Stuffed Peppers with Broken Meatballs and Rice

Try the meatballs from Rachael's Veal and Pork Meatballs with Mushroom Gravy and Egg Noodles if you don't have a favorite recipe of your own.

TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 35 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 1 hr 15 min
 
YIELD: s: 4 to 6 servings
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

  • 4 large bell peppers (any color)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO, plus more for drizzling
  • 6 plum tomatoes or small vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 fresh red chile pepper
  • 1 red or mild yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup orzo
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 20 to 24 small meatballs, coarsely crumbled
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups shaved or grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
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Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Halve the bell peppers lengthwise and remove the seeds. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with EVOO. Place the peppers cut-side down in a large casserole dish. Cut an X in the hull of each pepper and roast for 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, grate the tomatoes on the large holes of a box grater, discarding the skins. (You should have about 2 cups.) Grate the garlic, chile pepper and onion into the bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add a drizzle of EVOO and the thyme.

Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon EVOO in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the orzo and toast until golden and fragrant. Add half the tomato sauce and the rice and stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the stock and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the rice is tender, 17 to 18 minutes.

Combine the rice mixture, meatballs and 3/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano. Spoon the filling into the peppers and top with the remaining tomato sauce, the remaining cheese and a drizzle of EVOO. Bake until heated through and the tops are browned, about 45 minutes.

Cook's Note: The stuffed peppers can be covered and refrigerated for a make-ahead meal. Bring to room temperature before baking.
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