Grandma Cocciolo's Old-Fashioned Stuffed Peppers
My Grandma was an incredible cook and one of her most well-known dishes were her stuffed peppers. Truth be told, we even froze her last batch when she passed away because like her, the peppers were treasured.
Stuffed peppers are one of those dishes where every family has its own unique version. I didn't know until recently that some people put rice in their stuffed peppers because my Grandma's didn't have it and my mom's, who based her recipe on my Grandma's, don't either.
This is my twist on Grandma Cocciolo's stuffed peppers. I remember watching my Grandma cook but the recipes aren't written down. My Italian recipes are twists on what I've learned from my mom, who learned from my Grandma and I remember watching and listening to my Grandma talk about how she would prepare dishes. Even though I was little at the time, believe it or not, I remember.
Ingredients: (this will make 6 stuffed peppers)
1 lb of ground beef
6 medium-sized bell peppers
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 tsp. water
2/3 cup of shaved parmesan cheese
1/4 cup of plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly grated black pepper
Remove the top of your bell peppers and clean out the inside so there are no loose pieces or seeds. Place them in a casserole dish.
Combine meat, egg, water, shaved parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and garlic powder. Do not over mix as this will make the meat tough. Fill each pepper with the mixture.
Pour can of crushed tomatoes over the peppers making sure to allow plenty of tomatoes to sink to the bottom of the casserole dish to surround the peppers. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the entire dish. Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese over the smothered stuffed peppers.
Cover the peppers with foil or the casserole dish cover and place in oven preheated to 320 degrees. Allow to cook for 2 and 1/2 hours. Every 30 minutes or so, use a spoon to cover the peppers with the crushed tomatoes from the bottom of the casserole dish.
Serve stuffed peppers with al dente pasta, using the crushed tomato drippings at the bottom of the casserole dish to top the pasta and peppers. Place additional grated parmesan cheese on the table for everyone to dress their plates themselves.
Final step: Eat and enjoy!
Let me know how you like these. This is one of my family's most traditional and favorite meals and I hope that they become a staple in your home. I've loved being able to make them for George, he's a fan now too. If I remember correctly, my Grandma used to allow these to cook in her homemade sauce on the stove as opposed to in the oven with crushed tomatoes. The great part about this variation is that the preparation is a little quicker. Please enjoy!
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