The 87th Annual Feast of San Gennaro begins on September 12th through September 22nd in Little Italy on Mulberry Street, New York. If you are visiting New York City during that time, head on over to the biggest street party in Manhattan!
This feast salutes San Gennaro, the Patron Saint of Naples, which embraces the Italian immigrant culture and even more - celebrates their food! Although the Feast of San Gennaro, which is hosted by Figli di San Gennaro Inc., (who are a non-profit organization that help children, parochial schools, the elderly and needy,) it is a time where Italian immigrants reflect on remembering their past, celebrating their faith and much more. If you get the opportunity to visit Manhattan in New York during the month of September you have to make the time to experience one of the most delicious cuisines that these nonnas and papas created.
My Italian sausage and peppers salad recipe is a healthy twist on the traditional version of an Old Italian classic. The warm sausage and peppers are added to cold spinach, which slowly wilts and gets warm as you mix it in. I also add in a little romaine lettuce for extra texture, but that is totally up to you. This recipe would also be great alongside mashed potatoes or as a sandwich on a rustic Italian loaf or French baguette. You can also make this a spicy dish. I have given you the variations throughout the recipe.
This Italian sausage and peppers salad recipe is delicious and easy to make. I hope you try it. Enjoy!
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2 lb. Italian sausage, sweet or hot
3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 large Spanish onions, cut in half and sliced into long 1/2" strips
6 Italian frying peppers (Cubanelles), deseeded and cut into 1/2" strips
2 large red bell peppers, deseeded and cut into 1/2" strips
1 tbsp. dried whole oregano
1 tbsp. dried parsley flakes
1 tsp. garlic powder (or granulated garlic)
1 tsp. dried red pepper flakes (if using sweet sausage)
Salt and pepper to taste
10 oz. baby spinach
1 English cucumber, peeled, halved and cut into half moons
Grated parmesan cheese (for garnish)
1. Rub 1 tbsp. of olive oil over the sausages and bake in the oven until golden brown, turning once for approximately 35 minutes. Remove from oven, cool and slice into thin medallions. Set aside.
2. In a large skillet, heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and all of the peppers, herbs and garlic powder to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are opaque and the peppers are crisp tender, approximately 15 minutes.
3. Add the sliced sausages to the peppers and onions and heat through for 5 minutes. Add salt to taste if you wish.
4. Divide the baby spinach and cucumber into 4 bowls and add the sausages and peppers. Sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese. If you like, drizzle with Good Seasons Italian salad dressing made with balsamic vinegar (optional).
Cook's Notes & Tips:
I have made many variations of this recipe, one of which I added sliced hot pickled cherry peppers (rinsed), to the pan with the sausage and peppers at the last minute. It was very tasty and spicy. You can totally omit the red pepper flakes if you want this to be a mild dish. You can also vary the color of the peppers.
Traditionally, Italian sausage and peppers are made with green bell peppers. I used the Italian frying peppers as they a somewhat sweet and have a mild flavor, which are more palatable for the children and the elderly. They may be labelled as Cubanelle's in your area. They are long, narrow and have a very light green color to them.