You won’t find an Italian American household which doesn’t produce a version of the ubiquitous stuffed peppers with ground beef and to be honest we weren’t always fans of the dish. Our dislike for stuffed peppers most likely emanated from bland, rice based, stuffings and semi cooked green, bell, peppers . However, stuffed peppers can be made well as well as be a star in your Italian American recipe arsenal with a few modifications and tweaks.
Our version of stuffed peppers with ground beef includes thin skinned Cubanella Peppers with a stuffing bursting with farro, local, grass feed, ground beef, grated cheese, good extra virgin olive oil, fennel seed, and a tomato sauce flavored by saffron broth.
- 4-5 large cubanella peppers (seeds removed and cut in half; lengthwise)
- ¼ pound of ground beef
- 1 pinch of saffron
- 1.5 cups of tomato sauce
- ¼ cup of farro
- ½ cup of water
- ¼ cup of grated cheese
- 1 large celery stalk, finely diced
- 1 large carrot, finely diced
- ½ red onion, finely diced
- 1 teaspoon of fennel seed
- olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- In a large pan, saute the ground beef and red onion in a bit of olive oil (for 5-10 minutes over medium heat making sure to break up the ground beef). Add the carrots and celery and mix well (cook for 5 minutes). Add salt, pepper, and fennel seed and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add extra olive oil, if necessary. In a separate pot, add the saffron and tomato sauce and bring to a low boil. Add the water and stir well.
- In yet another pot, prepare the farro (quick cook farro take about 10 minutes and is prepared like rice, standard farro takes 40-50 minutes so plan ahead). Once the farro is done add it the beef mixture and stir well.
- Cut the Cubanella Peppers in half and arrange in large bake pan. Stuff each pepper with the mixture making sure that each pepper gets a drizzle of olive oil, spoonful of tomato sauce, and grated cheese to finish. Laddle the remaining sauce into the baking pan. Bake covered for 35-40 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove aluminum foil and cook for another 5-10 minutes