I was sitting at my desk at work reading government guidance about performing IT risk assessments (exciting stuff, really) when the idea of this dish popped into my head. I love stuffed bell peppers but they have always been the traditional ones stuffed with a rice and beef/chorizo mixture.
But before I get into that, check out the giveaway package that Robyn is running over at Grill Grrrl. As if the autographed Michael Symon book isn’t good enough, she’s throwing in all of this other great stuff! So get over there and enter.
Okay, back to my idea. I thought that I would make stuffed peppers but make them with an Italian influence. Kind of like a lasagna inside of a bell pepper. Since this was a total off the wall idea, I only made two of them in case they sucked and made our Italian Skillet Slop for the boys.
Stuffed Bell Peppers Italiano
2 ea green bell peppers
5 oz Italian sausage
½ cup ditalini pasta
3-4 oz cream cheese
½ cup shredded mozzarella
1 tsp basil, dried
¾ cup marinara sauce
Cut the tops of the peppers off and remove the seeds. Parboil them for 3 minutes, remove and drain.
Cook the pasta and drain. Ditalini is a small pasta (see pic below) which works perfect for this dish.
Brown the sausage.
Mix the cream cheese, mozzarella, and basil together. I would have used ricotta cheese instead if I had it but the cream cheese worked.
Now assemble your stuffed peppers in layers like this.
A few tablespoons of pasta, about 1/4th of the cheese mixture in each of the two peppers, the sausage, and a few tablespoons of the marinara sauce. Feel free to use your favorite marinara or jarred marinara. I made a quick one.
Quick Pseudo Marinara
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp oregano, dried
¼ cup marsala wine (I was out of red)
Sauté the garlic for 1-2 minutes in the butter and oil. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 30-45 minutes. I hit them with the immersion blender about 30 minutes in.
Set your grill up for an indirect heat cook at 350f (or put in a 350f oven). Put the peppers in a casserole dish or individual baking dishes. I wasn’t sure how this would turn out so I put some of the cheese mixture on one of them and was going to add the other one later.
I baked them on the Big Green Egg for about 20 minutes. Then I added the cheese mix to the other one, put the rest of the marinara sauce in the boats, and tossed in the last of the cheese mix on that.
Meanwhile, Alexis was cooking another garlic bread roll on her Egg. We got this recipe from Rex at Savory Reviews. We had to bend it because it was too big to fit on the pizza stone. That didn’t affect taste at all.
I cooked the peppers for about another 15-20 minutes and then took them off to serve.
These worked great as a concept and was a very good dish. But this is more of a technique than a recipe. You could do the same idea with any of your favorite pasta and sauces and it would come out wonderful. Just doing this technique with leftover spaghetti would be great too.