Thursday, September 15, 2011

Peppers and Meatballs Sandwich

Peppers and Meatballs Sandwiches
This time of year, thanks to generous friends or family, I often find myself with too much of something.  This week I had many green bell peppers thanks to my dad's prolific pepper plants.  I decided to make a one of my family's favorite sandwiches, a pepper and meatball grinder.  Yes, around these parts we call a submarine sandwich a grinder.  It's a Northeast thing.

Even though I had a mess of bell peppers, I wasn't really in the mood to make meatballs.  Do you know what I mean?  Sometimes I'm just not in the mood.  Do you know what I'm talking about?  Of course you do.  No problem.  Thankfully I can get tasty meatballs already prepared at my local grocery store and I bet you can too.  See, there is no reason not to make a pepper and meatball sandwich.

In my mind, the key to this sandwich is the sauce.  Just a few simple ingredients cook together to make a delicious sauce that makes a yummy sandwich.  Let's make it.

Peppers and Meatballs Sandwich
Serves 8

Sandwich Ingredients
  • 2 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 8 basil leaves, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 pounds Italian style meatballs
  • 6 green bell peppers, sliced into strips
  • Torpedo rolls
Provolone cheese, sliced

Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven.  When the oil starts to shimmer add the red pepper flakes and chopped garlic.  Add the bell peppers.  Stir together and cook for 2-3 minutes. 

Cook the peppers with the Garlic and Red Pepper Flakes

Add the crushed tomatoes, parsley and basil.  Stir and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Bring the sauce to a boil and add the meatballs.  Bring the sauce back to a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer and cover the pot so that the lid is ajar.  Cook the partially covered sauce very slowly on top of the stove for two hours, stirring occasionally to be sure the sauce doesn't stick to the pan and burn.  If it seems too thick add a little water.

Cook the Sauce for Two Hours

To make your sandwiches, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and slice the torpedo rolls without cutting all the way through.  Open the rolls up, like a book.  Spoon sauce and tomatoes into the rolls.  Top with the meatballs and then the sliced provolone cheese.  Place the sandwiches into the hot oven for 2-3 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the rolls have warmed.

Heat the Sandwiches and Melt the Cheese
That's all there is to it.  This is a perfect sandwich for weekend afternoons watching football on the TV.  No fuss, no muss, but big flavor.  Go team!

You can get the printable Peppers and Meatballs recipe by clicking on the link.


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