Sicilian Sirloin Sausage Burger with Smoked Provolone and Italian Pepper Aioli

Pairs well with:

White Merlot

Imagine sipping a lighter Merlot. This fresh, pale-pink wine is a nice change from traditional red or white wines.

growing up in a sicilian family, cooking anything italian always makes me think of my grandmother. She was my inspiration for who I am today. I can remember cooking with her and she would say the most important ingredient in any dish you prepare is love.So I decided to do a play on the traditional sausage and pepper dish my grandmother would make for me.


Italian Pepper Aioli
1 tablespoon Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup red pepper, diced
1/4 cup yellow pepper, diced
1/4 cup green pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1/4 cup crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 ½ pound sirloin beef, ground
8 ounces fresh Italian sausage with fennel
6 ounces smoked provolone cheese
3 ounces cold Sutter Home Merlot
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, freshly grated
1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped

6 Italian Sub rolls with Sesame, sliced lengthwise
3 ounces smoked provolone cheese (1/2 ounce per burger)
Vegetable for brushing grill rack
36 leaves of fresh Arugula


Preheat gas grill to medium-high and place non-stick sauté pan on grill, heat olive oil. Sauté, red, yellow, green peppers, and jalapeño pepper, until softened, approximately 5 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper and cook over medium-high heat on gas grill for 5 more minutes. Set aside to cool. Once cool, fold in mayonnaise. Refrigerate until ready to use. Can be stored in refrigerator for 7 days.

To make patties, combine patty ingredients and mix to combine. Do not over mix, as this will make your meat tough. Divide mixture into 6 equal portions and shape into patties.

Rub grill grates with vegetable oil to prevent sticking. When grill is ready, place patties on grate, cook on medium-high heat, 3-5 minutes per side, (depending on preference). Flip once and let cook another 3-5 minutes. Do not press on the burger, this will release juices.
Add ½ oz. of smoked provolone cheese, cover grill for 1 minute or until cheese has melted.
While cooking burgers, place sliced Italian rolls, cut size down on grill to toast, approximately 1 minute or until lightly golden brown.

To assemble burger, spread 1 ½ tablespoon Italian Pepper Aioli on top and bottom of each roll, place 1 sirloin patty on roll bottom and top with 6 pieces of Arugula, and cover with top of roll.

Makes 6 Burgers