If you’re enjoying a three-day weekend right now, you have your favorite Italian to thank for that. No, not The Situation – Cristoforo Colombo! (Ok. It’s not St. Patrick’s Day or Cinco de Mayo, but for us real-life Italian Stallions, Columbus Day is as legit of a holiday as we’re going to get). So, besides an extra night of shots at the bar, why not celebrate with an easy twist on an Italian favorite–sausage and peppers!
The Ingredient: Sweet Peppers
These are one of the most versatile vegetables in any pantry. Sliced, they make a great pair with carrot sticks to dip in hummus or ranch for a snack. They’re spectacular when grilled with a lick of butter or olive oil and slapped on a sandwich. And toss ’em in any stir fry or omelet for extra crunch. What makes the pepper so nutritious? With more than a full day’s worth of vitamins A and C, they’re poppin’ with free-radical fighting antioxidants.
The Recipe: Stuffed Peppers with Sausage
These stuffed peppers are loaded with flavor and will keep well in the fridge for a few days.
1 pound sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
1/4 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
1 large egg
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
4 pats of butter
4 small to medium-size red bell peppers, tops removed and seeded
1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Mix first 8 ingredients in large bowl until well blended. Fill pepper with sausage mixture, dividing equally and mounding slightly.
2. Liberally rub the outside of each pepper with butter.
3. Sit each pepper on a piece of aluminum foil and push the sides in around the pepper, forming a base to keep the pepper upright and steady.
4. Place the peppers on a greased baking sheet. Cook until tops are browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the filling registers 165°F, about 1/2 an hour. Transfer peppers to platter, allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then sit yourself down for a family dinner, Jersey Shore style.
Or, you know, enjoy ’em.