Chicken Sausage, Peppers, and Onions in Tomato Sauce

Oh man. I don’t know why I ever try with other comfort food. Sausage, peppers, and onions wins every time. Tell me something about this classic dish that doesn’t totally satisfy? You can’t. It’s so good. And you can go super simple-traditional, or you can get fancy and creative and it’s still going to hit the nail on the head! This version is warm and balanced with sweet and savory, and works great in a sub roll, over rice, topping creamy polenta, or even on its own. And bonus: one pot wonder! Here you go.

* 4-5 precooked chicken sausage links, whatever flavoring you prefer
* 2T olive oil
* 3 bell peppers, whichever colors you prefer, sliced into 2-in. strips
* 4-5 cloves fresh garlic, sliced thin
* 1 large sweet vidalia onion, halved and then sliced into thin half rings
* 15oz. can crushed tomatoes
* 1T dried oregano
* 1/2C Marsala wine
* 1t salt

Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large high-sided pan. Add the sausage and brown lightly for a few minutes, rotating frequently.

Add the peppers and onions and sauté several minutes, tossing often and allowing the vegetables to soften and begin to seat slightly. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Cook another 1-2 minutes.

Add the Marsala wine and scrape the pan to pick up any bits stuck to the bottom. Reduce the liquid by half, then reduce heat to low and add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, and salt. Cover and simmer on low 10-15 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Balsamic Caramelized Onions

I used to HATE onions in any format. So much so that I would scrutinize recipes and ingredients for any hint of a dusting of them so that I could declare all foods remotely adjacent to onions off-limits. What was wrong with me?? I now *love* onions. All of ’em. Raw or cooked – gimme your onions. And caramelized onions were my gateway in. These easy two-ingredient (I don’t count water as an ingredient… do you?) balsamic caramelized onions are perfection if you’re an onion fan. I piled them on top of turkey burgers tonight, but they’d work well with just about any meat, as a topping on mashed regular or sweet potatoes, folded into a salad… really, almost anywhere. They’re delicious. And so simple. Here you go.

* 2-3 small sweet onions (any onions will work, I just happen to love sweet onions best)
* 1/2C balsamic vinegar
* water

Cut the ends off your onions and peel them. Cut them in half, and then slice them into long thin slices.

Add the onion slices to a large pan with a lid. Pour the balsamic over them, secure the lid, and turn the heat up to medium. Cook 20 minutes.

Remove lid and stir until the last of the liquid is evaporated. Then add about 1/3 of a cup of water slowly, stirring to bring up all the bits on the pan, and stir until evaporated, allowing the onions to caramelize. Repeat with 1/3 of a cup of water at a time until your onions are fully cooked and caramelized. Feel free to taste along the way to ensure everything’s going the right way. Voila! Perfect, rich, deeply fragrant balsamic caramelized onions. Honestly, I could eat them straight of out of the pan on their own.