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Italian Sausage Heroes with Peppers and Onions

The big and messy sausage-and-pepper hero is a staple of every Italian American street fair. This neater version--made with smaller rolls and sausage halves--is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner at home and requires little cleanup.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 large bell peppers (1 red and 1 green), cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 sweet or hot Italian sausages
  • 4 hoagie or small submarine sandwich rolls


  1. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Add the onions and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until golden, 10 minutes. Stir in the paprika, sugar and red and green bell peppers. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are softened, about 12 minutes. Stir in the water and oregano. Season with salt and pepper, cover and keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet. Prick the sausages all over, add them to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, turning frequently, until browned all over, about 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer the sausages to a cutting board and halve lengthwise. Return the halves to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until no trace of pink remains within, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Halve each roll (keep it hinged). Pull out some of the bread within. Toast the rolls.
  5. Drizzle the cut sides of the rolls with olive oil and set 2 sausage halves on each roll. Top with the sautéed onions and peppers, close the sandwiches and serve immediately.

Serve With

Arugula salad with Parmesan.

Suggested Pairing

For a wine, try a relatively inexpensive South African Cabernet. The wine has an herbaceous quality that pairs well with the bell peppers in the sandwiches, plus it has the acidity to cut through the richness of the sausage.

Contributed By Photo © Quentin Bacon Published October 2003

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