Italian Quesadilla
Italian Quesadilla

I had some leftover Italian sausage, red bell peppers and tortillas, so I came up with a new variation on quesadillas.  They tasted really good and my fridge is clean.

6 medium flour quesadillas

4 Italian pork or turkey sausages, mild or spicy, casings removed

About 1/3 cup Spicy Calabrian Pesto, House Blend or Madagascar Black Pepper Olive Oil, divided

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

1 red or green bell pepper, thinly sliced

Salt and pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

10-12 oz. fresh mozzarella, grated

2 tablespoons finely sliced basil

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

1/2 cup Denissimo or Traditional Balsamic Vinegar (optional)

1 cup marinara sauce (optional)


In a very small pot, simmer the balsamic vinegar until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.  Set aside to cool.


In a large skillet over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and the sausage.  Cook until done but not dried out.  Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels to remove excess moisture.

In the same pan, add another 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, onions, red bell peppers, garlic and some salt and pepper.  Saute a minute or so and add 2 tablespoons water.  Gently scrape up the bits left from the sausage and continue to cook the vegetables until lightly browned and semi-soft, 4-5 minutes.  Drain on paper towels.

Wash your skillet and set aside.  Meanwhile, make the quesadillas by dividing the sausage, vegetables and cheese on one side of the tortillas.  Top with basil and red pepper flakes if using.  Fold the empty half of the tortilla over the filling.  

Heat the skillet and add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil.  Place a quesadilla in the pan and cooked until lightly browned and the cheese is melted; turn over and cook the second side.  Remove from pan and keep warm.  Repeat with remaining quesadillas.

Cut each quesadilla in half and serve with reduced balsamic vinegar, marinara or both.