Italian-Style Stuffed Bell Peppers | Blog to Taste

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Italian-Style Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed peppers have become one of my favorite dishes to make and eat. There's something fun about filling up the pepper like a little boat with all of my favorite ingredients. When I was brainstorming meal ideas a few weeks ago, I imagined stuffed peppers, but what did I want to fill them with this time? Traditionally I do rice, ground beef, cheese, sauteed onion, and top with a taco or enchilada sauce. That combination wasn't getting me excited, though, so I decided to try a Italian-food-inspired version of the stuffed bell pepper.

Now, you can tell from my picture that I cut the pepper from top to bottom and cook them while they're laying on their side. My mother is of a different school of thought that you cut the top off, fill the pepper, and then put the top back on "like a pumpkin" as she says. While I see how that would look cute and probably take even more filling, I think it is easier to work with and eat peppers that are cut vertically. Really, you can cut them whichever speaks to you.

Italian-Style Stuffed Bell Peppers



Ingredients:
1 lb ground Italian sausage (sweet, mild, or hot)
4 bell peppers cut in half or with the top cut off
4 cups cooked small pasta (think ditalini, elbows, tiny shells, etc)
6 crimini mushrooms
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
12 oz marinara sauce (half a jar)
2 tbsp Italian-style bread crumbs for topping

Instructions:

1. Cook sausage over medium heat until browned. Break the sausage up while cooking it.

2. Chop up the mushrooms and cut the peppers in half or cut the tops off. Remove the seeds and innards from the peppers.

3. Allow the sausage and cooked pasta to cool for about 10 minutes then combine them with the chopped mushrooms in a large bowl. Mix until well combined.

4. Stuff the peppers evenly with the filling mixture and top with shredded cheese.


5. Preheat the oven to 350. Put the peppers in a large casserole dish to contain the juices. Pour the sauce evenly on top of the peppers.



6. Top the peppers with bread crumbs, cover loosely with foil, and then bake for about 30 minutes. Check peppers and cook longer if needed.

7. Serve the peppers with a side of cheesy garlic bread and enjoy!