“When I’m home, I fall back on the food that makes me happy and will make my daughter happy,” says the Parts Unknown host and dad to Ariane, 9, in this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now. “Who doesn’t like meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, or a good bowl of pasta with a Neapolitan-style ragù?”
So for his first cookbook in 12 years, Appetites, Bourdain turned out a collection of the American standards he leans on now, in a life that’s far different than the one he chronicled in his 2000 tell-all memoir Kitchen Confidential.
“This time around I wanted to make something useful — which is something I really haven’t been for most of my life — something that would reflect my changed situation,” he says of his cookbook hiatus. “I’m a dad now. I’ve been cooking for a little girl for the past seven years. I prepare her school lunches and I cook holiday dinners.”
Inside are his secrets to a stress-free Thanksgiving, how to cook a perfect omelet and a recipe for the one vice, regardless of how far he’s come, he still can’t kick.
“Sausage and pepper heroes are something I find — despite the after effects — always irresistible,” he says.
Anthony Bourdain’s Italian Sausage & Pepper Heroes
4 sweet Italian sausage links
4 hot Italian sausage links
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 large green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 (10-in.) Italian-style hoagie rolls, split
1. Heat a large grill pan or cast-iron skillet over high. Add sausages, working in batches if necessary, and cook until browned on all sides and slightly bursting from their casings, about 15 minutes. Using tongs, transfer to a large plate.
2. Add oil to grill pan, and heat until hot. Add peppers, onion, salt and pepper; cook, turning often with a spatula and pressing down as necessary, until seared, soft and nicely browned at edges, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
3. While vegetables cook, cut sausages into 1-inch slices. When vegetables are done, set aside with sausage slices. Place rolls, cut side down, on hot, greasy griddle until warm.
4. Place 1 roll on each of 4 plates. Top evenly with sausages, bell peppers and onion, making sure to evenly distribute sweet and hot sausages. Serve immediately.
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes