A friend told me that it has rained 20 out of the past 22 days. It’s dreary and damp and you need a nice comforting meal on a day like today. This morning I pulled out Lidia’s Italian American Kitchencookbook for some inspiration for tonight’s supper. I came across her recipe for Meat-Stuffed Peppers. This recipe is different from both my mother and mother-in-law’s as it calls for cubanella or banana peppers and meat filling using a combination of beef, veal and pork. It sounded delicious.
I picked up the peppers at my local food store and then headed over to Pastosa Ravioli for my ground meat. They had the beef, veal pork combination already pre-packaged in roughly one-pound packages. However, since I only needed 8 ounces, they were kind enough to make me a smaller package. I also needed more Arborio rice, which Pastosa also carries (in either one- or two-pound packages.)
It took me approximately 30 minutes to prep and get the peppers in the oven. The peppers initially bake for 20 minutes stuffed, without tomato sauce. After 20 minutes, the peppers are pulled from the oven and are barely covered with tomato sauce. I cheated a bit today as I had a jar of Lidia’s Marinara sauce in my pantry. The ingredients in the jar sauce were almost exactly like her recipe in the same cookbook as the stuff peppers, minus the crushed red pepper. I baked my lightly sauced peppers for 30 additional minutes and they came out perfect.
I did enjoy Lidia’s recipe better than our mothers. Using a cubanella pepper with the thin-flesh was a better choice than a bell pepper. The result gave you a much tender pepper. The combination of the three meats had a nice soft texture, but wasn’t mushy. I prefer the rice over bread crumbs as a binder and par cooking also makes a difference in the texture of the filling, it has a nice bite, and not dense. Overall, this was a terrific choice this evening.
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.