Mert-Friendly Sausage and Peppers

I have a few friends who don’t eat pork, which can be challenging during the regular family meals that we host for 4-10 porcine-hungry friends.  One of them, Mert, is convinced that he will never be able to turn down pork again if he’s ever tried it, so he has asked us to be extra vigilant in ensuring he doesn’t get any by accident.  I’ve adjusted this recipe from Martha Stewart to meet the needs of my friends who keep kosher/halal and also to provide leftovers that I’m more than willing to snarf up.  We even have sausages in our chest freezer labelled “Mert-friendly” (ie, pork-free) so that we can whip this one up at a moment’s notice.  Serve over rice or egg noodles.

Mert-Friendly Sausage and Peppers

.25 cup extra-virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, sliced
1 large onion (red is best, but yellow/white will work), cut on a 2-inch dice
4 bell peppers, mixed colors, cut on a 2-inch dice
4-6 halal sausage links, ideally Italian
1 cup to one 14 oz can of crushed tomatoes, depending on how saucy you want it
1.5 cups red box wine
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Basmati rice or egg noodles, for serving

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add whole sausages and cook, turning regularly, until browned. Remove sausage and set aside to cool.

Add onions and peppers to the skillet with a pinch of salt, cooking until the onions are translucent. Meanwhile, slice the sausages into medallions.

Add garlic to the skillet and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Return sausage to the pot, and add oregano, tomatoes, wine, and another pinch of salt. Stir, bring to a gentle simmer, then reduce heat and cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes until the peppers are very soft. Add salt and pepper to taste, then serve immediately.

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