This week’s San Diego Chargers verses Oakland Raiders match-up marks the return of one of the most controversial of NFL events, Thursday Night Football.

By now, we’ve heard all the same complaints over the past five years. Not enough people get the NFL Network, the 5pm Pacific Time kick-off stinks for fans on the West Coast, Michael Irvin and Deion Sanders wear ties that can be seen from Neptune. All legitimate gripes.

There is reason to hope for an improved 2011 TNF broadcast though. Bob Papa has been replaced by Brad Nessler and Mike Maylock takes over on color, freeing us from the on-air blundering of Matt Millen and Joe Theismann. Papa always seemed to get lost under the color over the past couple of seasons, Millen and Theismann were, well, Millen and Theismann. (Always thought Cris Collinsworth and Bryant Gumble were actually the best TNF pairing, and sometimes I wonder where that particular Collinsworth went when I watch Sunday Night Football now.)

Thursday night football also means a few extra challenges for the fans. There will be fantasy football blunders in almost every league and selections missed in pick’em pools. And since it’s a weeknight, game time snacks need to easy and fast.

Italian Sausage Parmesan Sandwiches on Toasted Garlic Bread, Two Ways

There are two ways I like to make this sandwich. The first easy way takes only about 30-40 minutes, and the second method takes just a little longer while adding some vegetables for taste and crunch. It’s also an easy way to stretch five sausages into six or seven sandwiches.

The key to these sandwiches is using a good Italian sausage, because whatever sausage you use is going to flavor the sauce and give it much more depth on the garlic toasted bun. Why season the bun? Because the garlic and butter are going to meld with the melted cheese and give you just a little bit more of heaven.

You will need:

1 pound Italian Sausage, preferably spicy
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 14-16 ounces of your favorite marinara sauce, either from the jar or homemade
1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1-2 ounces of parmesan reggiano cheese, sliced with a vegetable peeler
1/4 – 1/2 cup butter, softened
2-3 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat the oven to 350º.

In a skillet over medium heat, brown the sausage in 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Once the meat has been browned and cooked most of the way through, place in a small baking dish with the marinara sauce and bake for about 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, top with the mozzarella and parmesan cheese and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the cheese has completely melted and started to toast on the top.

While the sausages are in the oven, mix the garlic and butter together and spread evenly over the buns.

Take the finished sausages out of the oven and throw the garlic buns under the broiler for a few minutes until lightly toasted.

Look delicious cheese and meats!

Serve.

Again, the second method of this sandwich is a great way to stretch a few sausages into more sandwiches. It also helps you pretend you ate something healthier, since it has vegetables in it.

Joking aside though, I like this version just a little bit more just because the slight crunch of the peppers works well with the bread and the meat.

1 pound Italian Sausage, preferably spicy
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 14-16 ounces of your favorite marinara sauce, either from the jar or homemade
1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1-2 ounces of parmesan reggiano cheese, sliced with a vegetable peeler
1/4 – 1/2 cup butter, softened
2-3 cloves garlic

If making the second method, you will need to add

1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, diced

In a skillet over medium heat, brown the sausage in 1 tablespoon of olive oil along side the chopped peppers and onions.

Once the sausages are just about browned, slice and continue to cook for even browning on the meat. The onions and peppers should soften slightly, but not become mushy.

Mix the meat and vegetables in a small baking dish with the marinara sauce and bake for about 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, top with the mozzarella and parmesan cheese and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the cheese has completely melted and started to toast on the top.

While the sausages are in the oven, mix the garlic and butter together and spread evenly over the buns.
Take the finished sausages out of the oven and throw the garlic buns under the broiler for a few minutes until lightly toasted.

Serve.

It used to frustrate me to no end that fellow league members would totally blow it once the Thursday matches returned, but now I count on those whiffs to move further up in fantasy standings. So if you’re leading the pack in the Football Foodie Pick’em Leagues, be forewarned; this is when the rest of the pack is going to catch up with you if you’re not careful.

 

Italian Sausage Parmesan on Garlic Toasted Rolls, Two Ways
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Author: sarah @ sarahsprague.com
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 5-7
Ingredients
  • 1 pound Italian Sausage, preferably spicy
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 14-16 ounces of your favorite marinara sauce, either from the jar or homemade
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1-2 ounces of parmesan reggiano cheese, sliced with a vegetable peeler
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • If making the second method, you will need to add
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º.
  2. In a skillet, brown the sausage in 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  3. Once the meat has been browned and cooked most of the way through, place in a small baking dish with the marinara sauce and bake for about 20 minutes.
  4. After 20 minutes, top with the mozzarella and parmesan cheese and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the cheese has completely melted and started to toast on the top.
  5. While the sausages are in the oven, mix the garlic and butter together and spread evenly over the buns.
  6. Take the finished sausages out of the oven and throw the garlic buns under the broiler for a few minutes until lightly toasted.
  7. Serve.
  8. OR
  9. In a skillet over medium heat, brown the sausage in 1 tablespoon of olive oil along side the chopped peppers and onions.
  10. Once the sausages are just about browned, slice and continue to cook for even browning on the meat. The onions and peppers should soften slightly, but not become mushy.
  11. Place the browned meat and vegetables in a small baking dish with the marinara sauce and bake for about 20 minutes.
  12. After 20 minutes, top with the mozzarella and parmesan cheese and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the cheese has completely melted and started to toast on the top.
  13. While the sausages are in the oven, mix the garlic and butter together and spread evenly over the buns.
  14. Take the finished sausages out of the oven and throw the garlic buns under the broiler for a few minutes until lightly toasted.
  15. Serve.
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3 Responses to Italian Sausage Parmesan on Garlic Toasted Rolls, Two Ways: Football Foodie Quick Hit

  1. Sam says:

    Shooting in the Strip District today so of course I loaded up at Parma. Two lbs of Sicilian sausage, four lbs meatball mix and two calabrese salamis. Yum.

  2. Sam says:

    Have not made it in, but had some macaroons from there yesterday. Delish. Been attending mass at St. Stan’s and doing my marketing in the strip afterwards. This aint a half bad city after all.

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