Saturday, October 28, 2017

Sausage and Pepper Sheet Pan Dinner

I have OCD. I like everything to have a pattern and structure. Everything should fit neatly into it's own little box. Growing up, my mother kept everything on track by always serving us our aluminum TV dinners at precisely 6pm. That schedule still governs my world today. I like my dinner precisely and exactly at 6pm.

Being retired, I have all of the time in the world to stay on that schedule. I love to cook and I just adjust my prep and cooking time to hit that goal each day. Today, Becky and I are going to Macalester to catch my son Patrick's last home football game of the 2017 season. That means we won't get back home until close to 5pm.

I will stay on track by making a sheet pan dinner tonight. All of the ingredients go on a sheet pan and you just slide it into a hot oven. In just 30 minutes, everything is cooked and ready to eat....just add mustard. It's the perfect meal for the control enthusiast who is short on time and needs to meet an all-important imaginary goal.

4 sweet Italian sausages
1 large orange bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
1 large green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
4 hoagie rolls, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 425ยบ and line sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Toss the sliced onions with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place them exactly on the left side of the cookie sheet. Toss the sliced peppers with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place them precisely in center of the sheet pan. Place the sausages, with great precision, to the right of the peppers.
  3. Slide sheet pan into the oven and cook for 30 minutes on the button.
  4. After 30 minutes, place each sausage in hoagie roll and top each with peppers and onions.

Wine pairing: One could make an excellent case that this meal would be great to wash down with a pilsner....and I would not argue. But the wine lover in me would feel compelled to combine sweet Italian sausages with Chianti. That's what they would do in Tuscany. If it's Saturday night and you just got paid, snarf a bottle of 2014 Antinori Marchese Chianti Reserva. That will drain $39.99 from your wallet when you check out at Total Wine. If you didn't get paid and have to stop by Payday America for a quick loan, let them know you will need $8.27 to buy a bottle of Ruffino Chianti.

Me and the ultimate control enthusiast, 1956