Zesty Meal Fit For A Crowd

As the weather cools, hearty meals often take center stage. Home cooks may have plenty of go-to recipes to feed their families and guests. But expanding your culinary horizons can lead to some new family favorites.

Sausage and pepper dishes exist in many different cultures, and can be found everywhere from fairs to family kitchens. This version of “Sausages and Peppers Country Style” from “Nick Stellino’s Family Kitchen” (G.P. Putnam’s Sons) gives an Italian spin that’s perfect for family style meals.

Sausages and Peppers Country Style
Serves 8 generously

4 tablespoons olive oil
8 spicy or sweet Italian sausages (11⁄2 to 2 pounds total)
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
6 cloves garlic, thickly sliced
1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1⁄2 cup white wine
1 141⁄2-ounce can Italian-style stewed tomatoes, drained and chopped; juice reserved
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a large saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, brown the sausages on all sides. Remove the sausages to a big plate, slice each into thirds for easier serving, and cover to keep warm. In the same pan, in the oil left from the sausages, fry the bell peppers over high heat until just brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to the plate with the sausages. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan, reduce heat to medium. When the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, and rosemary until the onion is tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the wine, stirring gently to dislodge any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking to reduce liquid by half, for about 3 to 4 minutes.

Add tomatoes, salt and pepper, and cook until nearly dry, about 7 to 8 minutes. Return the sausages and peppers to the pan, and add the reserved tomato juice, stirring to incorporate. Bring to a boil, then simmer, stirring often, until the sausages are cooked through and the sauce has thickened, about 15 minutes.

Serve with homemade or pre-purchased polenta.

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