Peppers with a slight kick to them, like the cubanellas or banana peppers, are wonderful for this dish. You can serve the peppers alone or with a side of rigatoni, dressed with some of the sauce from the stuffed-pepper baking dish, grated Pecorino Romano cheese, and a drizzle of olive oil. This is a favorite dish at Becco.
- 1/3 cup Arborio rice
- 8 cubanella or banana peppers, each about 6-inches long
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 8 ounces ground meat (preferably a mix of beef, pork and veal)
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup grated Grana Padano cheese
- 3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
- 3 cups tomato sauce
Cook the Arborio rice in a large saucepan of salted water until al dente, about 12 minutes. Drain and cool to room temperature.
While the rice is cooking, preheat the oven to 400 degrees, prepare the peppers, and start the filling. Cut the stems from the peppers and scrape out the seeds and membranes with a teaspoon. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook, stirring until wilted, about 4 minutes. Scrape the onion into a mixing bowl, add the ground meat, egg, grated cheese, parsley, oregano, and cooked rice, and stir together until evenly blended.
Divide the filling among the peppers, using about ¼ cup to fill each pepper loosely. Rub the outside of the peppers lightly with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, placing them in a baking dish as you do so. Roast the peppers, turning once of twice with tongs, until softened and lightly browned in spots, about 20 minutes.
Pour in enough of the tomato sauce barely to cover the peppers. Cover the dish with foil and bake until the peppers are tender and the filling is cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove and let stand 10 minutes before serving.