Italian Sausage Subs

Italian Sausage Subs

Serves 8.
By Dennis W. Viau; an original recipe.

Where I grew up, we called these “grinders”. In other parts of the country they are known as hoagies, submarine sandwiches (subs), heros, poor boys (po’ boys) and possibly other names. I ate these in a little Italian deli in Norwich, Connecticut and I decided I wanted to share the idea here.


8 Italian sausages; sweet, mild, or hot
2 tablespoons pure olive oil (not extra virgin, which burns at high temperature)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-ounce (794g) can Roma tomatoes, preferably imported San Marzano
1 6-ounce (170g) can tomato paste
2 cups (475ml) water
Pinch of salt
Dash of dried oregano
8 hoagie rolls
About 12 slices provolone cheese


Heat about 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat and brown the sausages on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. While the sausages are browning, purée the tomatoes in a food process or blender, or use an immersion blender.

Heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan. Add the minced garlic and cook over medium-low heat less than a minute. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, water, salt and oregano. Place the browned sausages in the sauce, pushing them below the surface. Raise the heat and bring the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, 1 hour.

Open a hoagie roll and coat the insides with some of the sauce, a few tablespoons. Cover the sauce with 1½ slices of provolone cheese, enough to cover the roll from end to end. Place a cooked Italian sausage in the roll.

Serve. Save any remaining sauce for serving pasta later (it will have some of the flavor of the sausages and be delicious).