Italian Style Stuffed Peppers
- 4 -6 medium bell peppers (any color variety)
- 2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
FILLING (Also add the diced pepper from reserved steamed pepper tops)
- 1 cup cooked instant rice, fluffed
- 1 lb bulk Italian sausage, browned
- 25 ounces vegetarian marinara sauce, divided
- 4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 3 tablespoons black olives, sliced
TOPPING AND GARNISH
- 4 -6 tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- remaining marinara sauce, divided
- remaining parmesan cheese, divided
- 4 -6 whole olives or 4 -6 sliced olives, to garnish
- WASH bell peppers; REMOVE 1- 1 1/2 inch off pepper tops levelly using a knife (reserve tops); REMOVE seeds and ribs from peppers with a tea spoon; PREHEAT oven to 350°F.
- PREPARE your favorite recipe for quick-cooking rice, to yield 2 cups rice; BROWN 1 pound bulk Italian sausage in a skillet and drain fat.
- INTO a large pot (with an accompanying vegetable steamer basket set aside) combine 2 cups water, 3 tablespoons white vinegar, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning; INSERT steamer basket into pot; PLACE peppers cut-side down, along with pepper tops, into steamer insert in pot; COVER; BRING to boiling; BOIL for one minute; REDUCE heat to medium high. STEAM until tender yet firm (about 10 minutes).
- CAREFULLY remove peppers and tops from steamer basket using tongs and place onto onto paper towels to drain.
- DICE pepper tops around the stems (discard stems); STIR in the diced peppers and cooked sausage to cooked rice, along with 2 tablespoons of the parmesan cheese, and 3 tablespoons sliced black olives.
- POUR desired amount of marinara sauce into the rice/meat mixture to moisten; SEASON rice/meat mixture to taste with a little Italian seasoning and/or salt and pepper, if desired; BLEND.
- POUR enough marinara sauce into an 8 x 8 x 2 square baking dish, just to cover bottom; ARRANGE the steamed peppers upright in baking dish.
- STUFF peppers upright, mounding slightly, with the rice/meat mixture; POUR remaining marinara sauce over stuffed peppers.
- DIVIDE and distribute shredded mozzarella cheese over prepared peppers; SPRINKLE peppers with remaining parmesan cheese; TOP center of peppers with a whole black olive (or olive slice).
- BAKE peppers upright in a baking dish until heated through, about 10 minutes; SERVE and enjoy!