Makes 14 to 16 sandwiches. Recipe is by Corinne Cook.
2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
½ bell pepper, chopped
½ cup ketchup
1½ cups tomato sauce
¼ cup Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. fennel seed
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
¼ tsp. dried basil
Salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
1⁄ 3 cup butter, room temperature
1 clove garlic, pressed
2 (1-lb. each) loaves French or Italian bread, cut in half lengthwise
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1. In large saucepan or Dutch oven, sauté ground beef with onion, celery and bell pepper. Cook until meat is no longer pink and vegetables begin to soften.
2. Add ketchup, tomato sauce, cheese, garlic powder, fennel seed, Italian seasoning and dried basil. Season with salt and peppers to taste. Since this is a filling on bread, you want it a little spicy. Simmer, uncovered, on a slow boil for about 15 minutes or until some of the liquid has cooked out and it is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
3. Meanwhile, in separate small bowl, add butter and garlic. Stir to blend well, then spread evenly over cut surfaces of both loaves of bread.
4. Sprinkle mozzarella over bottom halves of each loaf.
5. Spoon filling over the cheese and place top half on loaf.
6. Wrap each loaf securely in foil.
7. Place in preheated 350-degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through. Slice into sandwiches and serve hot.