RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Italian Sausage 'n Peppers Burger

We came home one day from a family outing to discover that our cat had accidentally opened our upright freezer while we were gone. In an effort to save as much as possible, this recipe was born out of desperation to use up the hot Italian sausage and ground pork that had thawed that did not have anything to do with spaghetti sauce. After a little fiddling and faddling, this final recipe edition was born.

Ingredients 

2 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large sweet white onion, julienned (approximately ¾ pound)
1 large red bell pepper, julienned (approximately ½ pound)
½ teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground tri-color peppercorns (red, white, black)
6 large cloves of garlic, julienned
4 cups julienned baby bell mushrooms
1 ½ tablespoons finely minced fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh oregano leaves

Patties
1 cup finely minced sweet white onion
¾ cup finely minced red bell pepper
½ cup finely minced baby bell mushrooms
2 ½ tablespoons finely minced garlic
4 tablespoons finely minced fresh basil leaves
2 ½ tablespoons finely minced fresh oregano leaves
3 teaspoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground tri-color peppercorns (red, white, black)
2 ¼ pounds hot Italian sausage links, casings removed
1 pound freshly ground pork

vegetable oil for brushing the grill
6 slices of provolone cheese sliced medium thickness
1 cup Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 4” square Ciabatta rolls, cut in half lengthwise
12 heaping tablespoons of Roasted Sweet Red Pepper & Parmesan Bread Spread
12 slices vine ripened tomatoes
6 large Romaine lettuce leaves, trimmed to fit Ciabatta roll

Instructions 

To Make the Italian Onions & Peppers: Preheat a gas grill to 400°. Heat the 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a heavy gauge stainless steel 12” fry pan or wok until the oil is hot. Carefully add the julienned sweet white onion, julienned red bell pepper, ½ teaspoon coarse salt and the ½ teaspoon freshly ground tri-color pepper stirring until well blended. Stirring frequently, cook for 15 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the julienned, 6 large cloves of garlic, 4 cups of julienned baby bell mushrooms, 1 ½ tablespoons finely minced fresh basil leaves and the 1 tablespoon of finely minced fresh oregano leaves, stirring until well blended. Cook, stirring frequently for 5-7 minutes. Do not allow the garlic to burn. Carefully remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

To Make the Patties: In a large 4 quart mixing bowl, mix together the 1 cup finely minced sweet white onion, ¾ cup finely minced red bell pepper, ½ cup finely minced baby bell mushrooms, 2 ½ tablespoons finely minced garlic, 4 tablespoons finely minced fresh basil leaves, 2 ½ tablespoons finely minced fresh oregano leaves, 3 teaspoons coarse salt, and the 1 teaspoon freshly ground tri-color peppercorns stirring until well blended. Add the Italian sausage and the ground pork. Handling the meat as gently as possible, gently fold together the meat with the vegetables and herbs, folding until well blended. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Preheat the gas grill to 500°. Remove the meat from the refrigerator. Divide the meat into 6 equal portions and gently form the meat into patties, without compacting it, that are approximately ½” thick and roughly the shape of the Ciabatta roll. Brush the grill well with the vegetable oil to prevent sticking. Place the chilled patties onto the grill and cook 10 minutes on the first side. Closely watch the patties to prevent burning. Carefully turn the patties over and cook for 8 minutes. Place one slice of provolone cheese onto each patty and allow the burgers to cook for an additional 2 minutes until the cheese has begun to melt. The internal temperature of the patties should be 160°. Remove the patties from the grill and place on a baking sheet, which has been lined with aluminum foil. Let patties stand for 5 minutes.

While the burgers are resting, lightly brush both interior sides of the Ciabatta roll with extra virgin olive oil. Do not over coat the rolls with the olive oil. Place the rolls on the grill, oiled side down and toast for approximately 2 minutes until the interior of the roll is lightly browned with grill marks. Do not burn the roll. Immediately remove the roll from the grill and place on a baking sheet.

Assemble the Burger: Place one heaping tablespoon of the Roasted Sweet Red Pepper & Parmesan Bread Spread on each toasted side of the Ciabatta roll, spreading it out evenly. Place the burger on the bottom of the Ciabatta roll, then top the burger with ½ cup of the Italian Onions & Peppers, then add the 2 slices of vine ripened tomatoes, then add the leaf of Romaine lettuce and finally cover the burger with the top portion of the Ciabatta roll. Skewer the burger with a wooden skewer and serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

Comments 

For the best results, use the freshest and highest quality ingredients as possible. These burgers can be made 24 hours in advance of grilling.