This Italian Sausage and Pepper Bruschetta is a heartier take on classic tomato bruschetta, and perfect for using up those late summer veggies.
This is down home, hearty, comin’ in from a hard day’s work food.
It’s pickin the last of summer’s harvest, tired bones, weathered skin, worn flannel shirt kind of food.
It’s summer colliding into fall in a mess of tomatoes, zucchini, sausage, and beef.
This is one of the first dishes I prepared as a newlywed. I found it in my Betty Crocker Cookbook (Bridal Edition, of course), and thought it seemed simple enough for a newbie like me.
I remember putting everything together, frying up the beef and onions, the smell of the garlic, the thick red tomato sauce binding everything together.
And I remember how proud I was when I served this for dinner. This, my friends, was no Hamburger Helper. This was a real, legit, homemade meal.
And man, was it delicious.
The Mr. and I agreed, this recipe was a definite keeper.
Despite it’s successful debut, it’s been years since I made the dish, and I finally decided it was time to revisit it. I have a little more culinary knowledge under my belt now so I felt like I could adapt this for our tastes.
The main change? Substituting Italian sausage for some of the ground beef.
Best. decision. ever.
I love the boost of flavor and warmth Italian sausage adds to a dish, especially this time of year. It ups the hearty quotient of this dish by about a trillion.
This is rich, cozy, fall food. Piled high on a piece of buttery, toasted bread this meal will satisfy a hungry belly in the best of ways.
Though the recipe below uses canned tomatoes, you can certainly substitute the last of your garden’s tomatoes instead. Still have zucchini? A few more bell peppers? Carrots or celery? Throw them in too. Use the leftovers as a thick sauce for pasta or even as a pizza topping with lots of mozzarella cheese.
This dish only takes about 30 minutes to make, so you can throw it together on a dark chilly evening then have plenty of time to cozy up with a blanket and a good movie.
I think I’m going to like this whole fall thing.
- 6 large slices or 12 small slices sourdough bread
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lb. ground beef
- ½ lb. ground Italian sausage
- 1 yellow onion, cut into strips
- 1 bell pepper, cut into strips
- 1 small zucchini cut into strips
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 can diced tomatoes, juice drained and reserved
- 16 oz. spaghetti sauce
- Preheat the oven to broil. Melt the butter in the microwave in a heat proof bowl. Add the oil and stir to combine. Brush both sides of the bread with butter mixture then place them on a tray 4-6 inches under the broiler. Broil for 1-2 minutes on the first side, until golden brown. Flip, and broil for an additional 1-2 minutes until golden and crispy on both sides. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat and add ground beef, Italian sausage, onion, and peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes. Add zucchini and garlic cloves and cook an additional 2-4 minutes or until beef and sausage are browned. Drain any fat from the skillet.
- Stir diced tomatoes and spaghetti sauce into the mixture and sprinkle everything with the Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 1-2 additional minutes, until heated through. If mixture seems too thick, add reserved tomato juice.
- To serve, place toasted bread slices on plates and top with beef mixture. Knife and fork it!
Adapted from Betty Crocker Cookbook
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