Monday, December 30, 2019

Nani's Italian Stuffed Peppers

Don't we all have certain foods that bring us back to a time long ago, or make us think of a special loved one?  Nani's Stuffed Peppers is that dish for my hubby.  These stuffed peppers evoke memories of his Italian grandmother, Nani. They are authentic Italian stuffed peppers that make a perfect family-friendly dinner.

Authentic Italian Stuffed Peppers

Italian Stuffed Pepper
Nani's Italian Stuffed Peppers
Hubby loved these peppers so much that he was determined to learn how to make them.   Years ago, early in our marriage, he called Nani and asked her to show him how to make the stuffed peppers. He wanted to be sure the recipe would be passed on in the family.

Nani's Authentic Italian Stuffed Peppers
Like so many recipes our grandmothers used to make, this recipe was not written down. He watched her make the stuffed peppers making note of quantities. A handful of this and a pinch of that have been translated into the recipe you see on this page.

Hubby proudly makes these peppers at our house.  This is his specialty recipe.  He makes them often in the fall and winter of the year.  They are served for dinner about once a week during the cold weather seasons of the year.  We freeze them so that we always have stuffed peppers on hand.

I have never paid close attention to how these peppers were made.  After all, these stuffed peppers are Hubby's specialty.   Last weekend, I suggested to him that we make a batch of these peppers together, and that's what we did.  He also agreed to share this recipe with all of you.

Nani's Stuffed Peppers

Printer Friendly Recipe

 Makes 20 servings
Italian Stuffed Pepper Ingredients
Italian Stuffed Pepper Ingredients
  • 10 red bell peppers, cut in half
  • 2 medium eggplants, peeled and large diced
  • 2 medium yellow squash, diced
  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 loaf sliced white bread, blended into crumbs
  • dried basil, a handful 
  • dried parsley, a handful
  • 6 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Peel and dice the eggplant.  Dice the squash.  Heat 1/2 cup of olive oil in a large deep-sided pan.  Add the squash and eggplant, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and saute until tender.  Add additional olive oil if needed to keep vegetables from sticking to the pan. Remove the eggplant and squash from the pan and set aside to cool.

The mixture will look like this.

Cooked squash and eggplant
The Cooked Eggplant and Squash
To the same pan add the ground beef, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.  Cook the beef until lightly browned.  Drain the fat from the beef and allow the beef to cool slightly.
When cooled return the drained beef to the pan.  Add the squash and eggplant mixture and stir to combine.  Add the eggs, cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, basil, and tomato sauce.

Stir to combine.  Add water, as necessary to ensure the mixture is moist.  You want the mixture to hold together.

Italian stuffed peppers stuffing mix.
The Stuffing Mixture

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Stuff each pepper half with the mixture.

When freezing your peppers for later: Wrap each filled pepper individually in plastic wrap and then place in a freezer bag for up to three months.

To Bake:  Place the peppers in a baking dish.  Drizzle generously with olive oil.  Bake uncovered until the stuffing mixture is browned and crusty and the peppers are tender.

Italian stuffed peppers
Italian Stuffed Peppers Ready for the Oven
Sometimes I make a spicier version of this recipe.  You can find my spicy stuffed peppers here. 

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