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Playing Sausage, Pepper and Onion Sloppy Joes

Rachael serves her super-flavorful sausage sloppy Joes sandwich-style (say that three times fast!), on ciabatta bread with melted Parm. It's a great make-ahead crowdpleaser and perfect for eating in front of the big game! A salad rounds out the meal nicely.

For more sloppy Joe inspiration, check out Rach's Smoky Sloppy Joe Nachos and Sloppy Joe Tacos.


  • 2 tablespoon EVOO
  • 1½ to 2 pounds ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes, optional
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cubanelle peppers, cut into small dice
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1½ to 2 cups chicken stock (depending on how sloppy you like it!)
  • 4 individual ciabatta rolls
  • 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • ½ cup basil, chopped


Serves: 4


Preheat broiler.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat the EVOO, two turns of the pan. Add the ground pork and brown, breaking it up with a potato masher as it cooks, 5 to 6 minutes.

Add the fennel seeds, crushed red pepper flakes (if using), salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic, onion and cubanelle peppers. Cook until the veggies soften, 4 to 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 that heat and simmer about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, split the rolls in half and toast them under the broiler. Once they are golden, 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 sammy with basil and serve.