Summer Stuffed Peppers ( Peperoni Ripieni)

Forget those green bell peppers.  I know they are easy to grow here but that is no excuse. I have heard people tell me they don't eat them.  I pray  they give them away.  Green peppers are high in acid, are thick skinned, and normally have bitter in taste.   What do they do with them?  I would  like to know.
I only grow red, yellow and orange varieties. When I can't grow them,  I look for them endlessly at local markets.    This recipe, is an easy, traditional Summer recipe  that my mom always prepared during the  Summer season.  With very few ingredients, the flavor of the pepper and basil  is intense.  I am suspicious   that this recipe has some Neopolitan roots as it was originally covered in Tomato sauce.   It is always delicious.  The meat stuffing is infused with the sweet peppers.   I couldn't wait for the timer to go off and dig in.

Ingredients: For 6 servings
Preheat your oven to 375 bake
3 large cut in half or 6 small/medium with tops cut off.
split in half and seeded, rinsed and drained on paper towels
1 pound  plus 1/4  pound chopped sirloin
1 tablespoon pepper
1/2 medium onion chopped
2 slices of white bread/ ends removed and chopped in the food processor
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup basil leaves, rolled and chopped
1 cup of white wine (1/2 for the meat, 1/2 for the sauce)
1/3 cup sliced pancetta  (optional)
1 egg
1 cup Parmesan cheese grated
1  14 0z can of chopped/diced tomatoes in their juice
a pinch of ground nutmeg

Clean and dry your peppers that you have cut in half.  Place in a baking dish like cups awaiting stuffing.   Into a skillet about 11 inches round,  place your onion, sautee until fragrant, add your pancetta if you like.  (Optional).  Add your meat and cook until browned.  Add your 1/2 cup white wine and  let reduce. Set  aside to cool.  Salt and pepper is added here. 
Drain into a bowl to finish cooling.
Cut up your basil, add it to your meat
Add your egg, cheese, bread crumbs and nutmeg and mix
Stuff your meat mixture into the pepper cavity. Flatten and pat down.

Do not worry that your mixture seems slightly wet.  This will dry in the oven and get crisp
After you have stuffed them all, set them aside to rest.
Into a pan dice 1 clove of garlic and one tablespoon olive oil on low/med.  Saute until fragrant. Add your tomatoes, Turn up your heat to medium, add wine, one cup of water, and reduce to half. 
Wait 15 minutes and your oil will separate from the pan. Do not worry as your tomato sauce with continue to cook in the oven.   Set aside.
Pour your cooked tomato sauce over your peppers.  Top with additional cheese. I used slices of Taleggio as it adds great texture to the top of these peppers not to mention even more wonderful flavor. You may use any you like, but something "Cremosa"  or creamy, when melted, works best.
Bake in oven for 45 minutes, covered.  Then uncover the pan for 15 minutes more until golden brown and cheese is bubbly.   Cool for 15 minutes and serve.
The left over sauce can be tossed with pasta   with a sprinkling of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese  for the next meal!  Fantastic!  Serve with Crusty bread!   Buon Appetito!



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