Labor Day is celebrated here in the United States on the first Monday in September. The original intent of the Labor Day holiday was to provide a day that would give honor to the social and economics achievements of the American worker. It was a way to celebrate the essential role workers have made to contribute to the growth and development and well-being of this Country.
I personally think that most people don’t think of Labor Day in that way. Mostly it serves as an end to summer; school begins, pools close, beach trips become scarce and people buckle down to more work hours.
The holiday is enjoyed because it provides a three day weekend and most of us will get together with family and friends and celebrate with a barbeque of sorts.
Italy has a Labor Day of sorts but it is celebrated in May on May 1st, Primo Maggio.
It is referred to as Festa dei Lavoratori or Festa del Lavoro. It is an event held , also, in more than 80 countries and usually in non-covid times would feature a huge “concertone” held in Rome in Piazza San Giovanni Laterno. As we do on our Labor Day they will celebrate with family and friends and possibly enjoy an Italian cookout or “grigliata” or “grigliata mista”, mixed grilled meats. These can include lamb, pork, chicken, sausage and beef. The meats are sprinkled with their own special seasonings and a bit of olive oil and grilled. Large cuts of meat will be sliced thin and all will most likely be served with a few side dishes “contorni” such as grilled swiss chard and maybe a Tuscan favorite “fagioli al fiasco” or beans in bottle which is made by cooking cannellini beans in a wide-bottomed bottle. I’m sure they start their “grigliata” feast with some sort of pasta dish and no doubt will end with “dolce”. I know at least, my family in Montefolloico will do that.
We have all kinds of barbecue recipes that we can celebrate with. In our house, when we get together this Labor Day we will have peppers and onions grilled with sausage.
I’ll try to get away from making a pasta dish by adding potatoes to the mix. We’ll see how that goes over. And, of course, crusty Italian bread.
This recipe serves 8 so I will probably double it.
Peppers and Onions Grilled with Sausage
3 TBS OLIVE OIL
3 LBS ITALIAN SAUSAGE
1/3 CUP OLIVE OIL
4 GOOD SIZE POTATOES, PEELED AND CUT INTO CHUNKS OR WEDGES,
2 LARGE BELL PEPPERS
ONE RED AND ONE YELLOW OR ORANGE, CUT INTO STRIPS
3 LARGE ONIONS CUT INTO WEDGES
½ CUP GOOD WHITE WINE (one you would drink)
1/2 CUP CHICKEN STOCK (homemade if you have as it is more flavorful)
A SPRINKLE OF GARLIC POWDER
SOME DRIED OREGANO THAT YOU’VE GROUND WITH YOUR FINGERS AS YOU SPRINKLE
SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE.
Preheat your oven to 400º.
Heat some olive oil in a large skillet (I use a cast iron skillet that was my Dad’s favorite). Now you can cook the sausage on the grill later and add to this dish just before serving, if you prefer, or you can cut the sausage in smaller pieces and add to the hot oil and cook until browned. When browned remove to a separate dish. Pour ¼ cup of olive oil into the skillet (be careful as it will splatter) and cook the potatoes stirring occasionally, until nicely browned and a little crisp. Place the potatoes in an oven-proof baking dish, leaving the oil into which you will add the peppers and onions. Cook for a few minutes and then add the stock and wine and sprinkle with the garlic powder and oregano. Stir everything together and pour into the baking dish with the potatoes.
If you have already cooked the sausage add now with all the accumulated juices. If you are going to grill the sausage proceed now by putting the baking dish in a preheated oven and cook for about 20-25 minutes until the peppers are wilted but not extremely soft and the potatoes are cooked but not falling apart.
We wish you a safe and happy Labor Day.
Pray for our Country.
Pray for all those who serve to keep us free.
God Bless America.
Charlie, Anita, Andrea
The Entire Augello Family
East 48th Street Market Staff
NOTE: We will CLOSE EARLY on Saturday the 4th at 3:30pm
We will be CLOSED on Sunday the 5th
We will be CLOSED on Labor Day.
We will OPEN on Tuesday, September 7th at 10:00am!