Cookin' ATVS Style: Italian-Style Stuffed Bell Peppers

Back after a brief, if regrettable, absence.

I love a good stuffed bell pepper, and so does Wifey. While a good seafood stuffing is always my first choice, she got this recipe from Spoonful.com, and I have to say it came out pretty good.

Ingredients:

6 large red or green peppers, rinsed (we worked in some yellow for variety -- honestly, I would use all green, the flavors of the red and yellow don't add much)
1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup long-grain white rice
1 1/4 cups chicken or beef broth
3/4 cup diced tomato (fresh or canned)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper, to taste
1/3 cup grated Parmesan, plus a little extra for garnish
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 cups of your favorite jarred pasta sauce

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375.

2. Slice the tops off of the peppers and clean out the seeds/ribs, setting the pepper bits you cut off to the side and dicing them. Do your best to make a level top, cutting at an angle if need be to compensate for how uneven bell peppers can be underneath.

3. To cook the peppers, you can either or steam them peppers for 8 minutes in a colander, or parboil them in a little bit of water.

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4. Combine the reserved diced pepper, onion, garlic and grown beef in a large skillet and brown until the meat is cooked.

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5. Drain as much fat as you can from the pan, then add the rice, broth, tomato, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, basil, salt, and pepper. Bring that mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer it, still covered until the liquid reduces and is completely absorbed. covered, for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat and let it stand for 15 to 20 minutes.

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6. Stir in the egg and 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese.

7. Lightly grease a large baking pan or casserole dish and pour in 2 1/2 cups of the tomato sauce.

8. Stuff each pepper with about 3/4 of a cup of the filling mixture, and place in the pan. Make sure you have some even spacing, and sauce around each pepper.

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9. Spread a spoonful of the remaining tomato sauce on the tops of each pepper, cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes, or until they're all completely heated through.

10. Sprinkle the tops with a little leftover cheese and serve. Makes 6 servings.

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