Sausage and Peppers is a comfort food dish that I return to again and again – it’s hearty and satisfying for those days when you crave warmth and robust flavors. And, it’s quick and easy to make, requiring only a pepper, onion, and tomatoes – canned or fresh will do, and the purchase of quality Italian sausage from the store, or preferably, a favorite meat counter or sausage maker. We love sausage in our house and for a meatless dish have even made Sausage and Peppers Vegan Style, using a vegan sausage that passed the meat-lovers taste test.
If you’re like many mom cooks, sometimes you get bored making the same thing the same way every time but you know changing things sets you up for a deluge of objections, questions, and comments from the loving critics around the table that love it just the way you’ve made it for upteen years. But there comes a time when you just have to throw caution to the wind, say to heck with it and prepare your defense…. but, in this case, nary an objection was uttered.
One of the benefits of reading lots of food blogs is the inspiration and ideas I gain from just seeing different approaches to even the most well-loved classics; an answer to my culinary boredom, if you will. Inspired by the Sausage, Peppers, and Onions recipe that Bunkycooks shared in her article about two sausage makers in Warwick, GA, all I did differently to my normal Sausage and Peppers was cut my vegetables in chunks rather than strips and serve it with saffron rice rather than atop an Italian roll or pasta. Violá – boredom be gone
Sausage with Peppers and Onions
Serves 4 | Inspired by Bunkycooks
For the rice:
1 cup Basmati rice
2 cups low-sodium organic vegetable broth
1 pinch saffron, crumbled
1 pound fresh, Italian sausage, sliced into 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch slices*
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (plus more if needed)
1 medium onion, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 red pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
8 oz. yellow teardrop tomatoes, sliced in half
To make saffron rice:
Rinse the rice well and drain. In a medium sized saucepan, add the rice, vegetable broth and sprinkle in the saffron, stir to incorporate the saffron. Bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce heat. Simmer for 20 minutes until stock is absorbed and rice is tender. Fluff with a fork. Set aside.
To make the sausage mixture:
Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When the oil is barely smoking, add the sausage slices and brown on both sides. This should take between two to three minutes per side. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside.
Retain the sausage fat for sautéeing the peppers and onions. Add olive oil if there’s not enough fat. Reduce heat to medium, then, add the onions and peppers. Cook the vegetables until they are tender, stirring occasionally, about eight minutes. Add the tomatoes, cover and simmer a few more minutes allowing the flavors to meld and the tomatoes to soften.
Serve immediately over the saffron rice. Enjoy
*I use Chicken Romano Sausage from Trader Joe’s for a heart healthy version of traditional sausage and peppers.
Variations: Serve Italian style with a side of pasta and marinara sauce.