Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Italian Stuffed Peppers

Why is this a Foodgasm? Growing up with Grandpa's Italian cooking this was a staple, it just brings you back if you are of Italian decent. Combine the sweetness of red bell peppers and fill with a cheesy savory and that garlic-y rice stuffing, top that with a beautifully sweet and simple marina AND cheese... well come on that is just "cielo" or heaven in italian!

Since there is stuffing left over when I made these... this is a 5 point Foodgasm!

What you need:
1/2 pound ground turkey
4 large Red Bell Peppers
1 zucchini
3/4 cup baby carrots
1 medium onion
1/2 cup mushrooms
4 garlic cloves
5 basil leaves
4 sprigs of oregano
2 cups brown rice (2 bags instant brown rice)
2 cups marinara sauce (recipe by Fabio Viviani below)
1 1/3 cups shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup part skim ricotta
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp sherry
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

The Perfect Tomato Sauce Recipe by Fabio Viviani Cook time: 10 Minutes Yield: 2 Cups of Sauce 

INGREDIENTS 6 cloves garlic 6 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 28 oz can of whole plum tomatoes (packed in only tomato juice) salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste 3-4 leaves fresh basil for garnish 

Method: Smash 6 cloves of garlic with the back of a knife. Over medium heat, cook garlic in 3 Tbsp. of EVOO until golden brown. Add tomatoes and generous pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until thick (about 8 to 10 minutes) and is no longer watery in consistency. Add 3 more Tbsp. more of EVOO, turn to higher heat. Crush tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon. Cook until the oil turns red. This will tell you the sauce is done! 

How to do it:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut Red Peppers in half- seed and remove core as well as stem. In a food processor, chop all veggies and herbs (onions, zucchini, mushrooms, garlic, oregano and basil) nice and fine.  Add olive oil, veggies and turkey meat into a medium frying pan and saute' until meat is cooked.  Then add some sherry to pump up the fla In a medium sauce pan bring water to a boil and add the 2 bags of instant brown rice (takes about 5 minutes to cook). In a large bowl combine rice, veggie and meat mixture, parmesan and ricotta. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to your liking. Add some marinara to the bottom of baking pan, then stuff each half pepper with the rice mixture and top with marinara and mozzarella cheese. So filling and delicious!

Tip:  I did not have Pignoli nuts at the time, but these would make an excellent addition to the recipe, though it would add to to points value of the meal.