How To Make Sloppy Giuseppe

Sloppy Joe is is a classic what’s-in-the-fridge kind of meal. “Let’s see … I’ve got ground beef, onion, green pepper, and some leftover tomato sauce. I know! I’ll throw it all together, add some spices, heat it up and put it on white bread.” You do realize that’s mostly what’s in those cans of Manwich, right? Well, that and a bunch of corn syrup. And guar gum to thicken it up because it’s mostly water.

So I got to thinking: How would this come out if I were looking in someone else’s fridge, with their leftovers?

And so the Sloppy Giuseppe was born. An Italian twist on this classic American sandwich.


2 pounds ground pork
28 ounce can tomato puree (see below)
medium onion
red and yellow bell pepper
4-6 cloves garlic
salt, pepper and oregano to taste


Before I start, this is not a precise recipe. The whole idea is to use what you’ve already got on hand. If I’d had green pepper that would have gone in along with the red and yellow. Or maybe instead of those. And you could use garlic powder if you don’t have fresh. Or garlic salt and leave out the regular salt. You could use basil and parsley instead of / in addition to the oregano.

The only thing in this recipe that wasn’t already on hand was the pork. And we got that because it was on sale. Jenn brought it home, then we had to figure out what to do with it. Keep herbs and spices on hand, several cans of tomato puree or crushed tomatoes, and a few veggies in the fridge and you can always come up with something with little notice.

Anyway …


Peel and mince the garlic.

Peel and dice the onion.

Here’s a quick demo of how to dice an onion.

Now split the peppers open and remove the seeds and the white part. (Technically the white part is called “pith”, but to me that’s the pointy helmet the British wore on safari.)

Cut the pepper into matchsticks, then turn and chop very fine.

Add the peppers to the onion.


Melt a few tablespoons of bacon fat over medium heat, and add the pork.

Break up the pork, and add salt, pepper and oregano — or whatever dried herbs and spices you’re going with.

I used about two teaspoons of salt, one of black pepper, and about a tablespoon of oregano.

Once the sausage is mostly browned, add the onion, pepper, garlic, and any fresh herbs you’re using.

Cook until the vegetables are soft, then add the tomato sauce.

Random note for people who care about food photography: When you add liquid to a hot pan, it sends up steam. If the automatic meetering on your camera uses infrared, the exposure goes all to hell.

Don’t add the entire can all at once. Start with about half, stir it in, let it warm up and taste it. You can adjust the seasoning — I added about another teaspoon of oregano — or make it thinner by adding more tomato puree. If it’s already too thin for you, keep  it over medium heat and cook it down to the consistency you like.

Put it on any bread you have, though it’s really good on the fresh baked fast rising bread I posted earlier this week, with some shredded asiago cheese.

And that’s it.

I told you it was sloppy.

Sloppy Giuseppe

Sloppy Giuseppe


  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 28 ounce can tomato puree (see below)
  • medium onion
  • red and yellow bell pepper
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • salt, pepper and oregano to taste


Peel and mince the garlic and onion. Remove the seeds and stem from the peppers.

Cook the pork over medium heat in a little oil or bacon fat. Season with salt, pepper, and any dry herbs and spices. When mostly browned, add the onion, pepper, and any fresh herbs and spices.

When vegetables are soft, add half the tomato puree. Stir and cook until warm, then taste and adjust seasoning. Add more tomato puree if it is too thick.

Serve on crusty bread with shredded mozzarella or asiago cheese.