The turkey isn’t the only thing that can be stuffed come Thanksgiving. If you’re looking for something fun and different to serve on the holiday, here’s one idea: a hearty dish of stuffed peppers like we make on our culinary vacations in Abruzzo. Just as stuffing recipes vary in the U.S., so too do stuffed pepper recipes in Italy. Stuffed pepper recipes are often passed down from generation to generation, and are often informed by what’s available in the region.
For the green Italian land of Abruzzo, the stuffed peppers here are still hearty, but they’re also considered a light stuffing compared to other recipes you’ll find. It’s also a flexible recipe too: add what’s in season! (In Abruzzo that often means using ingredients like eggplant, zucchini, and mushrooms).
This particular recipe comes from one of the chefs of our Culinary Quest in Vasto culinary vacations in Abruzzo and serves four people. So multiply the recipe as necessary for your Thanksgiving feast!
Italian-Style Stuffed Peppers
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Cook method: Bake
- 4 medium peppers
- 200 grams (about 7 oz) mince meat (or sweet Italian sausage)
- 100 grams (abut 3.5 oz) Parmesan cheese (or Grana Padano or Pecorino)
- 1 egg
- 50 grams breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp basil, chopped
- Salt, according to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil
1. Start by cutting the peppers in half vertically. Remove all the seeds and pith from the peppers.
2. Blanch the peppers for five minutes in lightly salted boiling water, and then let them drain with their skin side up.
3. In a bowl, mix together the meat, egg, and breadcrumbs with parsley, basil, and 2 tablespoons of cheese. To this add a bit of salt. If the mixture appears a bit too stiff, add some milk.
4. On a greased baking sheet, lay the peppers on their backs. Now fill each of the peppers with the meat stuffing. The chef warns: don’t overstuff them!
5. Finish the peppers by sprinkling them with the rest of the cheese and breadcrumbs, then drizzle it all with oil.
6. Bake the stuffed peppers in the oven at 180°C (or 350°F) until they start to soften and the stuffing turns a golden brown.
The chef recommends serving either hot or cold, but either way it goes wonderfully with a salad, making it a great start to your meal.
Want to learn more about the cuisine and recipes of Abruzzo? Our Culinary Quest in Vasto cooking vacation introduces travelers to a wide range of flavors given Vasto’s location on the coast. Dine on seafood dishes, as well as wonderful pastas and meats, all while discovering one of the greenest parts of Italy.
By Liz Hall
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