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. 😉

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! 😦

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

Ingredients:

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
Salt
Ground black pepper

Directions:

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!

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About Francesca

I am a cook and the founder and art director of Flora's Table, the fine cooking and wine blog. Check us out at www.florastable.com :-)
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42 Responses to Stuffed peppers and the misconception of a silly girl

  1. 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.

  2. laurasmess says:

    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

  3. Got peppers, got tomato sauce, got ground beef in the fridge–got all the ingredients. I am doing this tomorrow for dinner. Great idea! (And I think it’s chic–old is new!)

  4. That goes for many of us… ‘opened up’ our minds for many things.
    I like your Mom’s recipe very much. 😀

  5. I haven’t made stuffed peppers in ages, I do love them. Your recipe sounds fantastic. It’s wonderful isn’t it how as the years go by we come to appreciate so much more than when we were younger.

    • Francesca says:

      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! 😉

  6. Stuffed peppers are always nice to have and good to please guests.

  7. I hope that your enjoying Italy Francesca! I remember stuffed peppers were a staple in my house growing up. A couple years ago I revived this recipe in my kitchen. It’s so easy and healthy!!

    • Francesca says:

      Thank you, Heather! 🙂 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! 😉

  8. chef mimi says:

    I am so glad you have embraced peppers!

  9. welcome to the world of stuffed peppers eaters! i know you will enjoy your stay with us 😉
    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!

    • Francesca says:

      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).

  10. My my, how intelligent you are! This is excellent change, peppers are awesome! And this recipe rocks, I make something similar with ground lamb 🙂 Hai fatto brava, francesca!

    • Francesca says:

      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

  11. 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

  12. How could you think of peppers as black and white? I thought they were red, yellow, green, orange, purple…

    • Francesca says:

      Hahaha! I miss your sense of humor, Gabi! I just got back from France. I’ll tell you all about it when I’m back. Hope you are having a great summer.

  13. 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
    Klausbernd

  14. gotasté says:

    I love peppers and this recipe is awesome. I will definitely give it a try 🙂

  15. Great photo and a great post, they look and sound delicious. We haven’t made Stuffed Peppers in ages. Thanks for the idea and the recipe. We will give it a try soon.

  16. 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!

  17. 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…

  18. mmmarzipan says:

    They look amazing to me! Delicious!

  19. Francesca says:

    Thank you so much, Miss Marzipan! 🙂

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