Monday, June 20, 2011

Sausage Meatball and Roasted Pepper Stew


After our recent week of 95-degree highs and heat advisories, we then had a cold spell with temperatures only in the 60s. You live in Michigan, you get used to this; there's a reason we joke that if you don't like the weather, just wait 5 minutes!

And so, while it wasn't quite necessary to make cocoa or haul out the winter coats, it was just chilly enough that a hearty bowl of soup was calling to me.

I'd also given a friend some suggestions for vegetarian meals, and had offered an idea for a stew with peppers and tomatoes ... which, of course, then kept floating in my brain until I got around to making a variation on it.

I roasted the vegetables to caramelize them and intensify their flavor. And I rolled the sausage into meatballs rather than simply browning it because I thought that would be more fun ... there's nothing more creative than that, sorry!

I was thrilled with how flavorful this stew was, and how much I enjoyed it. It was the perfect meal to have had ready ahead of time, after a weekend cooking/writing spree, needing only to be warmed up after I worked extra hours one day.

It was substantial and light at the same time, and perfect comfort food with a lively zest. And to make it vegetarian, simply cook the meatballs in a separate pan and serve them for anyone who wants to add them to the stew.

Sausage Meatball and Roasted Pepper Stew

1 small red pepper, cut into 1" pieces
1 small orange pepper, cut into 1" pieces
1 small yellow pepper, cut into 1" pieces
1 small red onion, cut into 1" pieces
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
generous sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper
1/3 pound Italian sausage, hot or mild
1 large garlic clove, minced
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon pesto
1 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1/4 cup red wine
2 cups baby spinach leaves

Preheat the oven to 425F.

Place the peppers and onion into a large baking dish; drizzle with the oil, sprinkle with the salt and black pepper, and bake for 30 minutes. Stir, then bake for another 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

Roll the sausage into 1" meatballs. Brown the meatballs in a medium saucepan, then stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes, pesto, tomatoes and red wine. Add the roasted vegetables.

Bring to a boil, then cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Add the spinach, cooking just until wilted. Serve immediately with a salad and good bread.

Makes 4 servings.

6 comments:

Miriam said...

It looks so flavrful! A beautiful stew :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

Jenn said...

Gosh, I wish we got a break in our weather like this. We had a cool day yesterday.. it was only like 100!!! Whew.. summer is here for sure. I'll have to bookmark this recipe and save it for a little later in the year when I can actually enjoy stew, cause this looks and sounds incredible!!!

Cranberry Morning said...

Our forecast is for rainy days most of the week, so this would be a good time to try this recipe. (You got me with the 'roasted peppers' bit!)

BTW, Be sure to stop in at Cranberry Morning today and enter my handcrafted soap GIVEAWAY!! :-)

Rachel Cotterill said...

This sounds perfect for a gloomy day :)

Dan said...

sausage meatballs sound like an awesome idea. Our grocery store just started selling some leek and pepper sausages - I wonder how that would work if we removed the casings?

Candace said...

My family adores meatballs! We have crazy weather up here in New Hampshire too. This weekend is supposed to be cool and rainy and this stew would be perfect. Thank you!

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