On many nights when I was growing up, my mom would put together a meal for a family of four effortlessly, which, looking back now, was not an easy task.
One of my favorites was a peasant-style dish that was simple and delicious, consisting of peppers, onions, potatoes and eggs. This recipe is a take on that, minus the eggs and plus sausage. It’s also a nod to my parents' deli where they have a sandwich called a “P.O.P. (peppers, onions and potatoes) Steak," but I replaced the steak with sausage.
This dish could not be easier but packs such a flavor punch with the added spice mixture and bright, herbaceous citrus sauce. Sometimes the most beautiful food comes from the simplest memory.
Technique tip: If you don't have a blender, you can easily chop everything for sauce by hand for a chunky salsa.
Swap option: You can sub pork sausage for poultry sausage or chicken thighs.
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
POPs and Sausage
- 1½ pounds baby Yukon gold potatoes, cut in half
- 1 red pepper, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1 yellow pepper, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1 large red onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- Olive oil
- 1½ pounds hot Italian sausage
- 1 cup Italian parsley leaves
- 3 anchovy filets
- 2 lemons, 1 zested and both juiced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 Calabrian chilies or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
For the spice blend:
Place salt, oregano, fennel, garlic and onion powder, red chili flakes and pepper in a spice grinder (or mortar and pestle) and blend until a powder forms (this mixture will yield 2 heaping tablespoons). Set aside.
For the POPs and sausage:
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine halved potatoes, sliced peppers, sliced onions with spice mixture and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Thoroughly coat in spice mixture.
2. Evenly distribute on a sheet pan and place in the oven to cook for 20 minutes undisturbed.
3. Meanwhile, prepare your sausage by pricking with a fork or by poking small holes throughout with a paring knife.
4. After your potatoes, peppers and onions have been cooking for 20 minutes, pull from the oven, stir and place sausage on top. Continue to cook for another 20 minutes or until sausage is cooked through and veggies are nicely browned.
For the sauce:
Place parsley leaves, anchovies, lemon juice and zest, garlic cloves, Calabrian chile and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a blender and puree. Stream in a 1/4 cup of olive oil and emulsify.
Serve the sauce alongside the sausage, peppers, onions and potatoes or drizzle on top.