The simplicity.

If there is a more gratifying dish than sausage with roma tomatoes, garlic, and roasted peppers, I don't know of it.

The more I explore culinary traditions and proclivities, the more I appreciate the Italians.

It's the simplicity of Italian cooking I'm hooked on. True Italian cuisine is subtle, unrefined, and purposeful. Italian chefs mostly use only ingredients that are in season. They do things like use the whole fish, not just fillets. They use few spices (an Italian kitchen, at it's most basic, has basil, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper, and fennel.) They rarely use much sauce on a meat. It's purity of ingredients.

And that brings us back to the la piastra del giorno. This is my recipe. Of course, it can vary by taste, but in any case, please please PLEASE! Keep it simple; otherwise my grande nonna will roll over in her grave.

La salsiccia italiana con i pomodori

6-8 sweet Italian sausages
8 semi-firm Roma tomatoes (a.k.a. "plum" tomatoes)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (2" pieces)
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped (2" pieces)
6 cloves garlic
Olive oil
Iron skillet (if you have one)

Put 2 tbsp. oil in the skillet, heat over medium-high heat until the oil is warmed, around 3 minutes. Add the sausages and peppers. After 2-3 minutes add 2 tbsp. oil. Shuck garlic gloves, crush with the heel of your palm or a knife blade (crush the garlic to increase the surface area exposed to the oil). Add garlic and oregano. Simmer for 10-12 minutes, turning frequently. Chop tomatoes into largish chunks. When sausages are browned, add tomatoes. Let simmer for 5 minutes longer. Serve with Tuscan bread or any other crusty loaf.

You can serve this with either red or white. I prefer a room-temperature or slightly-chilled Italian white.

Buon appetito!

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