Messy Giuseppe

  • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb ground sirloin, 90% lean
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 5 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
  • coarse salt and pepper
  • 1 medium portobello mushroom cap, finely chopped
  • ½ cup red wine, a couple of glugs
  • ¾ cup beef stock
  • 14 oz crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, a generous handful, chopped
  • 6 T butter, super soft
  • 1 cup fresh basil, about 10 leaves, chopped
  • 4 ciabatta or hoagie rolls
  • ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese, grated, a few handfuls
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 8 slices

Preheat the broiler to high. To make the meat sauce, heat a deep skillet or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.

Add olive oil, red pepper flakes and ground beef. Break up the meat. Add green pepper, onions, ¾ of the garlic, nutmeg and a little salt and pepper to the beef. Cook together, using the back of a wooden spoon to break the meat into tiny bits as it browns.

Add mushroom and cook 5 minutes more. Add wine and cook for 1 minute, then add beef stock and tomatoes. Bring mixture to a bubble, reduce heat to medium low, and gently simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in chopped parsley.

While meat in simmering, combine remaining garlic with softened butter, chopped basil and a little salt and pepper. Split rolls in half lengthwise without separating the halves. Press open rolls, flattening them out a little bit. Slather the insides with garlic butter and toast until golden brown under broiler.

Top one side of garlicky, toasted rolls with a heap of meat and sprinkle with grated cheese. Top that with 2 slices of mozzarella. Transfer them to broiler to melt cheese.


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