- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- 1 loaf French or Italian bread, about 22 inches long
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage, casings removed, crumbled
- 2 cups Emeril's Kicked Up Tomato sauce or other marinara sauce
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
- 8 ounces fontina cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, for serving (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes, for serving (optional)
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese for serving (optional)
- Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper for easier cleanup.
- Melt butter in a small pan and combine with garlic, salt, lemon juice, and parsley.
- Cut bread in half, and slice horizontally to make four sections. Using your fingers, gently scoop and discard some of the soft inner part of the thickest bread, leaving a one-inch-thick shell. Brush shells with garlic butter and place them on prepared baking sheet.
- Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, stirring as needed, until browned and fat is rendered, about 8 minutes. Remove sausage from pan with a slotted spoon to drain; set aside.
- Divide sauce evenly among bread pieces and spread with a spoon. Divide mozzarella and fontina evenly among over sauce. Top with sausage, then thyme, red-pepper flakes, and Parmesan, if desired. Place bread in the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes until hot and bubbly. Serve immediately, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, if desired.
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