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Sausage, Pepper and Onion Sloppy Joes


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1 1/2-2 pounds ground pork

  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds

  • 1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, grated

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 3 cubanelle peppers, cut into small dice

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar

  • 1 1/2-2 cups chicken stock (depending on how sloppy you like it!)

  • 4 individual ciabatta or whole wheat rolls

  • 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

  • 1/2 cup basil, chopped


Pre-heat the broiler. In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat two turns of the pan of EVOO, about two tablespoons. Add the ground pork and brown, breaking it up with a potato masher as it cooks, about 5-6 minutes. Add the fennel seeds, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic, onion and cubanelle peppers. Cook until the veggies are softened, about 4-5 minutes, then stir in the tomato paste and cook for about 1 minute. Mix in the parsley, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar and chicken stock. Let the mixture come up to a bubble, then reduce the heat and simmer, about 10 minutes. While the filling is simmering, split the rolls in half and toast them under the broiler. Once they are golden, remove them and sprinkle each with about a palmful of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Place them back under the broiler to melt the cheese. To serve, ladle the mixture onto the bottom half of the ciabatta rolls. Garnish each sammie with basil and serve with a salad alongside. This is one of many "Yum-o!" recipes – it's good and good for you. To find out more about Yum-o!, Rachael's nonprofit organization, go to