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Spicy Stewed Sausages with Three Peppers

"This is my take on the Little Italy classic," says Mario Batali of the sausage and peppers that's a mainstay of the iconic Manhattan neighborhood and its annual street festival. Stewing the bell peppers in red wine gives them richness; so does a generous garnish of grated pecorino cheese. The stewed sausages and peppers are also delicious tossed with pasta.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

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  • 2 pounds sweet Italian sausage, pricked all over with a fork
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 2 green bell peppers, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small fennel bulb—trimmed, cored and thinly sliced
  • 4 serrano chiles, seeded and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 habanero chile, seeded and thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese (3 ounces)
  • Crusty bread, for serving


  1. Light a grill. Brush the sausages lightly with oil and grill over a medium-hot fire, turning, until nicely charred and just cooked through, about 16 minutes total.
  2. Set a large cast-iron skillet on the grill and add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the peppers, onion, fennel and chiles and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 15 minutes. Season with salt. Add the sausages and wine to the skillet and simmer until the wine has reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Remove from the grill and sprinkle half of the pecorino cheese over the sausage and peppers. Serve with bread, passing the remaining pecorino at the table.

Suggested Pairing

Zinfandel, which came to the United States from Croatia (by way of Italy), has the spicy heft needed to pair with Batali's stewed sausages.

Contributed By Photo © Maura McEvoy Published September 2006

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