First Solo Recipe with Jeffrey

I know I mentioned before that when I was seven years old and Jeffrey was 10, we moved from Brooklyn to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. What I didn’t tell you was that it was there that I started cooking solo. Prior to our move, I’d help Nana at the stove, but she was the captain of that endeavor and I was her first-mate!

Since Mother and Daddy were working long hours, Jeffrey and I were preparing easy recipes on our own for dinner. One time, my mother found a recipe for sausage, peppers, onions and potatoes that you prepare in one pan or in the oven. It was very easy; the hardest part was slicing the onions as tears streamed down my face. It was the kind of recipe that could be changed easily just by adding or removing ingredients.

Here’s the recipe:

1 lb. Italian-style sausage
1 med.-size yellow onion, sliced
1 lg. sweet green pepper, cored, seeded and sliced
1 1/2 lb. small new potatoes, sliced
1 large can crushed tomatoes
salt, pepper, garlic, Italian spices to taste
Brown sausage in a 12 inch skillet over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
Drain off all but 2 tbsp. of the drippings and save to the side.
Add onion, green peppers, potatoes, and spices.
Reduce heat to low, cover, cook for 10 to 15 minutes until potatoes are tender.
Stir occasionally to ensure all of the ingredients are cooking and not sticking- you may need to add some of the reserved drippings.
Add the crushed tomatoes and let simmer about 10 minutes more.
At this point, I add some grated cheese (locatelli and parmigiano reggiano) for extra flavor.
Transfer to a serving bowl
Serve with warm Italian bread.
* If you want to cook it in the oven, put everything in a 9×12 roasting pan and cook in a 350 degree oven for about 40-50 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.