Supposedly, this is a style of recipe found in the Tuscany area of Italy.
Is it? Don’t know, don’t really care. It is super awesome. It could be from Mars and be just as good.
Stuffed Peppers4 large bell peppers - as big as you can find
- Heat the oven to 425 F
- Take any stems off
- Cut the peppers in half, lengthwise
- Remove the stems and seeds and pat dry
- Place on a baking sheet or pan with the outside of the pepper up.
- Roast for 20-25 minutes, until it turns a little brown and is soft
- Remove from oven and flip the peppers over
- Leave the oven on
1 pound ground beef
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- In a pan, cook the beef until brown and add the onion and stir until translucent.
- Drain the fat and set it aside
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup water
- In a frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter
- Add the couscous, stir until golden brown
- Add the water and salt in a small pot and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer
- Add the couscous for 4-5 minutes until the water is fully absorbed
4 finely diced Roma tomatoes
2 tbsp Italian heat spice
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon chicken base
1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper
paprika(optional, for a little color)
- Over medium heat, heat the meat and onions
- Add the couscous, tomatoes, paste, spice blend, water, and chicken base
- Heat until the water evaporates, stirring constantly and salt and pepper to taste
- Make sure everything is well mixed
- Fill each pepper with as much mixture as it will hold
- Layer the cheese over the peppers and mixture, sprinkle some paprika over the cheese
- Place the baking sheet or pan in the oven for 3-5 minutes
- It is done when the cheese is melted
Depending on how many peppers you use and how big, odds are you will have a fair amount of mixture left. It is great cold as a lunch on a bed of romaine lettuce, cucumbers, and a balsamic vinaigrette.
If you don’t like couscous, rice or quinoa would be good replacements.
If you don’t want to mix the Italian heat spice, a commercial Italian blend with a few red pepper flakes added would likely be an okay substitute. Speaking of, if you want it less spicy, 1 1/2 tablespoons is good also.
As always, use a good quality cheese, so it doesn’t end up as an oily mess. The cheese in the normal dairy section doesn’t cut it, i.e. Kraft, etc. I usually use imported Italian mozzarella, but I tried a ball of cheese from Wisconsin, called BelGioioso. Pretty dang good, and it doesn’t need the qualifier “for American-made cheese.”
For ease of putting oil on the peppers and many other uses, I recommend buying oil sprayers and putting quality oil in them. Forgo cheap spray oil filled with bad oil and chemicals. It is better, and cheaper over the long run.