Sausage with Bell Peppers and Onions, Confit

sausage with bell peppers and onions, confitI love Sausage with Bell peppers and Onions.  The slightly spicy Italian Sausage mixes well with the crispness and mild flavor of the bell peppers, and the onion just brings it all home.

I think I first tried it at Disney World some decades back when we lived in Florida.  We were 90 minutes from our doorstep to entering one of the parks, and back then was several years BC (Before Children), so we had a lot more time to play.  I would get off work, my sweetheart would pick me up, and off we would go to visit a theme park.  Our favorite was Epcot.  I know, Magic Kingdom is fun, and the MGM park had some very interesting attractions, but for us the Nations Lake around Epcot had the most variety.  You could get very small (and yes, slightly sanitized) versions of a handful of different cultures, along with some of their traditions, beliefs, and yes, food.  And being who we are, the food was the key.

Swedish pastries, Japanese bowls, Mexican plates, and German Bratwurst.  And of course, the Sausage with Bell Peppers and Onions.  i don’t even remember where it was, just that I loved it.  (Of course, I loved a lot of the other foods as well, but those are for another day.)

I finally got around to making it myself.  And it was good.  Then we made it confit, and it was great!  For those of you new to the term, “confit” simply means to cook food, usually meat, and then to marinade it in it’s own fats and juices.  This has the effect of blending and concentrating flavors in a way that other cooking methods don’t.  In the case of Sausage with bell peppers and Onions, it elevates it to the next level.


I start by browning the Italian Sausage.  I am particular to the Torino brand Italian Sausages, sold at Costco, but feel free to use whatever quality Sausages you can find.  Oh, and the legalese and Food Handlers warning: these things have raw pork in them, please be careful to not cross contaminate anything you aren’t going to cook well, and don’t taste test until it is all cooked thoroughly.

sausage with bell peppers and onions, confit sausage with bell peppers and onions, confit

While the sausages are browning, you can slice the Bell Peppers and Onions.  I like yellow, red, and orange bell peppers, but the green taste almost the same and are a half to a third the price of the more colorful ones.  If I am serving to guests and want the wow factor, I’ll spend the extra; if it is just for me and the family, it will be the green ones.  Also, I like the sweet yellow onions.  less bite, more onioniness…  err, onionier..  onion-esk.  Whatever.

And long quarter inch strips are good in this, as it’s good to see what you are eating.

sausage with bell peppers and onions, confit sausage with bell peppers and onions, confit

Once the vegetables are sliced and the sausage is browned on the outside, remove the sausage from the pan and toss in the peppers and onions.  And yes, the fats from the sausages are to be left in there, as they are flavor and will saute the vegetables.  personally, I add another tablespoon or two of vegetable oil, to make sure all of them get a good coating.  And yes, this makes a lot, so scale it down if you need to.  And whatever you do, don’t scrape out those wonderful brown bits stuck to the pan from the sausage!  That’s flavor!

sausage with bell peppers and onions, confit sausage with bell peppers and onions, confit

Slice the sausages on the bias and add them back into the pan with the vegetables.  And by bias I mean “an oblique or diagonal line of direction” (  It makes the pieces a little larger and more interesting than just little circles.  Add the salt, black pepper, and garlic powder or granules.

sausage with bell peppers and onions, confit sausage with bell peppers and onions, confit

Now stir, toss, or mix it all together and let it simmer.  Mix it around every few minutes until the sausage is fully cooked (no pink, etc) and the vegetables are softened, but still have a little texture in them (we don’t want mushy vegetables).

sausage with bell peppers and onions, confitAt this point, once it is all cooked through, you can put it on bread and have a sandwich.  It’s pretty good.  And even at this point it is worth making, but we can do better.

Pack it into a bowl, ziplock bag, or some kind of airtight container, including all the liquid from the pan.  You want a container that will allow you to pack it all in and have the fats and liquid fill all in between, and let you make an airtight seal.  Fats will pickup whatever flavors you have wandering around in your fridge, so please make sure this gets sealed.

sausage with bell peppers and onions, confitsausage with bell peppers and onions, confit

Put it into your fridge over night.  Yes, patience is called for.  That’s why I often have a sandwich as soon as it’s done, but I know better is coming.  Your patience will be rewarded.

When tomorrow comes around, heat up the Sausage with Bell Peppers and Onions, Confit.  And put it on bread.  And eat it.  And eat some more.  And show off to your friends how good it is, but never tell them how easy it is.  Unless they ask, since recipes should be shared.

sausage with bell peppers and onions, confit

Sausage with Bell Peppers and Onions, Confit
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Italian Sausage with bell peppers and onions is elevated to a new level by making it a confit
  • 3 medium onions, sliced
  • 3 bell peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 10 Italian Sausages

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder (or granulated garlic)
  1. Brown Italian sausages on medium heat. Remove from heat and slice.
  2. Add bell peppers and onions to pan and stir in vegetable oil to coat. Add sliced sausage, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Stir to combine.
  3. Continue cooking on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sausage is fully cooked and vegetables are softened, but not mushy.
  4. Pour entire batch of sausage, peppers, and onions, plus all liquid, into an airtight container, making sure the liquid covers as much as possible.
  5. Refrigerate overnight. Heat through and serve on buns, hoagie rolls, or garlic bread.


Red Sauce with Italian Sausage

res sauceI think if we are to be honest with ourselves, most of us have had a love of a basic Red Sauce since we were too young to put a name to it.  I was enamored with Spaghetti-O’s, Chef Boy-R-Dee Beef Ravioli, and even those way too cheaply made pizzas sold in the deli section of the local grocery store.  You know the kind not really frozen pizzas, but may have once been?  I could not get enough of them.
As I got older, I progressed to slightly better sauce, the kind in those jars in the Italian aisle.  If I was truly lucky, my mom would make a homemade spaghetti, but not often enough.  Not by far.
When I got out on my own, I discovered Olive Garden, Spaghetti Factory, and Brick Oven.  It was amazing what a good Red Sauce could taste like.  I discovered some white sauces, and even a lemon butter sauce (both still great sauces in their realms) but eventually I would return to the Red Sauce.
One day, in all my arrogance, I proclaimed “How hard could it be? There are only a few basic ingredients!”  I was then in for years of searching and experimenting for the right ratios of those basic ingredients.  Had I known then how much effort and time it would take me, I am not sure if I wouldn’t just keep going to restaurants and work on other foods.  I am glad I did.  I think i am a better cook for the experience.

Don’t get me wrong, I made some ok sauces, and I got to eat a lot of Red Sauces along the way.  I also made some sauce that was only good with Parmesano-Romano cheese.  A lot of cheese.  And really strong garlic bread.
I finally came upon some Italian sausages at the local Costco.  When mixed with the pretty good sauce I had been playing with, I ended up with something spectacular.  It had balance, nuance, and flair.  And it was pretty simple to make.

In other words, it was a truly great Red Sauce.


Dice the Onion.  Crush the garlic.  Grate the carrots.  Open the cans of tomatoes.  Brown the sausages.

I will warn you that this makes a good sized batch.  Feel free to cut it in half or even quarters.  And patience will reward you.  It is not a five minute recipe by any means, but will take several hours, depending on how high a simmer you have it.  If you do it higher, please stir more often; you don’t want it burned, that’s not good sauce.

Oh, and Food Handler warning.  I only brown the sausage before cutting it and adding it to the sauce.  Please follow safe practices and don’t taste the sauce with undercooked pork or chicken in it; Once the meat is in, be patient and simmer it for a few hours before you taste test it.

italian sausagesred saucered sauce

Red Sauce with Italian Sausage
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
I use the Torino Italian Sausages sold at Costco. They are really amazing in this sauce.
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium or large onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 – 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes – or one #10 can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup carrot, finely grated
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1¾ Tablespoon dried Oregano
  • 1¾ Tablespoon dried Basil
  • 1¾ Tablespoon dried Parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons brown bugar (or to taste, sometimes up to 3 Tablespoons)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (roughly 1 T salt and ½ t pepper)

  • 20 Torino mild Italian Sausages
  1. In a large stock pot, saute the diced onion in olive oil until translucent, 8-10 minutes. Add crushed garlic and saute slightly (be careful to not burn it).
  2. Add the tomatoes, carrots, and all the seasonings (the rest of the ingredient list, minus the sausages). Stir together, and set the burner for a simmer.
  3. In a skillet, brown the sausages on all sides. It is OK if they are still raw in the middle, we just want them browned to add flavor. Cut them in thirds (depending on their size) and add to the sauce.
  4. Simmer the sauce for 2-4 hours, stirring every half hour or so, then taste and adjust salt, pepper, and brown sugar as needed.