My contribution to the festivities is an Italian spin on one of Michael's favorite comfort foods: sloppy joes. There's something about sloppy joes that brings back nostalgic childhood memories, and this Italian cousin brings the classic sandwich a slightly different flavor profile. The filling is very reminiscent of a bolognese sauce. It's stuffed into a wheat bun, along with some sliced mozzarella cheese. Make sure to provide plenty of napkins on the side...because they're not called "sloppy" for nothing, friends!
Italian Sloppy Joes
adapted from Food Network's website
Step 1: Add 1 tbs. olive oil to a large non-stick skillet over med-high heat. Add the following ingredients: 1/2 lb. lean ground beef, 1/2 pound ground pork, 2-3 cloves grated or minced garlic, and 1/2 cup chopped onion. Cook until the meat is brown, stirring to combine the two meats.
Step 2: Add the following ingredients to the skillet: 3-4 chopped basil leaves, 1/4 cup red wine, one can Italian diced tomatoes, 1/4 cup milk, a generous pinch of red pepper flakes, and salt to taste. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes to allow the sauce to reduce.
Step 3: Add 3 tbs. tomato paste to the pan and stir into the sauce. This is the secret ingredient to this dish, so please don't leave it out! My sloppy joe mixture seemed like it wasn't thick enough, so I added the tomato paste. That made the filling the perfect consistency for my sloppy joes. To serve, place slices of mozzarella cheese inside your bun of choice. Add the sloppy joe mixture to the bun and serve. With LOTS of napkins!
We really enjoyed these sandwiches! They're a little spicy from the red pepper flakes, and the gooey mozzarella cheese provides a protective layer between the sloppy joe filling and the bread to prevent them from becoming too soggy. These sandwiches are exactly what I want in game day food: easy to make, delish to eat, and something that will appeal to kids of all ages! This would also make a fantastic weeknight dinner for your family...each batch makes about six hearty sandwiches.
Be sure to join us for a live Twitter chat to discuss tailgating food tips and tricks...the fun starts at 700 EST. In the meantime, I hope you'll visit my fellow #SundaySupper participants to check out their favorite game day snacks, sips, and other foods!