Monday, June 23, 2014

Italian Stuffed Peppers

In March, as most of you may know, we sold our house and moved into a rental while we build a new home.  My current kitchen is much smaller than my last.  I have most of my kitchen items still in storage tubs and our food storage is very, very limited!  I try hard to cook down to bare cupboards before making a shopping trip.  Consequently, I am working on making creative meals using what I have on hand.  Tonight, I had a pound of ground beef and several bell peppers so I decided to make stuffed peppers.  Instead of rice, I used a 1/2 lb of acini de Pepe which is a small granular pasta.  

I also had 3 nice size tomatoes from the local farmers market, Taylor's so I opted to make a fresh tomato sauce, but you could just as easily use a can of diced tomatoes and a can of tomato sauce.  The fresh sauce only takes 10 minutes to prep and 30 minutes of cook time! 

Fresh Tomato Sauce:

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
3 lg tomatoes, rough chopped
1 med onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
Salt & pepper to taste


Heat oil over medium heat in a large sauce pan.  Add remaining ingredients, stir, over and let cook over low for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, give the ingredients a slight mash to blend together.

Italian Stuffed Peppers:


4 bell peppers, any color
1/2 lb acini de Pepe, short cook time, cooled
1 lb ground beef
1 sm onion, diced
1 cup Parmesean-Reggiano cheese, shredded
1 tbsp basil
1 tbsp oregano
1 to garlic powder
Salt & pepper to taste
2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut tops off bell peppers; remove seeds and membranes. Place peppers upright in 8-inch square baking dish, cutting thin slice off bottoms of peppers to stabilize.  Chop up the edible portions of the bell pepper top.  Combine the bell pepper with the ground beef, onion, Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, and spices in bowl.

Add the tomato sauce and gently fold into the mixture.

Spoon beef mixture evenly into peppers.  Cover baking dish with aluminum foil. Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes. Uncover baking dish; add a 1/4 of the cheddar cheese ti each pepper and continue baking 35 to 40 minutes.  Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.  You will have plenty of filling if you want to fill more peppers or cook separately for another meal.  


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