INGREDIENTS :

FILLING

  • 6 large bell peppers (I suggest red, followed by orange and yellow)
  • 1 pound Hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 2 tsp dried
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 2 tsp dried
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons bref bouillant (see notes)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, more or less to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp EACH salt, pepper

ADD LATER

  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup cooked and cooled brown rice (may sub long grain white rice slightly undercooked)
  • 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, divided

PREPARATION:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the very tops off the peppers (about ¼-inch) and reserve the tops. Remove the seeds and membranes and discard. Chop the tops of the peppers to add to the filling (I use my food processor to chop the bell pepper tops, carrots, and onions)
  • Add peppers to a backing dish, cut side up. Brush or spray the inside of each pepper with olive oil. Roast the peppers for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make the filling.
  • In a large dutch venor large pot, brown sausage, onion, carrots and chopped bell pepper tops over medium heat until the onions are tender. Add garlic and red pepper flakes (if using) and cook 60 more seconds. Drain grease.
  • Add all remaining Filling ingredients up to “Add Later” (don’t add rice/cheeses) and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until quite thick.
  • Stir in Parmesan cheese followed by the rice.
  • Turn the bell peppers over to remove any excess moisture that may have accumulated when roasting, then return right side up. Spoon half the filling evenly into the roasted peppers. Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat by filling the peppers with the remaining filling and top evenly with remaining mozzarella.
  • Pour just enough water into the pan around the peppers to barely cover the bottom of the pan. Cover with foil and bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 400 degrees F, until the peppers are fork tender to your liking and the cheese is melted. Top with fresh parsley. Serve hot.

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