Tonight was a stop in Italy. Although stuffed peppers are not an inherently Italian dish (sshhh, don’t tell my Grandma!), this version certainly tasted like it was straight from the old country! The addition of the parmesan cheese and using spaghetti sauce versus plain tomato sauce made all the difference. This is my new official stuffed pepper recipe!
Italian Stuffed Peppers (adapted from Lunch with Lynn)
4 large bell peppers
1 cup cooked rice
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 large vidalia onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce (I used homemade that I had in the freezer)
Shredded mozzarella cheese
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Cut the tops off of peppers and clean out seeds and membranes. Place in baking dish that has a small amount of water on the bottom (it will keep the peppers from sticking and keep them moist).
3. Brown the ground beef with the onion and garlic, crumbling the meat. Season with salt, pepper and a couple of dashes of Italian seasoning. Drain beef mixture.
4. Mix beef mixture, rice, parmesan cheese and almost all of spaghetti sauce in a bowl. Stuff an equal amount of filling into each pepper. Top with a spoonful of sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on each pepper.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and continue to bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
**What I Would Do Differently**
The peppers were still pretty raw when they came out of the oven, so next time I would boil them quickly to get them started before stuffing them and baking them.