A long while ago one of my buddies would do a tailgate with an aluminum tin full of grilled Italian sausages simmering in tomato sauce and sauteed onions and peppers. It was totally fantastic. The tomato sauce goes really well with the Italian sausage and the sauteed peppers and onions are simply amazing. Here's my take on what I remember from those tailgates:
Johnsonville Italian Sausage Burgers
Any pre-made tomato or marinara sauce
Sweet onions or Vidalia Onions
Red peppers, green peppers, and/or yellow peppers
Olive oil (for sautéing the onions and peppers)
Before the burgers are grilled slice your onions and peppers. Put a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and set the stovetop to medium high heat. Then toss in the peppers and onions. Stir the mix quite a bit to ensure that everything softens and browns nicely. Note that the above photo was taken right as the peppers and onions were tossed in.
In addition to brat burgers Johnsonville also sells these really nice Italian sausage burger patties. Essentially they are Italian sausages that are pressed into burger patties. They are fairly easy to grill. Medium or medium low heat is recommended (that's about being able to hold your hand 3-5 seconds over the hot grill). They take about 5-10 minutes per side. It may be wise to stick a Thermapen in there to make sure the sausage is at least 160 degrees prior to serving.
Before the burgers are done put some provolone cheese on top. Mozzarella cheese also works well. By the time the cheese is melted the sausage will be fully cooked.
Now in the ingredient section above I mentioned a pre-made tomato sauce. Any pasta, marinara or pizza sauce will do. As some of you may know I tend to make extra work for myself so I made a homemade garlic and onion tomato sauce.
After the Italian sausage burgers are cooked, the cheese is melted on top, the onions and peppers are sauteed, and the sauce is ready, it's time to assemble the burger. Ah who am I kidding, there are no rules. Put it all on top anyway you like.