Rocco DiSpirito’s Leaner Sausage and Peppers

Rocco DiSpirito’s Leaner Sausage and Peppers

A few years ago, celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito signed up for his first triathlon, hoping it would help his back, which ached from years on his feet while working in restaurants. He ended up becoming a triathlon junkie, though, and soon realized he needed to change his eating habits to keep up—so he slimmed down his favorite comfort foods, turning the recipes into a book series, Now Eat This!

His latest installment, Now Eat This! Italian, includes this killer recipe for Sausage and Peppers, which he took from a mind-numbing 1,150 calories and 69 grams of fat (yikes) all the way down to 291 calories and 11 grams of fat.

Luckily, turkey sausage—like he uses here—is getting pretty easy to find, and pretty damn good too. Lots of supermarkets grind their own in-house nowadays; just look for it in the meat case.



  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 4 links lean Italian turkey sausage, such as Jennie-O
  • 7 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 1 red pepper, sliced ½-inch thick
  • 1 cubanelle pepper, sliced ½-inch thick
  • ¼ cup chopped tomatoes (no fat-, sodium, or sugar added), such as Pomi
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 whole-wheat split-top hot dog rolls, such as Matthew’s Salad Rolls


  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Coat a large nonstick skillet with 8 seconds of cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Add sausage links and cook until browned on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove sausages and place on a plate.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add garlic to skillet; cook until it starts to brown, about 1 minute, then add onions and peppers. Cook until peppers soften, about 8 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Return sausages to pan and simmer until fully cooked, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and turn off heat.
  5. Split hot dog rolls and toast them under the broiler until lightly browned. Place each roll on a plate; place 1 link of sausage on each roll, then top each sausage with pepper and onion mixture.

Recipe reprinted from NOW EAT THIS! ITALIAN: Favorite Dishes from the Real Mamas of Italy All Under 350 Calories. Copyright © 2012 by Flavorworks, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.

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