Roasted Sausages, Peppers & Onions

With many of us cooking at home more than ever these days — not to mention we all could use more comfort food right now — Ina Garten couldn’t have picked a better time to release her latest cookbook, Modern Comfort Food. 

The much-anticipated 12th cookbook by Garten, also known as “The Barefoot Contessa,” was released in early October. I was fortunate to be one of the first Whitehall Public Library patrons to have the opportunity to borrow Modern Comfort Food. As I paged through the beautiful and mouth-watering photographs, I found it difficult to decide which recipe to make first. So I browsed the cookbook and, at the same time, skimmed the grocery store sales fliers. Red and orange bell peppers, as well as sweet and hot Italian chicken sausages, were on special at one of my favorite stores recently. It made my choice a little easier, and I decided to prepare her recipe for roasted sausages, peppers & onions.

Those of you who watch Garten on her “Barefoot Contessa” Food Network cooking shows know that she adds a twist to classic dishes, and this one was no exception. Adding to the roasted sausages, peppers and onions, her recipe calls for fennel, poblano peppers and cherry tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes). Plus a 1/3 cup of dry white wine — I used chardonnay — adds even more flavor to this comforting meal. 

Garten recommends serving the roasted sausages and veggies over her Fresh Corn Polenta. I didn’t have the time to prepare that, too, so I served it with store-bought Italian bread, which was delicious as well.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 large yellow onions, cut in 1/2-inch-wide wedges through the core
  • 2 large Holland red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut in 1/2-inch strips
  • 2 Holland orange bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut in 1/2-inch strips
  • 2 large poblano peppers, seeded and cut in 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, halved, cored, and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed in your hands
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Good olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, cut into links
  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage, cut into links
  • 1 pint red cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
  • 1/2 cup julienned fresh basil leaves
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange two racks evenly spaced in the oven.
  2. Put the onions, Holland peppers, poblano peppers, fennel, garlic, oregano, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper in a large (14 x 18-inch) roasting pan. Add 1/4 cup olive oil and toss well. (Garten writes, “Don’t crowd everything in a smaller pan; the vegetables won’t brown.”)
  3. Separately, on a sheet pan, toss the sausages with 2 tablespoons olive oil and spread them out in one layer. Place both pans in the oven for 20 minutes.
  4. Toss the vegetables and transfer the sausages to the roasting pan. Add the tomatoes.
  5. Pour in the wine and roast for another 25 to 30 minutes, turning the sausages to brown evenly.
  6. Off the heat, sprinkle on the basil, toss well, taste for seasonings, and serve hot with grated Parmesan on the side.

Garten’s recipes in Modern Comfort Food range from cocktails like hot spiced apple cider to appetizers like fresh crab nachos. Lunch recipes include chicken pot pie soup, ultimate tuna melts and creamy tomato bisque. Dinner recipes include cheesy chicken enchiladas, crispy chicken with lemon orzo and smashed hamburgers with caramelized onions. Vegetables and sides are included too, such as charred carrots and outrageous garlic bread. Of course, the Barefoot Contessa didn’t forget about dessert, with recipes like bittersweet chocolate cake, applesauce cake with bourbon raisins and berries & jam milkshakes. A chapter on breakfast, at the end of the book, includes recipes for fresh raspberry mini corn muffins, waffle iron hash browns, and vanilla cold-brewed iced coffee.

Modern Comfort Food. is available for request here.

Roasted Sausages, Peppers & Onions
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