Epic Sausage and Peppers Hero

This Epic Sausage and Peppers Hero is our hero, no doubt.  This has been a staple favorite sandwich in our house ever since we moved to New York City in the late 80s.  Take the time to make the marinara sauce, it really makes a huge difference.  You can easily make a big batch of this ahead of time, and then defrost and serve hot whenever you need something spectacular to serve to guests.  This is quintessential Italian yummy.   140% Loon Approved.  

Sausage and Peppers Hero
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This Sausage and Peppers Hero is really one to write home about. Be sure to make the homemade marinara, if you can, you won't regret it. Simply amazing! Great with our without melted mozzarella...we, naturally, love it with the gooey melted cheese! So good!
Recipe type: Italian
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4 - 6
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Twelve 3-oz. hot Italian sausages
  • 1½ tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1½ teaspoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 8 cups fresh marinara sauce (click for recipe)
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large yellow onions, peeled, and cut into about 6 or 7 wedges, each.
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded, cored, and cut into 6 lengthwise pieces
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded, cored, and cut into 6 lengthwise pieces
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 to 3 cups fresh marinara sauce (click for recipe)
  • 12 to 14 thin slices of fresh mozzarella
  • 4 crispy Italian hero rolls, 6 to 8 inches long (cut the ends off, if you prefer)
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  3. When the oil is hot, add the sausages and cook for about 4 minutes, turning occasionally to brown on all sides.
  4. Using tongs, remove the sausages from the pan and set them aside on a platter.
  5. Add the basil, parsley and garlic to the pan and saute for about 1 minute.
  6. Add the onions and reduce heat to medium, cooking the mixture, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, or until the onions have softened.
  7. Transfer the onion mixture to a large pot (a Dutch oven works well) and add the marinara to the pot, and stir it well.
  8. Place the sausages and any accumulated juices in the pot and mix it well.
  9. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour.
  10. Season the sauce with a healthy pinch of salt and pepper.
  11. Set aside.
  13. While the sausages are cooking, make the peppers and onions.
  14. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  15. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook it for 1 to 2 minutes, or until starting to brown.
  16. Use a slotted spoon and remove the garlic, and set is aside on paper towels.
  17. Add the onions and peppers and season with a healthy pinch of salt and pepper.
  18. Saute them, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until they start to brown a bit.
  19. Return the garlic to the pan and add the basil and parsley.
  20. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan, and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until the peppers and onions have softened and starting to caramelize.
  22. Pre-heat the oven to 400 F.
  23. Cut the sausage almost in half lengthwise.
  24. Place them, cut sides up, on a large baking sheet. Pour about a cup of marina over the them and then place the mozzarella on top, bake for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese melts. Set aside.
  25. Meanwhile, if the peppers have cooled off, heat them up over medium-high heat. You may want to cut them up a bit, or lightly mash them with a fork, just so they are easier to eat.
  26. Meanwhile, slice the rolls in half lengthwise, without cutting all the way through.
  27. Arrange the rolls, cut sides up, on a baking sheet and toast them under the broiler on high for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they are lightly browned (keep an eye on them...don't let them burn!)
  28. To assemble each sandwich, spread about 3 tablespoons of the marinara sauce on each half of the roll.
  29. Place the butterflied sausages on the bottom half of each roll. Then top the sausage with 1 cup of the peppers and onions.
  30. Fold the other half of the roll over the sausage.
  31. Cut in half and serve. Enjoy!!


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