Sausage Stuffed Bell Peppers
from Emeril Lagasse's Farm to Fork cookbook
- 5 large green bell peppers, sliced in half lengthwise, seeds removed
- 3 tbl extra-virgin olive oil
- 12 ounces fresh sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings and crumbled
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
- 2 tbl minced garlic
- 1 1/4 cups chopped ripe tomatoes
- 3 tbl minced fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 tsp salt, plus more if needed
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more if needed
- 2 cups cooked long grain rice
- 3 tbl fine dry unseasoned breadcrumbs
- 6 tbl freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add 8 of the pepper halves to the boiling water, in batches if necessary, and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a colander and run them under cool water briefly to stop the cooking. Then transfer the pepper halves to a large plate or a baking sheet lined with paper towels and set aside to cool.
2. Preheat the oven to 375.
3. Chop the remaining pepper halves and set them aside.
4. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to a medium skillet and add the sausage. Cook over medium-high heat, breaking the sausage into small pieces with a spoon until it is browned (4 to 6 minutes). Add the onions, chopped bell pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are very soft and caramelized, about 6 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until they have softened and the liquids have been released, about 2 minutes. Add the basil, salt and pepper and mix well. Stir in the rice and remove from the heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
5. Spoon the sausage-rice mixture into the bell pepper halves. Combine the breadcrumbs and cheese in a small bowl and sprinkle the mixture evenly over the stuffed peppers. Place the peppers in a baking dish and pour about 1/2 inch of water into the dish. Drizzle the tops of the peppers with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Bake until the tops are crusty and brown and the peppers are heated through (30 to 35 minutes).