Today’s Super Bowl Recipes: Italian Sausage & Peppers “Sangwich” with Pesto Pasta Salad

Today we’re sharing two of our favorite Italian party food recipes, Italian Sausage & Peppers Sangwich and Pesto Pasta Salad, both of which appear in our new party-food cookbook, Party on the Prairie.

(Copies can be purchased in person at Sarello’s,
or you can place an order by phone at (218) 287-0238
or via email to

The classic Italian Sausage & Peppers “Sangwich” (this is how Tony grew up saying “sandwich”) is the star of our Super Bowl feature today, and once you make it you’ll understand why this old standard has become a game day favorite for us.

This recipe is ideal for game day, and especially for tailgating because it’s simple to prepare, hearty, delicious, and most importantly, portable. And, you can eat it with your hands. What’s not to love?

The sausages can be cooked right on the grill, and you can sauté the peppers and onions on the side burner, or even prepare them in advance and warm them up just before serving.

Just before serving, we toss the sauteed peppers and onions in a light coating of warm tomato sauce over medium-high heat for about a minute. We’ve usually make our easy tomato sauce from scratch, but you can also use your favorite from a jar.

If this sandwich is going to meet Tony’s “sangwich” test, then it has to have great bread surrounding it. Great bread is easy to find in his hometown, Toronto, but our local selection is a *bit* more limited. In our area (ND/MN), we recommend using something good and crusty like a French baguette, Mexican bolillo rolls, or Italian ciabatta.

We love to serve these “sangwiches” with our Pesto Pasta Salad, which is easy to make yet big on flavor, and always a hit with our crowd. Even better, it can be made a day or so in advance, or just before serving.

For more great recipes, check out our features from earlier this week, and then head over to our Party Dips Page, featuring over 50 recipes from our 2013 Perfect Party Dip Contest.

Monday - Rough Cut Guac
Tuesday - Cincinnati-Style Chili
Wednesday – Hot Ham & Cheese Sliders
Thursday - Clipper Chipper Cookies
Friday - Sicilian Arancini Balls
Saturday – Italian Sauage & Peppers “Sangwich” and Pesto Pasta Salad

Other favorites:
Baked Ziti Casserole
Comforting Mac n’ Cheese
Gio’s Meatballs
Norwegian Meatballs
Walleye Cakes
Baja Fish Tacos
Blackened Sirloin with Horseradish Sauce
GooGoo’s Baked Ham
Horseradish Encrusted Beef Tenderloin Roast
Tomato Anchovy Bruschetta
Sun-Dried Tomato Crostini
Baked Brie in Puff Pastry
Tuscan Bean Salad
Corn Fritters
Caprese Orzo Salad
Easy Potato Salad
Honey Gorgonzola Hearts Salad
Apple Cheddar Bread Pudding
Buttermilk Brownies
Baileys Irish Cream Cheesecake
Coconut Macaroons

We’ve been featuring our favorite Super Bowl recipes all week long, and we hope you’ll let us know if you find a new favorite (or two) to make this Sunday!

Today’s Super Bowl Recipe: Sicilian Arancini Balls

Today’s Super Bowl recipe highlights Sicilian Arancini Balls, one of our favorite appetizers both at home and at Sarello’s. These little, fried golden orbs are filled with risotto, green peas and ground beef, and are heavenly when served with our Easy Tomato Sauce for dipping.

We first encountered this Sicilian specialty in 1998 when we were crossing the Strait of Messina, the body of water between mainland Italy and Sicily, to visit Tony’s relatives. They were one of the “snack foods” served at the ferry’s concession stand, and unlike anything we’d ever had.

Our guests delight at their darling shape and color, but it’s the taste experience that keeps them asking for more. We know you’ll score big when you make these Sicilian Arancini Balls for your friends and family!

For more great recipes, check out our Party Dips Page, featuring over 50 recipes from our 2013 Perfect Party Dip Contest.

We’ll be featuring our favorite Super Bowl recipes all week long, and we hope you’ll check back each day to find a new favorite (or two) to make this Sunday!

Sicilian Arancini Balls

Serves: 12 to 16 Arancini balls

2 cups cold Risotto – see recipe for Basic Risotto
½ cup green peas – frozen work great
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 cup cooked ground beef
Salt to taste

For Dredging – use shallow dishes for each ingredient – pie plates work great
2-3 cups Italian-style seasoned breadcrumbs
2-3 cups flour
3 eggs, beaten vigorously with 2 to 3 tablespoons milk or water (this is the egg-wash)

For Frying:
Olive or vegetable oil – enough to fill pan to a half-inch of oil (extra-virgin is not necessary)

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and mix well. Taste the mixture and season with salt if needed. Roll by hand into balls about one inch around. Cover with plastic and refrigerate if not using immediately.

Next, dredge each ball in the flour, then the egg wash, and then roll in the breadcrumbs, coating evenly. Cook immediately.

Fry the arancini balls in a deep fryer set at 325°F until golden brown. Or, you may use a large skillet and fry them on the stove. Heat the olive or vegetable oil over medium-high heat until hot, then place the balls evenly around the pan and fry until golden brown all over, rotating the sides to ensure each ball is evenly cooked. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to two days until ready to serve. To re-heat, place the balls on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 350’F for eight to ten minutes.

Today’s Super Bowl Recipe: Clipper Chipper Cookies

Today’s featured Super Bowl recipes comes from our days working aboard the ships of the (now-defunct) Clipper Cruise Line, when Clipper Chippers, a.k.a., the World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies, were served everyday at 4:30 PM, straight from the oven.

Passengers and crew alike delighted in this tradition, and these cookies have now become a favorite in our family, too. Filled with 3 different kinds of nuts, 2 liqueurs and 2 bags of milk chocolate chips, these cookies will send your football fans into overtime begging for more!

The recipe was developed by Clipper’s Corporate Executive Chef, Robert Colosimo, especially for Clipper Cruise Line, and is featured in his cookbook, “Cooking Adventures from the Clipper Galley.”

We are grateful to have a copy of Chef Colosimo’s cookbook, which is filled with so many of our favorite recipes from our time with Clipper. Enjoy the Clipper Chippers!

For more great recipes, check out our Party Dips Page, featuring over 50 recipes from our 2013 Perfect Party Dip Contest.

We’ll be featuring our favorite Super Bowl recipes all week long, and we hope you’ll check back each day to find a new favorite (or two) to make this Sunday!

Clipper Chippers
The Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies from Clipper Cruise Line,
as featured in the cookbook “Cooking Adventures from the Clipper Galley”

Makes 3-4 dozen medium cookies or 5 dozen small cookies

1 cup butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon Frangelico liqueur
1 tablespoon Tia Maria liqueur (Kahlua may be substituted)
2 eggs
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
4 cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup walnut halves (optional)
½ cup pecan halves (optional)
½ cup macadamia nuts (optional)

With an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar, vanilla, Frangelico and Tia Maria until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat well.

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt (in a separate bowl). Gradually stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture using a large kitchen spoon. Carefully fold in the chocolate chips and nuts. Mix well with a large kitchen spoon. Place in storage container and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Scoop one teaspoon of cookie dough for each cookie onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Cool slightly and serve while still warm.

Helpful Hint: The dough may be refrigerated up to several days in advance. It also freezes well for future use.

Cookie Tips:

  • Use an ice cream scoop to form the cookies.
  • You can omit the nuts if desired, but don’t skimp on the liqueurs – this combination is essential to create an authentic Clipper Chipper.
  • Kahlua or any coffee-flavored liqueur may be substituted for the Tia Maria.
  • To freeze the dough, wrap it tightly in two layers of plastic or scoop into cookie size and freeze on a tray for one hour. Transfer to a plastic freezer bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months. Allow to come to room temperature before baking.
  • Baked cookies may also be frozen for 3 to 4 weeks. Thaw at room temperature before serving.

Today’s Super Bowl Recipe: Cincinnati-Style Chili

Today’s featured Super Bowl recipe is my sister-in-law Sarah Anstett’s Cincinnati Chili. Chili is the perfect Super Bowl party food, and with its unique blend of spices and serving styles, this chili is truly a standout at any party.

Tony is a traditionalist and loves his Cincinnati Chili served 4-way, while Gio and I love to indulge in a Cheese Coney or two. Whichever you way you serve it, you’ll score a touchdown with Sarah’s recipe!

For more great recipes, check out our Party Dips Page, featuring over 50 recipes from our 2013 Perfect Party Dip Contest.

We’ll be featuring our favorite Super Bowl recipes all week long, and we hope you’ll check back each day to find a new favorite (or two) to make this Sunday!

“Ways” to order Cincinnati Chili
Two-way:     spaghetti and chili
Three-way:   spaghetti, chili, and cheese
Four-way:     spaghetti, chili, onions, and cheese
Five-way:      spaghetti, chili, onions, kidney beans, and cheese

Sarah Anstett’s Cincinnati Chili Recipe

Serves: 6 to 8

2 lbs lean ground beef
4 onions, small diced, divided (some is for the chili, some for the topping)
2 8-oz. cans tomato sauce
3 cups water
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1½ tablespoon distilled vinegar
¼ cup chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
5 bay leaves
2-3 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup kidney beans (optional)

Brown beef with onions (reserving one cup) and garlic in a large skillet over medium high heat, stirring to crumble, and drain excess fat. Place browned mixture in a large pot and stir in the tomato sauce, water, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, salt, black pepper, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, allspice, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. If using beans, add them now. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours.

Serve over spaghetti with reserved onions, and finely shredded, mild cheddar cheese, or over hot dogs with mustard, onions and cheese. This chili is also great over French fries or baked potatoes.

To store: Pour into an airtight container and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days, or freeze for up to two months.