serves: Makes 4 to 6 sandwiches
The Gizmo, a glorified sloppy joe or Italian grinder, is Italian America on a sub roll. This is a great sandwich to make for a picnic or a party. Just make a big pot of the filling and keep piling it on the grilled bread. The filling can be reheated and even frozen – just be sure that is wrapped tightly, so it won’t get freezer flavor. The one I tasted was made with sausage and beef, but just crumpled sausages would be fine; even chopped turkey fits the bill.
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausage without fennel seeds
1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 medium onions, sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 red bell pepper, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 green bell pepper, sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 loaves Italian bread
¾ cup marinara, prepared or homemade
1½ cups shredded low-moisture mozzarella
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; when oil is hot, add the sausage, removed from its casing, and ground beef, and season with salt. Cook the meat, breaking into small crumbles with the back of a spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
Lower heat to medium, and add the fennel, onions, garlic, and oregano. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 4 to 5 minutes. Cover, and let sweat a few minutes; then uncover and add peppers. Cover again, and cook until peppers are just beginning to soften but still have a little texture to them, about 5 minutes.
Split the bread and toast lightly. Cut it into four or six pieces, depending on the appetites of the people you are feeding. Spread the toasted bread out on a baking sheet. Top evenly with the meat and vegetables. Drizzle with the tomato sauce, and sprinkle with the shredded cheese. Bake in the oven until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 3 to 4 minutes. Serve hot.