Prep 40 mins
Cook 1 hr 20 mins
Adapted from a recipe by KASM75 at allrecipes.com. A little spicy, a little creamy. Substitute orzo for the rice, or leave out the rice and the bell peppers and use as pasta sauce.
- 1⁄2 cup uncooked white rice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1⁄4 cup minced carrot
- 1⁄4 cup minced onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced fine
- 1⁄4 lb pancetta or 1⁄4 lb lightly smoked bacon, diced
- 3⁄4 lb lean ground beef
- 1 1⁄2 cups prepared marinara sauce
- 1⁄4 cup red wine
- 1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1⁄3 cup heavy cream
- 1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 6 large red bell peppers, stems and seeds removed and cut in half lengthwise
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a saucepan bring water to a boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until tender and fluffy; set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Sauté carrots and onion until tender, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add pancetta or bacon and sauté until crispy. Add ground beef and sauté until browned; drain off any excess liquid and return to heat. Add marinara sauce, wine, and red pepper flakes, and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in cream, half of the Parmesan cheese, and rice. Simmer 5 minutes more, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Place peppers in a shallow baking dish, and fill with beef mixture. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and top with remaining Parmesan cheese.
- Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Serve hot.
I set out to find a recipe to use up an abundance of red peppers I had in the fridge and this is one that I chose. I followed the instructions exactly but substituted a few items (turkey for beef, fat-free half-and-half for cream, brown rice for white rice and shredded Parmesan for the grated stuff). The entire family gave it great reviews across the board. I like the little kick that the red pepper flakes add to the sauce and I will be adding them to my usual recipe from now on. I am also a fan of the huge amount of hidden veggies in this recipe and I think I will double the amount of carrots and possibly add some grated zucchini next time I make it. The depth of the sauce is great and all of the elements (spicy, sweet, savory, creamy) balance out wonderfully. I'm not sure if it was the Parmesan pair with the marinara, but my son and husband said that the taste reminded them of Pizza Hut pizza. All in all, it was an excellent recipe and I will absolutely make it again. (Made for Bargain Basement tag)