Happy Monday, my friends! Things are starting to get a little hectic for us, although I’m always surprised how much back-to-school affects me as an adult with no children…anyone else with me? In any case, what I absolutely need to start the week right is a delicious, from scratch dinner- making it gives me a sense of purpose and familiarity, and I get so much comfort from eating food I prepare for myself…especially if it involves red sauce and cheese!
Although our regular Taco Tuesdays really highlight my love for Tex-Mex, I always prefer to make stuffed peppers with an Italian influence. This recipe is insanely delicious, and actually surprisingly fast and easy. If you wanted an even faster version, you are more than welcome to sub in some jarred sauce for the tomatoes- still delicious, but probably ten minutes faster. In either case, I recommend serving these stuffed peppers with a tossed side salad and some crusty bread for mopping up the sauce- a sign of comfort food at its finest 🙂
Italian Stuffed Poblano Peppers
– 4 poblano peppers
– 8 oz sausage or ground pork (you can use two or three links of Italian sausage, if you’re so inclined, or part of some prepackaged sausage)
– 2 carrots
– 2 stalks celery
– ¼ fennel bulb (totally optional, but definitely recommended- It won’t taste like licorice, I promise!)
– ½ onion
– 2 cloves garlic
– 28 oz whole tomatoes
– ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
– ½ cup mozzarella cheese
Prepare the peppers: I like to broil my peppers, but you could also roast over a gas flame (I’ve definitely done this) or grill…on the grill. To broil, preheat your broiler and spritz the peppers with cooking spray. Place under the broiler until lightly browned on one side, and then turn and broil until lightly browned and blistered on the other side. Remove from the broiler and set to the side to cool while you make your sauce.
Prepare the sauce: Brown the sausage or pork on medium heat. While that’s cooking, peel the carrots, and dice the carrots, celery, fennel and onion, and mince the garlic. Once the sausage is browned, add the chopped vegetables to the pan and saute until the carrots are slightly softened, about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, then add the can of tomatoes. At this point, cover the pan and allow to simmer for about five minutes. Once they’ve softened a bit, mash the tomatoes with a fork (or a potato masher) and stir into the sauce. Cover again, and allow to cook for about ten more minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese. Taste, and add some kosher salt if needed.
Stuff the peppers: Slice the tops of the peppers off, and use a spoon to remove the seeds and membranes (everything should be pretty soft, so this should only require a spoon or your hands- but be gentle!). Using a spoon or your hands, gently stuff the peppers with the meat, veggie and cheese mixture, and set on a baking sheet. Top each pepper with a generous amount of shredded parmesan, and bake at 400 for 7-10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly. Serve with any extra sauce on the side!