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+ servings
5 sandwich halves stacked on each other on wooden board garnished with fresh parsley

Italian Sausage Grilled Cheese

This grilled cheese is loaded with an easy and delicious sausage ragu! This recipe will either make 4 very big sandwiches or 6 small sandwiches.
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Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings (click & slide): 4 large sandwiches
Calories per serving: 651kcal
Author: Chris
Cost per serving: £3 / $4

Equipment

  • Large Pan & Wooden Spoon
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Fine Cheese Grater

Ingredients

Ragu

  • 1lb / 500g Sausage Meat (see notes)
  • 1x 14oz/400g can of Skinned Plum Tomatoes, roughly diced in the can
  • 1/4 cup / 60ml Red Wine (see notes)
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Paste (Tomato Puree in UK)
  • 1 small White Onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, finely diced
  • 1 sprig EACH: Fresh Rosemary, Fresh Basil (can sub 1/4-1/2 tsp of each dried)
  • Olive Oil, for frying
  • Salt & Black Pepper, to taste

Grilled Cheese

  • 4 large, 5 medium or 6 small thick slices of Bread (something sturdy like a Sourdough)
  • 7oz / 200g sliced Fresh Mozzarella, patted dry to remove moisture (can sub pre-grated with same weight)
  • 1/2 cup / 40g freshly grated Parmesan
  • Butter, as needed
  • Fresh Parsley, to serve (optional)

Instructions

  • Sausage: In a large pan over medium heat, add a drizzle of oil then add finely diced onion. Fry for a few mins until it begins to soften, then add in garlic and fry for another couple of mins. Add in sausage meat and break up with your wooden spoon. Continue frying until fully browned
  • Ragu: Stir in tomato paste and fry for 1-2mins, then pour in wine and use your wooden spoon to deglaze the pan. Allow the meat to soak in the wine for a few mins, then pour in tomatoes (swill out can with a splash of water) and add basil, rosemary and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Give a stir then turn down heat slightly to a gentle simmer and allow the sauce to reduce for 30-40mins, or until very thick. This is important, you don't want a watery ragu in your sandwich! Once thickened leave to one side to cool slightly and remove rosemary/basil stalks.
  • Prep Sandwich: Butter one side of each of your slices of bread. Flip half of them over and top with mozzarella. Spoon over some ragu, then sprinkle over parmesan. Top with bread butter-side-up.
  • Cook Sandwich: Add sandwiches to a pan over medium heat and fry both sides until golden with the cheese just starting to leak out. You may need to do this in batches.

Quick Demo

Notes

a) Sausage - If you can get ground sausage meat that's perfect, if not just squeeze the meat from some sausages. Italian sausage works well, but as does regular plain sausage meat.
b) Wine - This adds a gorgeous depth of flavour, so I do recommend adding it if you can. The alcohol will mostly burn off, but if you don't have it or want to use it, just sub with water or even chicken stock.
c) Make Ahead Ragu - You can make the ragu ahead of time, just allow to cool and tightly store in the fridge for 2-3days or freezer for a month. Thaw in the fridge then allow to come to room temp before adding to the sandwich.
d) Serving - This recipe will either make 4 very big sandwiches or 6 small sandwiches.
e) Calories - based on 5 sandwiches, 5 tbsp butter and 1/2 tbsp olive oil. Calories for 1 sandwich:
Nutrition Facts
Italian Sausage Grilled Cheese
Amount Per Serving
Calories 651 Calories from Fat 451
% Daily Value*
Fat 50.1g77%
Saturated Fat 22.162g139%
Trans Fat 0.094g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.957g
Monounsaturated Fat 19.714g
Cholesterol 124mg41%
Sodium 1265mg55%
Potassium 624mg18%
Carbohydrates 19.63g7%
Fiber 2.2g9%
Sugar 5.47g6%
Protein 28.14g56%
Vitamin A 1005IU20%
Vitamin C 9.6mg12%
Calcium 357mg36%
Iron 3.15mg18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
*Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
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