Tradition. As you may have seen from this week’s Q&A, sausage & peppers has become our New Year’s Eve tradition and without it, I am not sure if we would be able to allow the next year to begin. This ritual began about 20 years ago, and went over so well, we need not even think about it. If it’s New Year’s Eve, it’s sausage and peppers.

My husband Tom introduced me to sausage and peppers on a visit to one of the famed New Jersey boardwalks when we were dating, and I’ve been a fan ever since. He’s shared stories of his grandmother teaching him and his siblings how to make sausage at home, and the methods used to cook them. So this has been his turf from the start. In the early years of our tradition, Tom tried to emulate the methods he learned from his grandmother, but Tom is practical and will always opt for an easier method if he finds one. Over the years he seems to have perfected a very simple, but delicious method of preparing the dish which I will share with you today.

No, we do not make our own sausage. Everything we need, we usually purchase from Costco, but almost any grocery store will have the ingredients of this simple dish.

Italian Sausage & Peppers

  • 10 Italian Sausages
  • 4 Bell Peppers
  • 2TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1/2 TBSP Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 TBSP Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Basil or Italian Seasoning
  • Sturdy Sandwich Rolls
  • Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 325 F. Slice bell peppers into 1/2″ wide strips. In a large bowl, toss peppers, olive oil, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt, oregano, and Italian seasoning. Cover and set aside. Spray a large roasting pan with cooking spray. Place the sausages in the pan and bake uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove pan from oven, then turn the sausages. Cover the sausages with the seasoned bell peppers. Cover the roasting pan with foil and return pan to oven for an additional 30 to 40 minutes.

Italian Sausage & Peppers

Slice and lightly toast sandwich rolls. Slice sausages lengthwise. Place on roll, top with peppers, drizzle with a little oil from the roasting pan and enjoy.

This recipe is simply a guideline. Seasonings can easily be adjusted to your liking, and amounts can easily be scaled up or down to suit the occasion. Sometimes we use hot sausage, but if mild is all that is available, we just increase the amount of red pepper flakes. Our choice of bread can vary depending on what is available, but we try to keep it sturdy. No soft rolls need apply. We’ve found it quite easy to cook for a crowd by making this, which is great because we can enjoy being in the moment instead of being busy cooking.

As we say goodbye to 2021, I have felt it was yet another year with a lot of negatives, but also some good moments and things to be thankful for. We could probably say that about most years. Still, there’s always room for improvement, so come on 2022! We are ready and hopeful! Happy New Year everyone.

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