Stuffed peppers and the misconception of a silly girl

Stuffed bell peppers

Cooking and eating peppers is something relatively new in my house. The reason? Okay. I’m going to spit it out but please do not judge me too harshly. The ugly truth is that, when I was younger, I thought peppers where not sophisticated enough. When you are young, everything is either black or white and, consequently, the world was divided between what was chic and what was not, of course according to my own criteria, which I applied pretty much to everything, including food.

I used to go to the newest restaurants and indulge in the new trend – the huge misconception that rustic food was not cool.

They say that changing your mind is a sign of intelligence and that one of the advantages of aging is getting wiser. Well, especially when I look at my wrinkles, I like to flatter myself by thinking that I totally fall into both categories of clever and wise people. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, regardless of what I think of myself :-), the bottom line is that I “opened up” my mind to peppers and I was amazed to find out how great their taste can be. Their full texture can satisfy any kind of palate from the more basic to the chicest. I’m so regretting all those years when I simply dismissed them as not “worthy”!!! Such a waste of time! πŸ™

We are having a gorgeous weather where I am in Italy and I think that the vibrant colors of the peppers go very well with the brilliant colors of the landscape that surrounds me right now. That’s how I picked today’s dish, whose recipe – once again – comes from my mommy’s kitchen.

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer.

Stuffed bell peppers


6 peppers
2 leeks
about 21 oz, ground beef
2 eggs
3 white bread slices
1/2 cup, whole milk
8 Tbsp, extravirgin olive oil
8 Tbsp, grated parmigiano cheese
2 cups, tomato sauce
some parsley leaves, finely chopped
Ground black pepper


Cut the tops of the peppers off and set them aside. With the help of a knife, remove the seeds and the membranes and rinse the peppers under cold water. Place the peppers in a large casserole, add 6 Tbsp of olive oil in the casserole and set aside.

Cut off the green top of the leeks and the root. Discard the outer layer. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise. Rinse the halves well under water, being careful to leave them intact. Place each half, with the flat side facing down, on a chopping board.

Slice the leeks thinly and evenly. In a skillet, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil, add the leeks, season with salt and pepper (to taste) and toss to coat. Add some water and stir occasionally until the water evaporates. Set aside and let the leeks cool.

In a bowl, pour the milk and soak the bread into the milk.

In a large mixing bowl, using your hands combine the ground beef, the eggs, the chopped parsley and the Parmesan cheese. With your hands, squeeze the bread and add it to the meat mixture. Add the leeks, some salt and pepper (to taste) and combine with your hands.

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Stuff the peppers with the meat mixture, place the pepper tops on the meat mixture and pour the tomato sauce over the stuffed peppers.

Put an aluminum foil on top of the stuffed peppers and bake them for 35/40 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and keep baking for an additional 10/15 minutes or until the peppers are tender.

Buon appetito!

Follow FsT on:

0 thoughts on “Stuffed peppers and the misconception of a silly girl

  1. the winegetter

    This is a classic that I will always connect with my grandma. She would make green stuffed peppers in a gravy sauce, and then we would eat them with mashed potatoes…you see the German all over the place, but they were so good. I have not made them in a while, but now I want to make them soon…

      1. the winegetter

        Well, let’s just assume that we won’t want to kill each other after we met in October, and then the likelihood goes up significantly…I would make them for you anytime. πŸ™‚ So much looking forward to meeting the three of you.

        1. Francesca Post author

          Since you brought it up let me warn you: I’m the most antisocial, introvert, less likable person around so the chance that you will want to kill me is pretty high. πŸ˜‰
          Looking forward too!!!

  2. afternoonartist

    I love stuffed peppers. I use a mixture of half ground beef and half ground sausage. I also add uncooked rice to the mixture. It cooks while the peppers steam. And my father used to sprinkle a small bit of sugar on top. I used to think it was odd, until I tried it, and now I’m hooked. My old dad knew how to eat!

  3. kbvollmarblog

    Dear Francesca,
    stuffed peppers is one of my favourite dishes. I had a friend a long time ago who used to cook them quite often. I always thought it`s too sophicated for me to cook them. But thanks a lot, now I have a recipe and I will try it out. This year I started to grow peppers and they seem to do well.
    I wish you a happy day, greetings from sunny Norfolk

  4. Just Add Attitude

    Dear Francesca,

    I am pleased to hear that you are having gorgeous weather and I hope you are having a lovely time in Italy.

    I smiled when I read how you felt about peppers when you were younger. I think many of us (I know I did) go through that phase, although not necessarily about peppers, when we dismiss things that don’t fit our world view at the time only to discover later that we sought instead was often superficial and we finally learn what’s truly important in life.

    Your mother’s stuffed pepper recipe sounds delicious.

    Take care. Bx

    1. Francesca Post author

      Thank you, Francesca. I do not receive notification of your posts and I do not understand why. I’ll look into into to try to rectify the situation. Enjoy the rest of the summer. F. Xx

  5. allthatcooking

    welcome to the world of stuffed peppers eaters! i know you will enjoy your stay with us πŸ˜‰
    being greek, stuffed peppers have been on the daily agenda ever since I can remember myself. you made yours differently than what i’m used to – and I love that!
    can’t wait to try them, they look delicious!

    1. Francesca Post author

      Thank you so much! I think it would be great if you decided to share your stuffed peppers recipe on your lovely blog! Although we are “neighbors” I don’t know much about greek cuisine (besides the internationally known dishes).

    1. Francesca Post author

      Thank you, Heather! πŸ™‚ I’m enjoying my “Italian stay” very much. The weather is gorgeous and everything (landscape, food, wildlife, sea and beaches) look at their best. I could not ask for more! πŸ˜‰

    1. Francesca Post author

      Yes, Suzanne. It is wonderful but a little bit sad too. When I think about the many things that I didn’t enjoy when I was younger … Well, c’est la vie! πŸ˜‰

  6. laurasmess

    Haha, I love the wisdom that comes with getting older Francesca! At the ripe old age of 29, I often wish that I had the perspective that I have now about ten years ago (youth really is wasted on the young, isn’t it!!). Love these roasted peppers. They sound delicious. I’ve never made roasted peppers myself, but I might just change that this week! Love that last picture. You and Stefano make such a great creative team! xx

    1. Francesca Post author

      Dear, when I was your age, I didn’t even put the kettle on the stove. πŸ™‚ You are way ahead in the game!!! πŸ˜‰ Thank
      you for your lovely words. πŸ™‚

  7. justagirlfromaamchimumbai

    Bell Peppers or Capsicum as we call them is one of my favorite veggies. I make a vegetarian version by stuffing it with mashed Potatoes. Unfortunately they are super expensive in Perth and are something I cannot make a lot of. Love your recipe the Ground beef must add a lovely flavor to the Peppers.