Stuffed peppers aren’t exactly a call to bring sexy back. Actually, they may be one of the most unattractive recipes I have ever created. But at the end of the day, who cares how elegantly you have arranged your serving platter when in reality the fast paced and hungry herd about to descend upon your kitchen won’t even notice that extra perfect chiffonade of basil on top. So, forget about them. This one is for your taste buds. Those happy little flavor sensors craving something packed with seasoning, jammed with flavor, and stuffed with good cooking. The only thing that matters right now is whether or not you like the food.
Forget plating and garnish. Forget about sexy food. Screw Ina and her table arrangements. These Slow Cooker Italian Stuffed Peppers are for your tongue, and it’s not judging based on looks. As a matter of fact, one bite of these stuffed peppers and you won’t care how pretty they aren’t.
- 1 onion, minced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- 1/4 teas red pepper flakes
- 4 peppers, large and varied - yellow, orange, red
- 1 slice good white bread, torn into pieces
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 12 oz Italian sausage, removed from casing
- 1 small zucchini, seeded and cut into 1/4" pieces
- 3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 3/4 cup cooked rice
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbs fresh basil, minced
- In a microwave safe bowl, microwave the onion, oil, tomato paste and red pepper flakes, about 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Cut 1/2" top off each pepper, removing the seeds and stems. Chop the tops up fine and reserve.
- In a large bowl, mash the bread with the milk and the back of a fork until combined. Mix in the onion mixture and chipped pepper tops. Add the sausage, zucchini, Monterey Jack cheese, rice, Parmesan, and season well with salt and pepper. Mix the filling well by hand and pack into the cored peppers.
- Pour 1/3 cup water into your slow cooker and arrange the stuffed peppers upright so that they will remain standing while cooking. Cover and cook about 4 to 6 hours on low, until the peppers are tender.
- Pick up the peppers carefully with tongs, and use a slotted spoon underneath to transfer to plates.
- Serve with fresh Parmesan cheese and basil on top.