RECIPES: Recipe Details

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With special consideration to the contest theme, I wanted to create a burger with flavors that would appeal to everyone. Second to burgers, who doesn't like meatballs and pasta sauce? Taking inspiration from another all American family favorite, I created this burger that I hope will be a crowd pleaser.


1/4 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
1/2 cup jarred roasted red bell pepper pieces, drained
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
2 Tablespoons Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon
1 Tablespoon Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, casing removed and broken into 1/2
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup freshly minced basil leaves
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided into thirds
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
2-3 Tablespoons vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 onion rolls, split
3 cups baby arugula
6 slices vine ripened tomatoes


In a small food processor, combine Tabasco, roasted bell peppers, tomato paste, wine and olive oil; puree for about 1 minute until mixture is smooth and creamy. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

Preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
To make patties: combine ground chuck, sausage, garlic, basil, salt and 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese in a large bowl. Handling as little as possible shape into 6 patties. Place patties on a plate to transfer to the grill; set aside for just a moment. In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup Parmesan with the softened butter; stir to blend well and set aside. Brush grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, 5-7 minutes per side for medium or longer if one desires well done. Using the last 1/3 cup of Parmesan, sprinkle a scant 1 Tablespoon of Parmesan over each burger during the last 2 minutes of grilling. Place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack during the final minute of grilling to toast to a light golden brown.

To assemble burgers, Brush the toasted halves of the buns with Parmesan butter; line the bottom half of the buns with arugula; then a slice of tomato; followed by the Parmesan crusted burger; spread with red pepper sauce and cover with the top of the bun.