Pop the champagne!

Italian sausages and peppersI’ve never really been a fan of bubbly. Yes, that might sound weird but I haven’t ever been a fan of many carbonated drinks. So when I received a small bottle of sparkling wine for Christmas, it just ended up sitting in my fridge in the back corner. Since the flavour is somewhat similar to white wine, I thought that it just might work the same way when utilising white wine in cooking.

So I set out to try it in a newfound favourite dish of mine: Italian sausage and peppers.

Italian sausage and peppers is one of those dishes that I probably would never tried unless someone else got it while I was having dinner with them…which is exactly what happened. It’s one of my boyfriend’s favourite dishes and he kept ranting and raving about this dish. So when we traveled to Chicago last December, he insisted that we go to the Rosebud on Rush. The Rosebud is an iconic Italian restaurant in the heart of downtown Chicago and its menu looked amazing. Italian food in Chicago or New York is probably the best you can get outside Italy. Sadly, we had dinner reservations later that evening so we decided to just grab this whole “sausage and peppers” dish and a glass of wine. Honestly, the name “sausage and peppers” does not excite me. However, when the dish came, I was competely wronged. They were large, juicy dogs with a nice sear on them, with plenty of caramelized onions, crunchy bell peppers, and lots of garlic bathing in a white wine herb sauce. That, along with a nice piece of crusty bread I was in heaven. I honestly wish I had kept the whole dish to myself.

I’ve made this dish before and it is fool proof. I prefer it with white wine since that is the only way I’ve had it but I have seen other recipes online where they use red wine. Do what you please because honestly, alcohol in food is always a good thing. This time, however, I wanted to experiment by using that random personalized bottle of sparkling wine in my fridge. My experiment turned out as expected. The flavour wasn’t as pronounced as it was with white wine but I still enjoyed it. It was the perfect way to de-glaze a pan and still tasted as delicious as my regular version.

I know, I know… The title of this post is a little deceiving but whatever! I’m still celebrating the fact that I’ve gotten around to getting this blog up and running again.

Italian sausage and peppers Italian sausage and peppers Italian sausage and peppers Italian sausage and peppers Italian sausage and peppers Italian sausage and peppers Italian sausage and peppersItalian sausage and peppers

What you’ll need:
– 2 tsps extra virgin olive oil
– 1 pkg (375g) Italian sausages
– 2 small onions, sliced
– 5 cloves garlic, sliced
– 1 green bell pepper, sliced
– 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
– 1 tsp coarse sea salt
– 1 tsp dried red chili flakes
– 2 tsps dried basil
– 1 tsp Italian seasoning
– 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
– 1 btl (200mL) dry sparkling wine

What you’ll need to do:
1. In a cast iron skillet, heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausages and sear on each side, 3 minutes on each side. The sausages should exhibit some distinct marks on each side. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and saute for 5 minutes or until the onions become darker in colour.
3. Add the peppers to the pan along with spices. Saute for another 3 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, slice your sausages in 1/2″ pieces and add back to the pan.
5. Add the sparkling wine to the pan to de-glaze. Make sure to scrape off anything that has gotten stuck to the pan. Drop the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until 1/2 the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and serve immediately with pasta or polenta. Makes 4 servings.

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