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. Spetzofai shouts with flavor, the colorful peppers and thick sausage making nice with the sausage. The spicy meter level depends on you and the peppers you choose. My personal spetzofai spicy meter is a solid ten, while my family’s is a five on a good day. So we settle on keeping this dish at a mild seven.
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 jalapeños (or even habaneros) for extra heat. You can leave out the spicy peppers if hot isn’t your thing, or add more if you dare. As for the sausage, just pick the variety you like. Stick to a single favorite or try a variety of sausages mixed together so that each bite offers a new surprise. Make sure to use one giant pan to cook everything up together.
Fresh, in season peppers push spetzofai over the top. Thus, it makes the most appearances as a main dish in the summer months served with pita bread and red wine or ouzo. My family eats spetzofai during cold months, even in the depths of winter, because why not? Whatever the weather, enjoy the bursts of flavor and the year-round warmth this wonderful dish brings.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Remove the cover and taste for seasoning. Add more oregano or pepper if needed. Serve hot and enjoy!