Italian Stuffed Bell Peppers

Posted by francis keyser Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Taste Level: VGR
Cost: $20 and under
Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 15-20 min.
Cook Time: 40-45 min.
Difficulty: 1

I went to make some stuffed Bell peppers for Zo and I to have for lunch and realized we were out of Boudin! Bummer! I was really craving them and had already told Zo that is what we were having. I looked at what we had in the cabinets and refrigerator and settled on trying to make Italian themed stuffed bell peppers. I feel the best stuffed bell peppers are made with Boudin and pepper jack cheese, I started thinking about what my favorite part of Boudin was and I decided it was the rice's texture. I cooked up some Orzo to take the place of the rice and really just tossed together ingredients as I went. While Boudin stuffed bell peppers remain my favorite,these babies were super tasty!

Ingredients:
4-5 bell peppers (cut in half, seed and stems removed)
1 lb spicy Italian ground sausage
1/4 cup Orzo
1 cup sweet onion (chopped)
2-3 cloves garlic (minced, 1 1/2 tsp)
1 cup button mushrooms (sliced)
1 tbsp Italian bread crumbs
1 1/2 tsp Romano (grated)
1 1/2 tsp Parmesan (grated)
1/4 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
10 fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups fresh mozzarella (grated)
1 tbsp sweet European butter
fresh crack pepper (to taste)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small sauce pan add 2-3 cups water and Orzo. Place over high heat and bring to boil. Cook for 7 minutes stirring occasionally, then remove from heat and strain.

While orzo is boiling. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once butter is melted cook onions, garlic and mushrooms until onions are translucent (7 minutes.)

In a medium mixing bowl fold together Italian sausage, Orzo, mushrooms, onions, garlic, parsley bread crumbs, Romano and Parmesan till mixed well.

Pack the inside of bell peppers tightly with stuffing and place on baking. Bake peppers for 40 minutes. Remove peppers from oven top with cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is fully melted.

Remove from oven and serve warm topped with fresh basil leaves.

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