Greek cuisine is a lot of things—healthy, fresh, flavorful, and unforgettable. Basically, the only thing Greek cuisine typically isn’t—is spicy. Well, all except for my beloved spetzofai that is. Spetzofai is a rustic dish made of colorful peppers and thick sausage and is everything you expect from traditional Greek cuisine—healthy, tasty and made fresh. Best of all, it can be made spicy. And the level of the spicy meter is up to you and the peppers you choose. My personal spicy spetzofai meter is a solid nine.
Spetzofai includes a variety of red, yellow, green, and orange bell peppers for color, making it one of the prettiest dishes in all of Greek cooking. I add jalapenos for extra heat. Feel free to leave the jalapenos out if spicy isn’t your thing, or add more if you dare. As for the sausage, just pick the variant you like. Stick to a single favorite or try a variety of sausages mixed together so that each bite offers a new surprise. After you’ve picked your favorites from the pepper and sausage families, all you need are tomatoes, herbs, extra virgin olive oil, and one giant pan to cook everything together.
Spetzofai is at its best when the peppers are fresh in season. It makes the most appearances either as a main dish or a meze (appetizer) in the summer months served alongside crusty bread and wine or ouzo. Spetzofai is commonly served during the cold months, too, even in the depths of winter. Whatever the weather, enjoy all the bursts of flavor and the warmth this wonderful dish will bring.
-1 lb of your favorite sausage, thickly sliced in 4 cm pieces
-2 red bell peppers, deseeded and sliced
-2 green bell peppers, deseeded and sliced
-2 yellow bell peppers, deseeded and sliced
-2 orange bell peppers, deseeded and sliced
-2 jalapeno peppers (optional), deseeded and sliced (or hotter peppers if you’d like)
-¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil
-3 ripe tomatoes, finely diced or grated (canned tomatoes are fine, too)
-5 sprigs of fresh thyme
-2 tsp. fresh oregano, or to taste
-pepper to taste
1. In a large skillet or saucepan, add 2 tbsp of the olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the sausages and brown them on all sides. Once browned, remove sausages with a slotted spoon and put aside in a bowl.
2. In the same skillet, add all of the peppers and the remaining olive oil. Sauté the peppers for about 15-20 minutes until they are soft. Add the tomatoes and continue sautéing.
3. Add the sausages back to the skillet and mix all the ingredients together. Season with pepper and oregano, and add the sprigs of thyme. Place a lid over the pan, turn down the heat and simmer until the sausages are fully cooked (about 20 minutes).
4. Remove the cover and taste for seasoning. Add more oregano or pepper if needed. Serve hot and enjoy!