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Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Saucy pepperoni makes a tasty sandwich meal

Thursday, May 17, 2001

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Kurt Karafinski of Glenshaw sent in today's recipe for Pepperoni Sandwiches with this message: "It may sound a little odd, but I have yet to find anybody who, after tasting it, hasn't asked for the recipe."

That was intriguing, so we decided to give this offbeat entry a try. We're glad we did.

The pepperoni/onion/tomato sauce combo made a tasty, finger-licking sandwich that got raves from our testers, ranging in age from late 20s and early 40s to well-into-her-80s, and it's bound to appeal to kids and pizza lovers as well.

Kurt serves salad with the sandwiches, but we opted for corn on the cob and potato chips for a surprisingly good repast. Have plenty of napkins handy.

The recipe comes from his mother, Sylvia, who lives in East Vandergrift.

"She's the one who made it up and I grew up eating it," he said. "It's a quick, easy summertime meal."

A senior systems analyst for Eckerd Health Services in O'Hara, Kurt does the bulk of the cooking for his family, which includes wife Debby (they met in the cafeteria at Eckerd) and son Christopher, 31/2.

"My wife loves pasta, so I'm always looking for pasta recipes," he said.

He gets a lot of ideas from his co-workers -- the men, that is.

"In my office, it's the guys who talk about food," he said. "Five or six of us stand around and swap recipes, while the women just listen."

When not in the kitchen, Kurt can usually be found on the golf course. But only after the troops have been fed.

-- Tested by Nancy Anderson

Pepperoni Sandwiches

1 pound sliced pepperoni
3 large onions, sliced
2 small cans tomato sauce
1/2 stick butter

Sandwich buns

Melt butter in a large pot and saute the onions.

While the onions are cooking, bring another large pot of water to boil. When it's boiling, dump the pepperoni in for 30 seconds. This helps take out some of the fat and softens the pepperoni up a little. Don't leave it in the water any longer or the taste will be lost (you can skip this step if you want to).

Drain pepperoni and dump it into the pot with the onions. Empty the tomato sauce into the same pot, cover and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve on buns. Makes 6 to 8 sandwiches.

Do you have an entree, salad or vegetable side dish recipe (no desserts, please!) that can be made in 30 minutes or less from six ingredients or fewer (not counting water, salt and pepper)? Share it with Countdown to Dinner.

The PG tests all recipes, and if we select your recipe for publication, you'll receive a free selection from our cookbook grab bag of current releases.

Send your recipe to Countdown to Dinner, Post-Gazette Food, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or fax to 412-263-1313. Please include your name, neighborhood and daytime phone number. Or e-mail to: nanderson@post-gazette.com. Questions? Call 412-263-1760.

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