Remember the Old-Fashioned Italian Sausage Grinder I posted recently? For those of you lightweights who were thinking, “Call the Mommy Police! Call the Wife Police! How could she feed that heavy, cheesy meal to her unsuspecting husband and child?”…here’s one for you (and for them, though they’d take the gooey, gross version any day)—it’s basically a healthy version of the inside of that Grinder. You can serve it over spaghetti, or nothing at all with a side of garlic bread.
Before I get to the recipe, a few musings and some questions for you:
I am continuously confused and flabbergasted by RSVP ettiquette. At first I thought it might be that LA behavior was different from what I was accustomed to in New York, but truth be told I didn’t invite people over to my single-girl apartment as frequently as Bruce, Emma and I invite people to our home in LA. So, a few thoughts and would much appreciate your weighing in with yours.
1. Does “Please RSVP” call for a response? Okay, that’s a rhetorical question…but I have actually sent out invites and some people have chosen not to reply.
2. How long before the “event” do you think people should wait before RSVPing? This question popped up when I started inviting kids to Emma’s birthday parties. Her first and second birthdays were small and consisted of a few of our friends who willingly/nicely/patiently put up with our joy over our little girl. Then, when she started pre-school Emma eagerly accepted the offer of a party since she’d already been to every other kid’s (her birthday is in June). I sent out invitations a month ahead of time so I’d have plenty of time to organize, get food for both the parents and kids, and buy party favors for boys and girls…but there I was a few days before the party CALLING people to see if they were coming. Maybe this was an aberration? NOT! It happened every single year.
Recently I emailed a friend I hadn’t seen in a while on a Monday and asked if she wanted to have lunch the following week when I said I was free every day (I don’t get out much). The entire week passed without a word, then the “following” week I heard back on Wednesday that she could “do” Thursday. How should I have read that one? Another time, I invited a couple over for dinner early in January…and she said they were busy until March. Now, was that a hint that they really didn’t want to come or is it really possible that they were busy every single night for nearly three months? That is another rhetorical question.
3. If you RSVP “yes,” does that mean “yes” or “no?” This is not a rhetorical question. An old boyfriend always responded “yes” even if he knew he couldn’t make the date, and would cancel right before the party. When I explained how much effort a hostess/host put into a dinner (did he not notice everything I put into our dinner parties?)–not just the cooking but inviting a happy mix of people and perhaps just the number their table could seat–he said, “More important is that they think we wanted to come.” Dump him you say. Done.
I actually think that pretty much nothing less than death is an acceptable accuse to cancel a “yes” RSVP, especially at the very last minute. Your thoughts?
Now, the recipe…
Serves 3 for three nights or 4 for two nights or 8…you get the picture
4 T olive oil, more if needed
1 large onion, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
5 cloves garlic, minced
8 Italian sausages (we prefer “hot” but “mild” or “sweet” or whatever they call un-hot will do)
8 chicken thighs ( didn’t have enough thighs so I cut some breasts in half…but they weren’t as good as the thighs)
2 large cans whole Roma tomatoes in puree
Saute all the vegetables until just soft, and remove from pan; brown the sausages and the chicken (if you’re not as lazy as I and are willing to wash an extra pan, you could do this simultaneously). I then get rid of the grease for the sausage. Dump the vegetables back in the pan, throw in the tomatoes, cover and simmer until the chicken and sausage is just cooked. You can actually make the whole dish way in advance—like many good things, it improves with time.