Stuffed Cubanelle Peppers and Radicchio Salad

         Tonight’s dinner uses some typical Italian ingredients that can be found pretty easily in your local grocery store.  It can be put together within an hour and is very tasty.  I started with a stuffed pepper recipe in Ciao Italia Pronto by Mary Ann Esposito and then made changes and additions according to what I like.  Here’s my version of the recipe. Actually, I make different substitutions each time I make this, according to what I have on hand and what my taste buds are wanting.  So try this out and then change things up if you want to. 

            
                                These are cubanelle peppers in case you’re not familiar with them.

     Stuffed Cubanelle Peppers

6 cubanelle peppers
1 cup Arborio rice
14 oz. can chicken broth
1# Italian sausage, casings removed
1/2 cup diced roasted red or yellow peppers
3/4 – 1 cup shredded Fontinella cheese ( Provolone is also delicious )
1/4 – 1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
Coarse black pepper to taste
2 tblsp. extra-virgin olive oil

        Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Use olive oil to lightly grease a baking dish that will fit all of the peppers.  Put rice and broth in a small pan and bring to a boil.  Lower heat to med-low, cover, and cook about 15 min., until al dente (cooked through but still firm). Place in a bowl to cool a little. 
        While rice is cooking, cook sausage in a little olive oil until well browned.  Cut tops off of peppers and reserve.  Scoop out the seeds and membranes.  Poke a little hole in the bottom of each with a toothpick to help prevent splitting when they bake.
         Add the cooked sausage, peppers, cheeses, parsley, basil, salt, pepper, and 1 tblsp. of the olive oil to the rice.  Mix well and stuff into the peppers.  Place in baking dish and replace tops of peppers.  Spoon any remaining rice around peppers and drizzle the remaining 1 tblsp. olive oil over the whole thing.  Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 30 min.  Uncover and bake for another 15 min. or until tender.

       Now for the salad………..I just threw this together one night when I didn’t have any green leaf lettuce in the fridge and decided it was a keeper.

Radicchio Salad

1 head radicchio, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced

Extra-virgin olive oil
White balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

Toasted walnuts
Pecorino Romano cheese

       Mix the radicchio and celery in a bowl.  Add olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste and toss. Add the walnuts and toss again.  Shave the cheese over the top with a vegetable peeler.  Pass more cheese for people to shave over their salad if they would like.

    I hope you try some of these recipes and let me know what you think.  I’d love to hear your comments. 

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