RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Little Italy-Big City Burger

My Little Italy- Big City Burger was inspired by an Italian-American sandwich (the Hot Dago) served in my old neighborhood in St. Paul, Minnesota. When I'm feeling a little nostalgic, I make this recipe.

Ingredients 

Ingredients Fire Roasted Roma Tomato Sauce with Merlot
4 medium Roma tomatoes, sliced lengthwise and seeded
3 tbl. Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 28oz. can crushed tomato sauce (no salt added preferred)
1 cup. Sutter Home Merlot
½ cup. water
1 tbl. sugar
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp. dried oregano
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Italian Burgers
3 tbl. Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 ½ lbs. ground chuck
½ lb. ground hot Italian sausage (not in casing)
½ cup finely diced white onion
1/4 cup finely diced banana peppers
1 clove fresh garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
½ cup. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
Vegetable oil for brushing grill rack
1 loaf crusty Italian bread (family sized, not baguette), sliced 3/4" in thickness diagonally (need 12 slices)
2 tsp. Colavita extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling on bread
1 tsp. freshly grated black pepper
1 clove garlic, peeled (whole)
6 slices provolone cheese
2 banana peppers, sliced into rings

Instructions 

Directions: Prepare grill for medium high heat on one side of grill for direct heat, other side for indirect, medium low (simmer) heat. Brush grill rack with vegetable oil. To make fire roasted tomatoes. In a bowl place Roma tomatoes, drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly. Grill tomato slices, skin side down, over direct heat 2-3 minutes or until skin begins to lightly char and bubble. Remove from heat. In a shallow aluminum foil roasting pan, add crushed tomatoes, merlot, water, sugar, red pepper flakes, oregano and Parmesan cheese. Stir together, and place onto grill over indirect heat and add fire roasted tomatoes. Cover and simmer while preparing burgers. To make Italian burgers. In a large bowl, drizzle olive oil, add ground chuck, ground Italian sausage, white onion, banana peppers, garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano and salt. Then add Parmesan and egg. With hands, gently mix together thoroughly and shape into 6 equal, oval shaped burgers. Place burgers onto grill over direct heat and grill 5 minutes per side, covered. Just before burgers are done, remove sliced tomatoes from sauce and set aside to cool in a bowl, slice when cooled. When burgers are done, remove from heat and place into sauce (still on grill). Move sauce/burgers from indirect heat to direct heat and allow sauce to come to a bubble. Cover grill and cook 20 minutes. To prepare bread for grill. While sauce is cooking, take Italian bread slices and drizzle one side with olive oil and sprinkle with freshly grated black pepper (to taste). Place bread oil-side down, on grill and lightly toast (indirect heat), remove bread when done to likeness and rub with garlic clove. Set aside. To assemble burgers. Remove burgers from merlot sauce and place on bread, toasted side down. Add 1 slice of provolone cheese, 3 slices of reserved tomatoes (earlier removed from sauce),3 rings of banana peppers and a tablespoon (or more) of merlot sauce. Cover with second slice of bread (toasted side facing out) . Enjoy.