Dinner tonight: Quick weekday entrees
Sloppy Joes speak Italian
Sloppy Giuseppes: Not much to convert them in an Italian direction, except the oregano, until we get to the toppings: provolone cheese and a generous helping of jarred giardiniera will do the trick. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)
But we liked them and had them often. Which is why being served sloppy Joes now as an adult is a nostalgia-inducing happy treat. There were smiles all around when my friend Ginna made them (without the spice packet) for the gang a while back, as we gathered for a weekly "Top Chef" viewing. But her sandwiches had an Italian twist and she dubbed them sloppy Giuseppes. Well, my Italian-born mom used to call me Giuseppe, and I can be kind of sloppy, so of course I loved them all the more.
This play on Ginna's idea is simpler. Not much to point them in an Italian direction, except the oregano, until we get to the toppings: provolone cheese and a generous helping of jarred giardiniera. Green peppers, standard in regular sloppy Joes, would do well here. And you could definitely up the spices, if you prefer stronger flavors.
Served with a lusty red wine or a beer, they're definitely for grown-ups.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup red wine
1 can (14.5 ounces) Italian pear tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 hamburger or other rolls, toasted
6 slices provolone cheese
1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion; season with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften. Stir in the garlic; cook, 1 minute.
2. Add the ground beef, stirring it into the onions and breaking it up; cook until browned. Stir in the wine, tomatoes and paste, oregano, red pepper flakes and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Taste for seasonings.
3. Serve on rolls, topped with a slice of provolone and a generous helping of giardiniera.
Per serving: 514 calories, 20 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 116 mg cholesterol, 61 g carbohydrates, 19 g protein, 689 mg sodium, 2 g fiber.