These Italian sausage sandwiches have become somewhat of a tradition in our house around New Year’s and the Superbowl. I make a nice big batch of them and let them slow cook either on the stove or in a slow cooker, ready to eat at any time. Perfect eats for watching football games, specially college bowl games. Spicy sausage with a flavorful tomato sauce loaded with peppers, onions, and mushrooms. All topped (of course) with ooey-gooey cheese.
I’m not sure I’ve ever made my Italian sausage sandwiches exactly the same way each year. Sometimes I go the spicy route, sometimes I use sweet sausages. Sometimes I add more bell peppers, sometimes I just add more mushrooms. It just kind of depends on how I feel that day. If you don’t mind spicy, add more red pepper flake and a good amount of hot sauce.
These Italian sausage sandwiches have become somewhat of a tradition in our house around New Year’s and the Superbowl. I make a nice big batch of them and let them slow cook either on the stove or in a slow cooker, ready to eat at any time.
Place the pizza and tomato sauces into a large pot over medium heat.
In a large Dutch oven, heat a splash or two of oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the sausages, browning on all sides. Transfer browned sausages to the pot of sauce.
Add more oil to the Dutch oven and add all of the vegetables. Saute until just starting to get soft, then transfer to the pot of sauce along with the sausages.
Season with salt and pepper, Italian seasoning and red pepper flake.
Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5-6 hours, stirring occasionally.
Slice the bread in half. I prefer to do this by cutting a ‘V’ down the top of the bread, making a trench for the sausages and sauce. I find that the bread doesn’t split so easily this way. I also remove some of the bread inside just to make more room for the great toppings.
Cut bread into lengths a tad shorter than the sausages.
Add meat and top with sauce and a little bit of the vegetables.
Top with cheese and place on a sheet pan under the oven broiler just long enough to melt the cheese.
This is the first time I’ve had two of the almost-same dishes on my go-to list. I’ve made my original sandwiches for years. They’re crazy good, gooey, and messy – all criteria for good eating at game-time. My Italian sausage sandwiches version 2.0 are very similar to my original version, but they use my Italian meat sauce recipe instead.
Like I said, these sandwiches are messy, so you know they are good. The more napkins you need, the better it is, I always say. The meat sauce is fantastic. I could eat it all day on anything. I make an extra big batch of the sauce and freeze it in portion-sized containers so I can easily defrost some for a quick sandwich. It’s also great over hamburger buns for an Italian Sloppy Joe.
These Italian sausage sandwiches are my go-to, big event, messy, eat-too-much-of-them sandwiches. I’ve always made them on-the-fly. I’d grab a little of this. And I’d grab a little of that and throw it all into the pot. This year I decided to finally write them down. Because they rock.
Eating these sandwiches requires paper towels. And maybe even bibs. I’ve always said that the messier the sandwich, the better. Same philosophy goes for burgers and hot dogs. If there’s not something dripping down your arms, in your lap or on your shirt, it’s not messy enough.