My Italian-American Kitchen

Today's dish was inspired by Goodfellas and The Sopranos. I've been watching Goodfellas practically non-stop since Saturday night and I felt this intense urge to have sausage and peppers when I woke up this morning.

I have The Sopranos Family Cookbook but I'd never used it before today. I'd leaf through it, but I never took it to the kitchen to make anything.

When I graduated from undergrad, I stayed at my parents for a few months and did three things: looked for a husband, read the newspaper (mostly the Celebrations section on Sundays to see if anyone I knew was getting married), and cook. I joined The Good Cook Club and bought 20 or 30 cookbooks, five or so which I still have yet to use. I generally don't make recipes from my books. I like having them around to use as references. I use my textbooks from culinary school more than anything else, but most of those just cover the basics, things I knew before donning a chef's toque.

Roasted Sausages, Peppers, Potatoes, and Onions Serves 4
adapted from The Sopranos Family Cookbook

1 lb potatoes, peeled, and cut into 1-inch chunks (I used Yukon Gold)
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 medium vidalia onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 medium red onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 6" to 8" green Thai eggplant
1/4 cup lemon infused olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound Italian-style turkey sausages

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Spread the vegetables in a single layer in one more more shallow roasting pans; do not crowd them, or they will not brown. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Stir well.
Roast the vegetables. Bake for 15 to 30 minutes, or until sausages and vegetables are cooked through. Serve hot.



The original recipe had red and green bell peppers and only white onions were listed. I used an infused olive oil instead of extra virgin or light olive oil and I added slices of a Thai green eggplant, too. I am not a huge pork fan, but I love the pieces of fennel, peppers, and garlic in Italian sausage. I used Italian-style turkey link breakfast sausages instead of bulk pork sausauges the original recipe calls for.
The best part of cooking is being able to change and adapt recipes to make them yours (or palatable for multiple members of your dinner party). Usually in my case, I have only 2 or 3 of a recipe's ingredients and I substitute and wing my way to a great dish.

Not too shabby, I think.

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About the author

Nikki Miller-Ka

Nikki Miller-Ka

Ms. Miller-Ka is a classically trained chef with a BA in English from East Carolina University and a Culinary Arts Associate Degree from Le Cordon Bleu-Miami.

Formerly, she’s worked as a researcher, an editorial assistant, reporter and guest blogger for various publications and outlets in the Southeast. She has also worked as a catering chef, a pastry chef, a butcher, a baker, and a biscuit-maker. Presently, she is a food editor, freelance food writer, and a tour guide for Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours.

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  1. Looks great! I love one pot meals, especially Italian ones.

  2. Sounds like a good hearty dish!

  3. Very few things beat sausages, onion and peppers!!

  4. Nikk, this sounds delicious. I think I'll make this on the weekend. We have at least one Italian meal a week. I love pasta. But I love one dish meals even more. Great post.

  5. Good fellas always make me hungry. Pass me a plate.

  6. Sausage and peppers is on of my favorite meals...ever. Yours looks awesome! I agree, the best thing about cooking is being able to change things up.

    I have been in the mood for watching Goodfellas lately so its so funny that you mentioned it! I just finished Lorraine Bracco's book and want to see her in it again.

    That Sopranos cookbook has some great recipes...I've made the Wedding Day soup (little meatballs) and the Pineapple Ricotta pie...both were delicious!

  7. Sausages! Yummy! I left a little something for you on my blog. Please drop by and pick it up okay!!

  8. Lisa: I've never been a one pot meal maker. I always feel like I have to have every eye on the stove covered with a pot, boiling furiously. I need to learn how to do more of these!

    kat: it was more flavorful than anything else. Did I mention I put whole cloves of garlic in there, roasted them in their papery skins?

    Helen: I know! I have to do this again. Often.

    Teresa: I love Italian food. I have pasta all of the time. It's the one carb I feel good about. Today I'm going to do Mexican, though ;) I'm coming to your blog to pick out what I want to make!

    courtney: they always make the best food in that movie. I'm sure there's a cookbook floating around.

    aggie: I'm going to check out that pineapple ricotta pie today. I have a whole pineapple and a little container of ricotta in the fridge! I'm excited!

    Dharm: Oh yeah? Thanks, my friend. I'll go pick it up now!

  9. I had no idea the Sopranos had a cook book. I guess it HAS to be good, ya know it could be someone's last meal :)

    Sausage and peppers is a classic, and I like how you just wing the whole cooking thing. Very Nik-spired.

  10. OH YEAAAAH! This is the stuff dreams are made of!

  11. Adam: oh no LOL Somebody's last meal! Yeah, the cookbook's pretty nice. It's got all of the classic Italian dishes. I want to make steak pizziola this weekend...with some Nik-spiration, of course :)

    Jenn: the pics do look kinda dreamy, don't they? I think there was a fingerprint over my cellphone camera lens lol


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