Sausage and Risotto Stuffed Peppers
When told that we planned on stuffed peppers, Nanny replied, “Oh, delicious!” Puzzled by this since Nanny never made these for Robin as a child, Nanny admitted that she never cared for them herself. Since husband and sons liked stuffed peppers, she made them quite often, just not often enough for Robin to have had any. In this recipe, partially adapted from Nanny’s instructions, we combine leftover mushroom risotto with sausage and use this as a stuffing for a braised stuffed pepper dish served with pasta and tomato sauce.
Italian sweet, fully cooked
2 green, 1 red
salt & pepper
dried penne rigate
We start by heating our Dutch oven over medium heat with the oil. We chop our sausage and add it to the hot oil. We brown it on all sides, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. We add the mushroom risotto and 2 tablespoons of the tomato sauce and stir to combine. We dump this mixture into a large bowl. We lower the heat on our Dutch oven to low and add the rest of the tomato sauce, scraping up the browned bits.
We cut the tops off the green and red peppers and then cut each in half, removing the seeds and ribs. We divide the stuffing mixture between the 6 halves of peppers.
We raise the temperature on our tomato sauce and add the stuffed peppers. The peppers just fit and the sauce covers three quarters of each pepper – just enough so they can braise. When the sauce is bubbling around the peppers, we cover, and reduce the heat again. We cook for an hour, checking every 20 minutes or so that the sauce is simmering and the peppers are getting tender.
About half an hour before the peppers are ready, we put a large pot of water on the stove over high heat to cook the pasta.
When the peppers are almost ready, we add the dried pasta to the boiling water, with a good pinch of salt, and stir. We cook according to the package directions, tasting towards the end so the pasta is just al dente. We drain in a colander, reserving ¼ cup of the pasta cooking liquid.
We remove the stuffed peppers to a platter, add the reserved pasta water to thin the sauce a bit, and re-season the sauce. We combine with 3 cups of the cooked pasta (the rest is for the children) and serve with the peppers.