Thursday, January 14, 2010

Orzo Stuffed Peppers

This is a Giada De Laurentiis recipe that I had to try because I recently discovered that I love its two main ingredients: yellow peppers and orzo. I've made this twice now, and the first time it was fantastic and I ate the leftover filling for days...but the second time it let me down a little bit and I wasn't as enamored. The only thing I did different was use a different kind of Italian sausage (which isn't even called for in the recipe, I just thought it would be a good addition), so maybe that's what made the difference. Guess I'll have to make it a third time to decide if its going to be a keeper!

*Photo from

Orzo Stuffed Peppers
from Giada De Laurentiis


1 (28-ounce) can Italian tomatoes
2 zucchini, grated
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (I used basil instead of mint)
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano, plus more for sprinkling (I used Parmesan)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
6 sweet bell peppers (red or yellow)
*My addition - 1 lb. hot Italian sausage, cooked, crumbled, and drained


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Pour the tomatoes into a large bowl and break apart using a pair of kitchen shears or your finger tips. Add the zucchini, mint, cheese, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper (and Italian sausage). Stir to combine.

3. Meanwhile, bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the orzo and cook for 4 minutes. The orzo should be only partially cooked. Use a fine mesh sieve to transfer the orzo to the large bowl with the other vegetables. Stir the orzo into the vegetable mix to combine. Transfer the warm chicken broth to a 3-quart baking dish.

4. Slice the tops off the peppers and remove all ribs and seeds. Cut a very thin slice from the base to help the peppers stand up.

5. Place the peppers in the baking dish with the warm chicken broth. Spoon the orzo mixture into the peppers. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle the top of each pepper with cheese and continue baking until the cheese is golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, carefully transfer the orzo stuffed pepper to a serving plate.

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