Chef Time!

Chef Time!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Just Like Nonna Used To Make!

30 Minute Cheesy Italian Stuffed Peppers

I have such fond memories of my childhood. Anytime food memories pop into my mind, I remember my Nonna being in the kitchen preparing the most amazing meals for us. She was way ahead of her time with her creative simplicity (hmmm, maybe that is where it came from). My Nonna could prepare a delicious meal with 4 kids and three adults hanging on her and have it on the table at 6:00 pm every night.
Every time I even look at a bell pepper I remember a baking dish filled with Nonna’s stuffed peppers. Green bell peppers overflowing with her special pepper mixture topped with tomato sauce. Just the thought makes my mouth water.
I haven’t made stuffed peppers in a long time, truth be told Chad (my husband) never liked bell peppers. Well, recently his ever-expanding palate saw the light. Perhaps it was the bright red, orange and yellow peppers calling his name. As we do eat with our eyes first it is important (especially with picky eaters) that your food look appetizing.
Cheesy Italian Stuffed Pepper that go from prep to plate in only 30 minutes are sure to be on my table again and again!
With love from my kitchen to yours.

19 oz. Four cheese Italian sausage, casings removed or 1 lb. Ground beef
1 (14 ½ oz.) can fire roasted diced tomatoes with garlic
2 oz. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 c. uncooked orzo or rice
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups chicken broth
4 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
4 bell peppers
½ tsp kosher salt

Preheat oven to 450. Warm 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, approximately 2 minutes. Add orzo, stir to coat. Cook until orzo is golden brown, stirring occasionally. Turn heat to high. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium for about 7-10 minutes until liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, wash peppers. Cut the tops off and remove seeds and veins. Pat peppers dry with a paper towel. Place peppers (lids and bottoms) in a microwave safe bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon oil and kosher salt. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or microwave safe lid. Microwave until peppers are soft (about 10 minutes). Remove peppers from bowl and place in a 9x9 inch baking dish.
In the mean time, heat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Remove sausage from casings by sliding a pairing knife down the length of the sausage and then peel to remove. Add sausage to skillet and cook until browned.
In the orzo pan; combine sausage, tomatoes, mozzarella and cheeses. Stir to combine. Stuff mixture into peppers, using a spoon. Set tops aside.
Bake for 7-10 minutes, until top is lightly browned. Place tops on peppers and serve.

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