There are some dishes that you have growing up, that you absolutely adore. They conjure feelings of nostalgia, reminding you of your youth and simpler times. For me, these Italian Hot Sausage Sandwiches remind me of just that. It was one of my family’s favorite dishes, and remains a favorite to this day. Every time I mention “Hot Sausage Sandwiches,” it’s always followed by an approving “OOOooooooo,” and I know that a thoroughly enjoyed dinner is in our very near future.
This variation of Hot Sausage Sandwiches differs slightly from the ones my mama used to make. There was never enough sauce to completely smother the sandwich! So, as the years went on, I added more and more onions and peppers. Those were the coveted prizes when we were kids! As a result, more sauce was added so the ratio of sauce to peppers/onions remained in tact.
The wine was an addition of my own, because to me – no tomato-based sauce is complete without it. That’s the secret ingredient!
Then, onto the rolls. I haven’t found a bakery yet that sells the rolls that you really need for this sandwich. The closest would probably have to be the large French loaf that the grocery store sells fresh every day, but you’d have to cut it into fours, and it would probably be as delicious – maybe even more delicious actually, but the aesthetic may suffer.
Sandwich-sized soft French rolls is what you really need though, and I’ve found that the Francisco’s brand really takes this sandwich home. You need that soft bread to cradle the sausage and sauce, so it doesn’t spill out the side when you bite it. If you can find freshly made, soft, French sandwich rolls, though, go for THAT!
Also, one Italian Sausage Sandwich pro tip – add more sauce on the side of your plate, and have a fork at the ready. You ALWAYS need more sauce for that next bite!
- For The Sausages
- 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4-5 Links of Hot Italian Pork or Chicken Sausage
- 1/2 Cup Water
- For The Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Large Onions, julienned
- 1 Large Green Bell Pepper, julienned
- 1 Large Red Bell Pepper, julienned
- 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
- 5 Small Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 2 Teaspoons Fresh Thyme
- 2 8 Ounce Cans Tomato Sauce
- 1/4 Cup Red Wine
- 2 Tablespoons Torn Basil
- 4-5 Soft French Rolls
- In a medium sized skillet, add the water, olive oil, and sausages, and turn to medium-high heat.
- Turn the sausages frequently as they boil in the water, until all the water boils out, about 10 minutes.
- Turn the heat down to medium, and continue to cook the sausage in the remaining oil to brown them, about 10 minutes. When finished cooking, turn off the heat, and set aside.
- While the sausage cooks, heat a large skillet over medium heat add the extra virgin olive oil, onions, peppers, salt, and pepper, cooking 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
- Add the garlic, oregano, thyme, and tomato sauce, cooking for about 7 minutes until reduced slightly.
- Add the sausages to the pan full of sauce, along with any of their juices, and bring them up to temperature, cooking for about 5 minutes.
- Finish the sauce by adding the red wine and basil, mixing well, then removing from the flame.
- Split the French rolls down the middle, and toast under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Split one of the sausages down the middle, and place on the toasted bread, cut side down.
- Add your desired amount of sauce on top of the sausage, top with the crown of the French roll, and enjoy!