Sausage and Peppers, New York’s most famous Street Food, comes indoors.
All Fall, New York City blocks are turned into bazaars selling everything from handicrafts to hot dogs. The most famous of these is in celebration of the Feast of San Gennaro, the Patron Saint of Naples. It virtually shuts down a sizeable chunk of Little Italy for 10 days in September. Its most ubiquitous of food sold is undoubtedly Sausage and Peppers stuffed into a submarine roll. The dish was actually introduced there in 1927. And it never looks nearly as good as Food 52’s version pictured here. Once San Gennaro has been celebrated, the Street Fairs move uptown. Not, of course, this year. But this recipe more than makes up for their absence. It’s a skillet dinner that comes together in 30 minutes flat. And instead of the roll, it’s topped with store-bought ravioli and melted Provolone cheese.
Worth finding: Calabrian Chili Peppers bring their unique flavor and heat to the recipe.
Chefs like Bobby Flay have “discovered” this variety of peppers. I had to order mine on Amazon but if you have a good Italian deli near you, they’ve likely latched on to this “flavor of the month”. Calabria, the ‘toe’ on the boot that is Italy, is ideal for growing these chilis. With over 300 sunny days a year, its climate in perfect for chilis to flourish. Calabrians are so proud of their chilis, they are celebrated with their own Festival. Diamante, Calabria holds the event for a week every September. The chili itself is small with an outsized flavor. It is spicy but there’s also a salty, smoky—even fruity taste. If you cannot find the actual Calabrian Chilis, Pepperoncini can be pressed into use. And if those cherry red chilis are nowhere to be found, Sriracha, while hardly Italian, will do in a pinch for flavor.
Store-bought Ravioli rounds out the dish topping it with a creamy richness.
In a nod to this being National Pasta Month,( yes, really) I topped the spicy sausage and peppers in the skillet with Trader Joe’s Ricotta and Lemon Zest Ravioli. It was a match made in culinary heaven. This tender, eggy pasta is stuffed with fresh ricotta cheese, lemon zest, salt, butter, and breadcrumbs. It’s the genuine article too, made in Italy. It’s also beautiful to look at shaped like a sunflower. It almost seemed a shame to cover them with Provolone. But knowing how much more the melted cheese would bring to the dish, I went ahead with it. The results: a wonderful dinner dish in under 30 minutes. Here is the recipe, followed by some other skillet dinner favorites.
Sausage Peppers and Ravioli
A Classic New York City Street food is paired with Creamy Rich Ravioli for a one-skillet meal filled with flavor.
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ lb. sweet Italian sausage, cut into ¾ inch slices
- 1 medium green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 5 Calabrian Peppers, sliced or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or 1 tbsp. Sriracha
- One 8.8 oz (250g) package of Cheese ravioli
- 3 slices provolone (about 3 ounces)
- Fresh parsley or basil leaves, for serving
- Step 1 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Step 2 Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook it until it is brown for about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sausage from the skillet and set aside.
- Step 3 Add both of the bell pepper strips and the onions and season with 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Saute, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until just beginning to turn golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, the cooked sausages, the Calabrian Chili Peppers or Red pepper flakes, or 1 tbsp. Sriracha and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally about 8 minutes.
- Step 4 While the sauce is cooking, boil the ravioli according to the package instructions. Drain.
- Step 5 Place the cooked ravioli evenly atop the sausage and peppers. Top with the provolone slices. Cover the skillet with a lid and warm it until the cheese is melted—2 to 3 minutes. Top with parsley or basil leaves. Serve at once.