When I was a little girl, my mother made stuffed peppers as a special weeknight dinner. I always loved them and I’m not a green pepper fan. So I decided to try to recreate her recipe and use a combination of red and green peppers to stuff. (It’s an early Christmas!) I have all of her recipes, but I must admit, she’s been gone since 1995 and I have not ventured to try to find it. She was a wee bit organized but not much. I am terrible at keeping some sort of sense of my mass of recipes. (How should you categorize – main ingredient or meal part or when you served it?) Luckily I have a good memory (so far!) and there’s always the internet and online sources to go back to.
So I made this one up to the best of my memory of hers. My family thought I did a great job. I remember my Mom used to put an extra dab of tomato sauce (she used Hunt’s!) on top of the meat mixture in the peppers. I opted to put the cheese. I think here it’s better as the tomato sauce in the meat mixture is so rich with the wine, extra is not needed. I think she would think so too.
You let me know what you think.
SUNDAY NIGHT STUFFED PEPPERS – serves 4 – 6
2 tbs. olive oil
1 medium-large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz. can San Marzano tomatoes, hand crushed, with juices
2 tsp. dried Greek oregano
10 thyme springs, leaves only
½ cup dry red wine
1+ lb. bulk sweet Italian sausage
1+ lb. bulk hot Italian sausage
¼ cup chopped parsley leaves
3 tbs. chopped tarragon leaves
½ -3/4 cup cooked white basmati rice
6 large peppers, red or green or a combo
9 tbs. grated parmesan cheese
1- 11/2 cups chicken broth
Pre-heat oven to 350 degree
Warm the olive oil on low heat, add onion and garlic, cover and sweat for 15 minutes. The onion and garlic will get sweet and soft, stir every once in a while to make sure it doesn’t brown. Add tomatoes and juices, oregano and thyme, raise heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add red wine and simmer for 15 more minutes until sauce is thickened. Salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, sauté the sausage meat together, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until all pink is gone. Line a large platter with 3 layers of paper towels. When meat is cooked, spread it out on the paper towels to drain the grease.
Prepare peppers. Wash and cut off the tops. Remove the stem, wrap in plastic and save for another use. Remove the seeds from the peppers so you have nice hallowed- out cups.
When the sauce is thickened, remove from heat and fold in the cooked rice, parsley and tarragon. Add the drained meat and combine well. Fill the peppers with this mixture and stand them upright in a baking pan. Top each pepper meat mixture with 1.5 tbs. grated parmesan cheese. Pour chicken broth in the bottom of the pan to a depth of 3/8” – ½”. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 – 35 minutes. Remove and serve.