Spicy Italian Sausage and Garlic Burger with Red Pepper Mayonnaise


Red Pepper Mayonnaise:
½ cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup roughly chopped, well drained roasted red peppers (from a jar)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 ½ pounds ground chuck
½ pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1/3 cup Sutter Home Zinfandel
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1/3 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Vegetable oil for brushing on the grill rack
9 ounces Italian fontina cheese, sliced thin
12 – 3/4” thick slices of country Italian style bread
3 tablespoons Colavita extra virgin olive oil
2 whole cloves of peeled garlic
9 ounces Italian fontina cheese, sliced thin
3 cups baby arugula



Prepare the red pepper mayonnaise by combining the mayonnaise, roasted red peppers and the crushed red pepper in the bowl of a small food processor, process until the peppers are chopped fine and the mayonnaise ingredients are well mixed. Place into a small bowl, cover and chill while preparing the patties.

Prepare a charcoal grill with a lid for medium hot cooking.

To make the patties, in a large bowl combine the ground chuck, Italian sausage, Sutter Home Zinfandel, garlic, and pecorino romano cheese, mix carefully to combine all the ingredients well. Divide into 6 equal portions; shape into ¾ inches thick oval shaped patties. Sprinkle both sides of the patties evenly with the salt and black pepper.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place patties on the hottest part of the grill, cook for 3 minutes, turn, place the fontina cheese evenly over the patties, and cook for 3 more minutes putting the cover on for the last 30 seconds to melt the cheese. Remove patties from the grill.

Brush both sides of the Italian bread lightly with Colavita olive oil, toast on the grill for 20-30 seconds per side until browned and lightly charred on the edges. Rub one side of each slice with the garlic cloves after toasting, discard any leftover garlic cloves.

To assemble the burgers, on the garlic side of each slice of Italian bread, spread 1 tablespoon of the red pepper mayonnaise, place one slice, mayonnaise side up on a plate, top with ½ cup of the baby arugula, place the cooked patty on top of arugula and top with second slice of Italian bread mayonnaise side down, repeat with all burgers and serve!