Brr. It is downright chilly here tonight. Out come the winter pajamas!
At any given time, you will likely find red peppers, sweet Italian sausage and a jar of sun-dried tomatoes in my larder. Onions, garlic and cheese are givens, as important as milk and coffee. So when I found inspiration in The Magazine of La Cucina Italiana, I did not have to venture out for provisions.
The magazine features yellow bell peppers stuffed with ground beef and cheese. I used red peppers, sausage and olives. The recipe below is an adaptation.
Sweet Italian Sausage-Stuffed Red Peppers
One large onion, peeled and chopped
Three cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage
2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes from a jar, chopped
1/2 cup green and/or black olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup spaghetti sauce
4-6 red bell peppers
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon each rosemary and thyme, chopped
Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil; set aside. In same skillet, brown sausage, using a wooden spatula to cut into small pieces. Add herbes and, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and spaghetti sauce and allow to simmer about 20 minutes over low heat.
Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the tops and stem off the peppers. Set peppers on their sides and cut away roughly 1/4 of the pepper and removbe seeds and membrane. Place peppers in a greased baking pan. Set aside.
Add cheese to sausage mixture. Add beaten egg to serve as a binder. Finally, add rosemary and thyme. Spoon sausage mixture into peppers and bake at in a preheated 350-degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and top with Parmesan or other cheese (I used a mild cheddar infused with basil and tomato).
Allow peppers to cool 5-10 minutes before serving. This mildy herby and very sweet dish would be perfect paired with a rosé table wine, perhaps something from Provence.