Scorsese and Sausage

Oh, you didn’t watch the Globes last night? You probably didn’t miss much.

Except Julia Roberts’ updo that brought tears to my eyes and was obviously sent down from an angel  confirming that not only is there a heaven, but heaven is a place where ’50s-’60s era Phil Spector music plays all day and the women wake up with beehive hair and perfect eye liner.

Or maybe how Bono only narrowly avoided a very wet, Moët-laced kiss from Sean Combs/P. Diddy/Puff Daddy/Diddy.

And you definitely missed the always easy-on-the-eyes Martin Scorsese. Which means you didn’t fall down some wonderful/frightening rabbit hole only to mentally connect that a young, Taxi Driver-era Scorsese looks eerily similar to one Llewyn Davis (who, by the way, was robbed last night. PleaseMr.Kennedy4Lyfe.)

Maybe it was because I was already planning on spending ~5 hours watching essentially bare boned women walk around in gauzy dresses, but I needed a dinner that felt substantial but basically starch-free…just in case, you know, Amy Adams leaves her Globes dress at the Crossroads Trading Co. in Wicker Park for me.

I won’t guarantee that eating this kind of dinner will make a size 0, strapless Dior fit like a glove, but it will definitely absorb the fifth of vodka Meryl Streep tricks you into drinking over the course of three hours.

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Cate Blanchett definitely ate this for Sunday lunch.

Sausage & Peppers
Makes 4-6 servings

1-1.25 lb italian sausage (mild or hot; a.k.a. Joaquin Phoenix or Oscar Isaac)
1 24 oz jar tomato sauce (or 24 oz of homemade sauce, in which case, congrats)
1/2 c chicken stock
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
2 bell peppers, sliced
1 medium yellow onion, cut into half moon slices
3 pinches of brown sugar
4 tbsp olive oil
salt, pepper, basil
1/4 c parmesan cheese (plus more for topping)

Make your life easier and do your chopping first. Garlic, peppers, onion. (Semi-pro tip, whenever I’m chopping multiple vegetables, I always start with garlic – because it makes everything that touches the cutting board next taste/smell better – and end with onion. For obvious reasons.)

Heat half of your olive oil in a sauté pan or cast iron skillet. Heat the other half in a medium sized pot or (if you’re true upper-crust) dutch oven. Once the oil in the pot is shimmering, add your garlic and let it bronze for a few minutes. Next, add the onions and peppers, plus those pinches of sugar. You can and should stir it all up, but this pot isn’t needy. The onions and peppers will cook down into velvet (on medium-low heat) all on their own.

While the onions and peppers are doin’ it for themselves, toss your sausage (casing on) in the pan/skillet and let it cook all the way through. At some point, slice up the links until they’re in two-bite sized chunks. Keep cooking until the chunks have an almost crispy char on them (flavor, people, flavor.)

Once the meat is done, add it to the vegetable pot along with the sauce and stock. From here this is very much a taste and go operation in terms of adding salt, pepper, basil (plus any other Italian or hot seasonings you so choose.) The cheese is mandatory though. This is cooking and there are rules.

Let this simmer for at least 10-15 minutes (this, like the turkey chili, is something that can go low and slow or not.) Serve with more cheese and a wine that, preferably, doesn’t taste like nail polish remover.

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