Stuffed Bell Peppers
with Italian Spices, Orzo, Mozzarella Cheese
Cozy kid friendly meal for the Fall!
With the greater availability of milder tasting bell peppers Stuffed Bell Peppers have found a place among the most popular home cooked meals. There are many recipe variations throughout the world. This recipe stays very close to the American cuisine with a few changes; including, orzo replacing the typical white rice and milder red and yellow bell peppers used along with the traditional stronger less sweet tasting green.
Amazing colors of Fall.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
This will provide 6 stuffed bell peppers
1/2 Cup uncooked orzo-cook according to directions for al dente except turn heat off in last two minutes of cooking time, then drain and set aside
6 Medium sized bell peppers-your choice, yellow, red or green-remove *tops and seeds, rinse and set aside
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Yellow onion-chopped
2 Medium carrots-peeled and diced
2 Cloves of garlic minced
1 Pound lean (not extra lean) ground beef
15 Ounce can chopped tomatoes-Roma tomatoes if possible
8 Ounce can tomato sauce
1/2 Teaspoon Italian seasonings
Salt and Pepper to taste
6 Ounces of mozzarella cheese-small cubes (grate about 1/3 cup for sprinkling)
1/4 Cup grated Parmesan for sprinkling
1 tablespoon minced parsley for garnish (optional)
The bell peppers in this recipe were not precooked and the outcome is al dente. If your family prefers less firmness to the bell peppers place them in boiling salted water for about 7-10 minutes. Remove them immediately from the water and drain.
Sauté the onion with the carrots in the olive oil over medium heat until onion is limp and the carrots are just beginning to soften. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.
Add the hamburger to the onion mixture and brown lightly. Drain the fat from the pan.
Add the tomatoes, sauce, spices. Heat through and then taste for salt and pepper need. Remove from heat. Add the orzo and mix thoroughly.
Salt the inside of the bell peppers and place into a greased baking dish allowing a tiny bit of space between each pepper. If the bell pepper doesn’t set up straight slice a bit off the bottom to make it even.
Place a spoon of meat mixture in the bottom of each pepper and then add a few cubes of mozzarella cheese. Layer again and then end with a spoonful of the meat mixture.
Sprinkle each with a little of both grated cheeses.
Bake for 30 minutes. *Tops (previously removed) can be placed on the top of each stuffed pepper before baking for a different look.
Garnish with parsley or not.
Orzo Stuffed Bell Peppers for dinner tonight.