I think I got the ultimate compliment last night when my mother told me that I really needed to write down the recipe for what I made - my riff on Italian Sausage and Peppers. So here's the recipe:
Joe's Kinda Sorta Italian Sausage and Peppers
1 to 1.5 lbs. Italian sausage, or 6 links - I use a large link sausage I get at Costco, but any good sausage will do.
1 medium onion, halved then sliced thinly, but not too thinly
3 green bell peppers, cut into matchstick-sized slices
12 pitted Kalamata olives, sliced in half lengthwise
4 - 5 cloves garlic, minced
2 15oz. cans of tomato sauce
2 tbsp. dried Italian seasoning
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. grated Romano cheese
(It's optional to break up the sausage if you have links, but not necessary.)
Add one tablespoon olive oil to a large saute pan or skillet over medium heat, then brown the sausage and remove the sausage. Add the second tablespoon of oil to what oil is still in the pan, then add the onions, peppers, and olives, and cook until the onions have become translucent - about 6 to 8 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, until the garlic has begun to take on a little color. Return the sausage to the pan, then add the tomato sauce and cook for a few minutes. Add in the Italian seasoning and balsamic vinegar, and cook just until the sauce begins to bubble up. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes, then add the Romano cheese just before serving.
Recipe should make six servings.
If you broke up the sausage, I'd serve it on top of a noodle pasta like fettucine, or perhaps a tubular pasta like penne. If you kept the sausage whole, a good idea would be to warm up some good rolls in the oven, then split them and brush the inside of the roll with some melted garlic butter (quick recipe: melt a stick of butter in the microwave, then add a teaspoon of garlic powder, and give the mixture a few minutes to let the garlic permeate). Drop a sausage in the bun, top it with the sauce and a little more romano cheese, then enjoy with a nice salad or coleslaw on the side.