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Sausage and Peppers make a very colorful plate

Sweet Pork Sausage with Peppers and Cherry Tomatoes

Rich Fennel Sausages and a tango of peppers and onions are perfectly balanced in our version of the Italian American classic–Sausage and Peppers Our Way.  In a break with tradition, we added Cherry Tomatoes simmered in a new sauce for a burst of tangy freshness. This one-pan dinner of Sweet Pork Sausage* with Peppers and Cherry Tomatoes has its roots in an Italian-American classic native to New York City. It’s been adapted and modified which is what we did here: Two superb Italian vinegars, Carandini’s Sweet White Vinegar and Balsamic perfectly balance the mild flavors of the peppers adding both acidity and sweetness. A shower of fresh herbs –either parsley or basil, adds color and flavor. Serve it over steamed rice to soak up the sauce or pair it with crusty bread to sop up every last drop.

Sausage and Peppers is a beloved Italian-American Dish

New York’s Annual Feast of San Gennaro is a showcase for Sausage and Peppers

During the great wave of Italian immigration in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Italians brought their culinary traditions with them. This often meant adapting their recipes to the ingredients they found in their new home.  Sausage and Peppers is a great example. It was both hearty and flavorful, easy to prepare, and quickly became a family favorite. It was served at festivals and weddings. To this day, The Feast of San Gennaro, an annual street fair in New York’s Little Italy, features dozens of purveyors of Sausage and Peppers—a tribute to the dish’s role as true Italian American comfort food.

About Carandini’s Emilio Silver Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and Bianca Sweet White Vinegar and how they make Sausage and Peppers sing.

The Carandini Family of Modena traces their vinegars back to 1641. Far more recently, the family honored their founder Emilio with Emilio Silver, a premium Balsamic Vinegar that’s a perfect balance of sweet and sour making it ideal for sweet and savory dishes like our Sausage and Peppers.  We’ve never tasted vinegar like Bianca Sweet White Vinegar. It is both delicate and sweet. Made with the same ingredients as Carandini’s Balsamic, it is fresh and fruity and ideal for bringing another layer of flavor to our Sausage and Peppers. At https://carandini.us/#video you can see a delightful video of Carandini family lore and a store locator for all Carandini products. They are both gluten-free, GMO-free, and Vegetarian.

*As much as we love almost everything about them, do not use Trader Joe’s Italian sausages in this recipe. Get yourself some real Italian Fennel Pork Sausages. https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search;_ylt=AwrNYAXONyhlXm4PrI8PxQt.;_ylu=Y29sbwNiZjEEcG9zAzEEdnRpZANSRUZDVF8xBHNlYwNyZWwtYm90?p=buy+italian+fennel+sausage+online&type=type9097303-spa-4056-84481&param1=4056&param2=84481&hsimp=yhs-001&hspart=mnet&ei=UTF-8&fr2

Here is today’s recipe. After that, some more great recipes using Italian Sausage.

Sweet Pork Sausages with Peppers and Cherry Tomatoes

October 13, 2023
: 4
: 10 min
: 30 min
: 40 min
: Easy

A flavorful sauce, a tango of peppers and onions, rich fennel sausages are perfectly balanced in this version of an Italian American classic.


  • 8 Italian Sweet Pork fennel sausages, sweet (about 2 pounds)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 or 4medium bell peppers, a mix of red and yellow, sliced into ¼-inch strips
  • 2medium red onions, sliced into ¼-inch half-moons
  • 5garlic cloves, smashed, peeled and minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • ¼ cup Balsamic Vinegar (preferably Carandini’s Emilio)
  • 2 tablespoons Sweet White Vinegar (preferably Carandini’s Bianca)
  • OR 1 tablespoon Sherry Wine Vinegar and 1 tablespoon honey.
  • 1pint cherry tomatoes
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil or parsley (optional)
  • Step 1 Prick each sausage in several places with a skewer or the tip of a paring knife to prevent bursting. Put sausages in one layer in a skillet. Add water to cover and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, then cover, turn off the heat, and let steep.
  • Step 2 Place a wide skillet over high heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. When oil is hot, add sliced peppers and onions. Season generously with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Adjust heat as necessary if the mixture seems to be cooking too quickly. Add garlic just at the end, stir to incorporate, and cook 1 minute more. Stir in the Balsamic Vinegar. Cook 3 to 4 minutes more until the sauce has thickened. Cover the skillet with foil to keep the peppers warm.
  • Step 3 Over medium heat, coat the pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil, add sausages, and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, to brown.
  • Step 4 In the skillet with the peppers and onions add the sweet white vinegar and then the browned sausages. Stir to coat them in the pan sauce and cook, uncovered until warmed through. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until they soften and burst, for 3 to 4 minutes, smashing open if needed. Drizzle more olive oil over the top and garnish with a shower of basil or parsley, if using.

Food and Wine’s Best Recipe of 2002: Pasta with Sausage Basil and Mustard from Nigel Slater


Sausage-and-Potato Pan Roast from Justin Chapple in Food and Wine Magazine

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