I received these perfect red peppers in my CSA shipment last week and knew immediately that I had to make stuffed peppers. This is a family favorite and is so easy to make. It seems fancy which makes it perfect to serve for company or just to surprise the family on a school night.
Long Red Peppers - you can also use Cubanelle Peppers
1 pound Italian Sausage or the sausage of your choice
1 slice of bread (hey this is a good time to use some of that leftover bread that you have been storing in the freezer!)
1/4 cup pine nuts
1T milk or cream
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
3/4 bag of baby spinach (good way to get in the veggies)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
More Parmesan to serve
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium low heat and put in the spinach (no oil). Cook until just wilted. Take out of pan, cool slightly and coarsely chop.
In a bowl, slightly beat the egg. Add bread and soak. Add milk or cream and grated Parmesan. Then add in the spinach, sausage and pine nuts. Mix together well with hands.
Cut the peppers lengthwise and take out the seeds. With you hands, stuff each half. Heat 1T olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. Place the peppers, stuffing side down and cook for 5-8 minutes. You should have a nice crust. It might be a bit difficult to turn over. I normally use a spatula and a pair of tongs to help. If the stuffing comes out a bit - no worries...just stuff it back in.
Cook for another 5 minutes with the pepper side down. Then add the chicken broth and tomato sauce and simmer for 5-8 minutes. Peppers should be soft but not mushy and stuffing should be cooked.
The Italian Sausage adds a lot more flavor without having to put in a lot of additional spices. You can add salt and pepper to taste. For this batch, I used Benton's housemade pork sausage and it was great!
Place one or two peppers on a plate. Spoon some sauce over the top and served with grated Parmesan.
Make ahead idea: I made these on Sunday but was not planning to serve until Wednesday. On Wednesday evening around 6pm, I placed them in a crockpot along with the sauce. I couldn't put them down on one layer so I just placed the added ones on top of each other and poured the sauce over the top. I set the crockpot to cook on low and when we ate at 7:30, they were warm. It beat having to watch them over the stove. And while the just made version have a bit of crunch, these were just as tasty.