1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound mild bulk Italian sausage
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground or coarse ground pepper
1 (16-ounce) loaf ciabatta bread, sliced in half horizontally, cut into 6 equal pieces*
Roasted red pepper strips, if desired
Fresh basil leaves, if desired
Heat gas grill on medium or charcoal grill until coals are ash white.
Combine ground beef, sausage, onion, garlic and pepper in bowl; mix lightly. Shape into 6 (1/2-inch thick) patties.
Place patties onto grill. Grill, turning once, 10-12 minutes or until internal temperature reaches at least 160°F. or until meat is no longer pink in center. Top each patty with slice of cheese during last minute of grilling.
Brush cut-sides of bread with butter. Place onto grill, buttered-side down. Grill until toasted.
Place burgers onto 6 toasted bread bottom pieces. Top each with roasted red pepper strips and basil, if desired. Top with remaining toasted bread pieces.
*Substitute focaccia bread.
- For spicier burgers, use spicy Italian sausage.
- Roasted red peppers can be found in the canned food section of most large supermarkets.