Little Italy Sweet Sausage Burger

Pairs well with:


Bright and full-bodied, this Zinfandel wine is a curious contradiction in tastes.


1/3 cup Red Wine vinaigrette dressing
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
1 pound ground pork loin
1/2 cup chopped pepperoncinis, remove stems before chopping
1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs with Italian seasonings
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
vegetable oil to brush grill rack
9 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese-cut into 6 slices
6 bun-sized focaccia bread sections, sliced horizontally
6 thin slices red onion
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce, shredded coarsely with a sharp knife



1. Preheat gas grill to medium high.

2. In a 2 cup bowl stir together red wine vinaigrette dressing and mayonnaise until combined chill until ready to use.

3. To make patties; combine the sweet Italian sausage, ground pork loin, pepperoncinis, Asiago cheese, bread crumbs, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl.
Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the focaccia bread sections.

4. When grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook turning once, 5 to7 minutes on each side or until internal temperature of 160 degrees F. One minute before removing patties from grill top with mozzarella cheese slices and place focaccia bread sections, cut side down on grill to lightly toast.

5. To build burger: spread mayonnaise mixture on cut side of each focaccia bun. Place patties on 6 mayonnaise topped focaccia buns, add an onion slice and 1/3 cup romaine lettuce, place focaccia bun on top and serve.