March 20, 2011

Stuffed Peppers (By Ashley!)

It is with a heart full of happiness that I post this dish made by my daughter, Ashley. When I started this food blog, it was really meant for my two girls. As a mom, I have hopes and dreams that someday they will both grow to love cooking as much as I do, and not run for the hills whenever I preheat the oven. I'm a firm believer that food and tradition brings families closer together, and I know in time, they'll understand the importance of this.

One of our favorite food shows has to be "Cake Boss" with Buddy Valastro. Now he has a show titled "Kitchen Boss", and shares family recipes from his Italian heritage. My girls can appreciate this having a Sicilian for a dad. "Nonna" has cooked for our large Italian family for many years.

Ashley watched the show, saw this recipe for stuffed peppers and wanted to try it, modifying the original version just a bit. These peppers came out absolutely delicious, and health wise, are awesome!

Stuffed Peppers
(makes 4-6 servings)
3 medium-large sweet peppers (1 red, 1 orange, 1 yellow)
1 pound turkey sausage (casings removed)
1 cup extra-long grain white rice (cooked)
1/2 onion, diced
*1 small fennel bulb, chopped - optional
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 and 1/2 cups shredded Italian blend cheeses (provolone, asiago, mozzarella, parmesan)
2 cups fresh tomato sauce, divided*
6 tablespoons Italian breadcrumbs
olive oil

Cook the rice and set aside to cool. Wash up the peppers, slice off the tops, and clean out the insides (free of seeds and pith).
Set a large pot fitted with a steamer basket over high heat to boil. Place the peppers in, upside down.
Cover the pot, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove peppers to a paper-lined platter to drain and cool while preparing the filling.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chop up the onion... 
Lightly oil the bottom of a large skillet. Saute the onion, then add the sausage, brown well, then drain. Remove to a bowl and allow to cool just a bit. Fold in the rice...
Add the Italian seasonings, shredded cheese and 1/2 cup tomato sauce, mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Coat the bottom of a 13x9 pan with a drizzle of olive oil, and 1/2 cup of tomato sauce.
Cut the peppers in half, lengthwise and spoon in sausage filling evenly between all the pepper halves.
Place filled peppers in the baking pan. Spoon tomato sauce over the top of each one.
Sprinkle with Italian breadcrumbs and parsley.
Bake, uncovered, until hot all the way through, about 30 minutes.
A wonderful dinner is served~


mela said...

did you send these to mom's house last week?
--I was there one night and heated left overs for dad and me for dinner --stuffed peppers and lasagna ----and i presuming these were the same stuffed peppers ...they were delicious great job :)

"Vanilla and Thyme" said...

Yes, those were the ones! She was happy they came out so good, I was very impressed!

greengirl said...

I loved reading this! How fun it is to watch your kids take an interest in cooking... Great job, Mom! And your peppers looked great, Ashley!

"Vanilla and Thyme" said...

Thanks! They really were delicious. Am looking forward to trying out some Wildtree products soon-

CONCETTA said...

great job Ashlea your are following your mom footsteps
and I hope that someday just like your mom you will find a great husband!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!