HOTLINE: Sunday, June 9

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Chef Dad's Italian Sloppy Joes

1 jar of marinara (your favorite)
1 lb. of ground beef
1 lb. Italian sausage
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. oregano flakes
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 pkg. hamburger buns
sliced mozzarella or provolone cheese (optional)
sliced pepperoni (optional)

1) Heat a large deep pan or pot over medium heat for 5 minutes then add your olive oil. Add meats plus salt and pepper until completely cooked. Chop meat into a fine consistency while it's cooking. When it's done, drain off the fat by pouring contents into your large strainer, like the one you use to drain spaghetti.
2) Put meat back in pan then reduce the heat to medium low. Pour the pasta sauce over meat. Add the oregano flakes and crushed red pepper then stir to combine. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until you have a nice thick consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust as you like.
3) Put pepperoni and/or cheese on the bun if you like, then scoop desired amount of meat mixture onto the bun and serve.

Cook's Notes:
Double or triple this recipe if you're having a party. Simply cook up the dish then transfer the meat mixture into a crock pot on low temp so your friends can serve themselves while you enjoy the game. Can it be made a day or two ahead of time? You bet! But don't buy the buns until the day you plan to serve them.