This recipe will stuff about 8 – 10 medium sized peppers.
5-6 sweet Italian sausage links removed from casings
2 Tbs butter
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 stalks of celery finely chopped
1 medium sweet onion finely chopped
2 tsp crushed peperoncino
¼ cup crushed tomato with basil
1½ cups (approximate) cooked rice
20 oz additional crushed tomato ( approximate)
4-5 Tbs Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
¼-½ cup grated cheese of choice for topping
Begin with the peppers.
Bring water to boil in a large stock pot.
Take the peppers and cut the tops off as high as possible on the pepper, carefully remove the seeds and white ribs from the inside. If the peppers are too tippy cut a very little slice from the bottom so they sit upright. Place the peppers into the boiling water and blanch for about two minutes. If all the peppers can’t be submerged at once, boil in batches. Once blanched remove from the water to a colander to drain and cool.
In a sauté pan that is not non-stick begin to cook the celery and onion and garlic until softened. Add the sausage and cook breaking up the sausage with a fork or knife until you have very small pieces of sausage that are almost completely cooked. Add the ¼ cup of crushed tomato and the pepper flakes and cook for a few more minutes.
In a separate bowl place the rice and stir to break up any clumps. Add the cooked sausage mixture combine and then begin to add additional crushed tomato until you have a moist well combined mixture. Add the Parmesan. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Fill the peppers with the stuffing and place in a baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Bake in the center of the oven covered for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle grated cheese of your choice over the top of each pepper, you can use Parmesan, Mozzerella, Provolone, Asiago or what ever you feel will go . Bake an additional 15- 30 minutes until the cheese is melted, the peppers are soft, and the stuffing is hot.
Serve as is or with sour cream or creme fraiche on the side.