Create a new, flavorful twist on the classic cheeseburger by using Italian sausage and provolone. The meat is preseasoned, so dinner—including garlicky spinach spiked with anchovy paste—will be served in 30 minutes.

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Servings: Serves 4
  • 10 ounces baby spinach
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil , plus more for brushing
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 tsp. anchovy paste (optional)
  • Salt
  • 1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausages (or a combination of both), casings removed
  • 4 slices of provolone cheese
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried-tomato pesto
  • 4 round ciabatta rolls , split and toasted
  • Directions
    Total time: 30 minutes

    In a large skillet, bring 1/4 inch of water to a boil. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, until just wilted, about 1 minute; drain and press out as much water as possible. Wipe out the skillet.

    In the same skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Add the garlic and anchovy paste and cook over high heat, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the spinach, season with salt and stir just until coated, about 10 seconds.

    Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Using slightly moistened hands, form the sausage meat into four 4-inch patties, about 3/4 inch thick. Brush the burgers with oil and grill over moderate heat until browned and crusty on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Carefully flip the burgers. Top with the cheese and grill until the burgers are cooked through and the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes longer. Spread the pesto on the rolls. Top with the burgers and spinach and serve.

    Wine Pairing: Italian sausage needs a robust red wine like Zinfandel. Coincidentally, superstar Zinfandel producer Peter Seghesio and his family make their own Italian sausage every year to give as holiday gifts. Look for his basic 2008 Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel or the single-vineyard 2008 Seghesio Home Ranch bottling.


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