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Italia Burger with Pesto Mayonnaise

My family and I love the flavors in Italian cuisine, so I thought it would be fun to create an Italian-style burger. The spicy Italian sausage adds a fun, unique twist to the patty. I’ve added just a touch of extra heat with the crushed red pepper because we love spicy foods. This was a fun burger to work with and one that my family loved, so that makes it even more rewarding!


Pesto Mayonnaise
1 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons prepared basil pesto
1 ½ pounds ground chuck
½ pound spicy Italian sausage
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for brushing grill rack
6 ciabatta rolls, split
3 tablespoons butter, melted
6 slices mozzarella cheese
24 arugula leaves
6 red onion slices
6 tomato slices


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. To prepare pesto mayonnaise, combine mayonnaise and prepared pesto in a small bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until serving. To make the patties, combine the ground chuck, sausage, basil, oregano, red pepper, salt and pepper in large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the rolls. Brush the grill grate with the vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium. Brush cut sides of ciabatta rolls with melted butter. In last few minutes of cooking, place mozzarella cheese slices on patties; and place rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of grill rack to lightly toast; close grill. To assemble burgers, on each roll bottom, place 4 leaves of arugula, a patty, an onion slice and a tomato slice. On the roll top, place a generous amount of pesto mayonnaise; add roll top to burger and serve. Makes 6 burgers.