Flatbread: Scrumptious Spicy Sausage

c4788 dsc 3857

My brother Don made this delicious appetizer on Easter and was kind enough to share his recipe with me. He developed this flatbread and even made his own sausage which is, seriously, the best sausage I have ever eaten. When I asked Don if Kim and I could feature his flatbread on our blog, he was more than happy to share his “recipe.” I use quotes around recipe, because Don didn’t give measurements, but explained each step so we could recreate his appetizer. I love cooking this way, using instructions rather than a strict recipe. He also shared a couple of specific techniques that take this flatbread from delicious to out of this world. Don is a great cook and an even better brother.
I am going to provide detailed directions (and beautiful pictures, thanks to Kim) so you can make what you see pictured above. Don’t let those specific directions become restrictive. You can easily use the same techniques with any ingredients you choose. It is such a versatile recipe that can be an appetizer or the main event, rounded out with a salad and vegetable side dish. You could easily transform this into a vegetarian flatbread by using only peppers or by swapping out the sausage for caramelized onions.
The two techniques that I rarely use in my cooking (but will start to) is making a garlic butter to brush over the flatbread and then transforming that garlic butter into a glaze by adding two additional ingredients. Both techniques are so simple and add tons of flavor. I love talking with other cooks about food, because I often learn something new. The best part about cooking, though, is that it connects us to family and friends. Whenever I make this flatbread, or a variation of it, I will think of my brother and the wonderful Easter we enjoyed at my parents’ house.

Scrumptious Spicy Sausage Flatbread

Put half of a stick of butter and 3 minced or grated garlic cloves in a small saucepan over low heat. If you are using unsalted butter, add a big pinch of kosher salt. Melt the butter and keep it warm. If the garlic turns darker than light brown, remove your pan from the heat.

4fe10 dsc 3789

63e59 dsc 3792

d2890 dsc 3795

Shred mozzarella cheese and asiago cheese. You will only need about 1 cup.
Shred mozzarella cheese and asiago cheese. You will only need about 1 cup.

In a large skillet brown 1 ½ pounds bulk (not in casing) hot Italian sausage in a swirl of olive oil. (If you are unable to find bulk, just buy sausage links and remove their casings.) Brown the sausage and, using a metal spatula or spoon, break it into tiny pieces. This requires patience; keep at it until it’s not clumpy anymore. While the sausage is browning, slice a yellow, red and orange bell pepper. We wanted a lot of color, and only used half of the peppers for the flatbread. Use the remaining peppers in a salad or another recipe. Add the sliced peppers to the sausage and cook until peppers begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Pour a glug of Marsala wine over the sausage and peppers to pick up all the wonderful flavors left on the bottom of the pan. Stir to incorporate all of the flavors.

0b254 dsc 3815

137c9 dsc 3819

a3101 dsc 3824

28d98 dsc 3826

It’s time to start building your flatbread. We used Aladdin’s Nan pita bread for the base of our flatbread. Brush each pita with the garlic butter you prepared. Add a bit of cheese, which adds a layer of flavor and will help the topping stay on the flatbread. Add the sausage and pepper topping, completely covering the pita. Press the topping with a spoon to help adhere it to the pita. Once you have covered all of the flatbreads with your topping (this recipe will make about six) you need to go back to your garlic butter. This step may seem a bit fussy, even unnecessary. If it is a deal breaker for you, by all means skip it. But I don’t recommend it. This only takes a few minutes and adds such a wow factor that it’s more than worth it!

3c2a4 dsc 3833

481d2 dsc 3834

6adcb dsc 3838

15bc8 dsc 3839

ce109 dsc 3844

b0d5a dsc 3850

Place your pan of melted garlic butter over medium heat. When it begins to simmer add a couple of glugs of Marsala wine and stir. Be careful, it will bubble and foam for a second or so. Add about ¼ cup of sugar while stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens, forming a glaze. Spoon a tiny bit of the glaze over each flatbread and add barely a handful of shredded cheese. As you can see from the pictures above, it’s just a small amount of glaze, maybe a couple of teaspoons per flatbread. The glaze balances the spiciness of the sausage and, along with the top layer of cheese, helps keep those delicious toppings on the flatbread. Bake the flatbread at 400 degrees for 4-6 minutes. Cut each flatbread into four pieces. Enjoy with family and friends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *