather Carl’s granddaughter — when he went to Sicily to visit relatives, ages ago, he brought home cured salami hidden from Customs inspectors in the toecap of a shoe that was packed in his suitcase. I thought that was strange as a child, but I totally get it, now.
A few weeks ago, when I was in Florida, Mom’s sister Rachelle made sausage and peppers for dinner on our first night in town. It’s her husband Steve’s favorite meal from childhood. Was it ever good! So good, we had to have a repeat performance later in the week so I could blog it.
Part of the fun of making this dish was all of us going grocery shopping together to get the ingredients. As you can see, this recipe isn’t complicated.
Because we didn’t live in a big city, with Italian markets, while growing up, my mother often bought pre-packaged Premio Italian Sweet Sausages. They are great in meat sauce and also excellent grilled. In Nashville, you can buy the Premio brand at Costco, five pounds for $12.00. The inhouse-made sausages at Doris’s are $3.50 a pound.
Yield: Serves 6
2½ pounds Italian sweet sausage (8 links)
8 cups sliced sweet bell peppers (5 peppers)
5 cups sliced onions (3 medium)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
Mise en Place:
This is truly the easiest recipe on the blog.
Prep veggies. Here’s Rachelle, favorite great-aunt to my children, chopping veggies.
Prep sausages: cut apart links.
You’ll need two frying pans. One for the peppers and onions and one for the sausages.
Sauté the onions, garlic pepper and salt in olive oil over medium-high heat until translucent and soft, about ten minutes.
Add the peppers. Continue to sauté the peppers and onions over medium-high heat until the peppers start to soften, and then let them simmer over low heat while you cook the sausages.
Sauté the sausages in 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a different pan.
Brown on all sides over medium-high heat.
Slit sausages to allow heat to get inside. Cover pan and let simmer for 20 minutes over low heat.
Add sausages to peppers and onions. Be sure to tap off as much fat as possible from the sausages before you add them to the peppers and onions.
Saute together for 5-10 minutes. It will look like this when it is done.
Can be served as is, or over pasta, or in a hoagie. It works for Whole30 if you skip the bread and pasta and serve it with a green salad.
Two family photos of Rachelle, just for fun:
Rachelle, my grandmother Marion, and my brother Chris. Rachelle and Grandma are visiting us in Baltimore and by the looks of their hair, they’ve been to Bridget’s Beauty Shoppe.
This is a photo of Rachelle in Sicily with Granddaddy Carl and Grandma’s cousins Marianina and Salvatore. Rachelle was in high school at the time.
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