My husband and I already had lasagna this week. But you see, I had bought ingredients to make some awhile ago…and now was stuck with what to do with them. My husband doesn’t mind ricotta–by that, I mean it’s not his favourite, but he’ll eat it. It’s not like parmesan, which he insists smells like barf. At least ricotta doesn’t have much of a smell–it’s the texture that weirds him out, I think. He won’t eat cottage cheese, either–FYI.
I started to look for some recipes featuring ricotta online, and found a really interesting one for stuffed peppers. However, it had a special risotto rice in the recipe, and a few other things that I didn’t have or, to be honest, didn’t want to use. So I kinda made it up as I went along.
- 4 small-medium peppers (I used red and yellow)
- 1 tub (or around 250g) ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese, chopped or grated (use parmesan if you want. I didn’t…see above about barf)
- 1/2 cup of chopped broccoli
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
- 1 small onion or 1/2 of a medium onion
- 30g or so of anchovies, chopped finely (if you don’t use this, add a fair amount of something salty…like salt)
- 1 tsp of dried basil
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp olive oil, or the oil from the anchovies tin, and some extra for drizzling
- ground black pepper
What I did with the ingredients:
- First, I preheated the oven to 200 degrees C (I have a fan oven, but if you don’t, bump up the temperature to 220).
- Lightly fry up the onion, garlic, broccoli, tomatoes, and anchovies until the onions are translucent.
- In a small bowl, mix together your ricotta, cheddar cheese, basil, oil, and vinegar. Add some pepper if you want. Then add the pan-fried veggies and mix thoroughly.
- Wash your peppers and then, off with their heads! Keep the tops, though, they make pretty hats and keep the filling in. Deseed and devein your peppers, then drizzle some olive oil over them. Pop them in a baking dish. I used a loaf pan with aluminium foil inside to hold them all up.
- Fill your peppers, and fill them good. Make sure you schmoosh it into the nooks and crannies at the bottom and heap it up a bit at the top. Lightly place the tops back on.
- Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Check on them. If you think they’re soft enough, then awesome. If not, give them another 5 minutes. Mine was in for 20 minutes and then rested in the oven soaking in the residual heat after I turned it off. They were soft, but with a bit of give still, and the tops were charred everso slightly.
These turned out DELICIOUS (own trumpet being blown). The insides were super creamy, but the anchovies made it really tangy as well, but not fishy tasting. I’m also glad I used the broccoli–it added a nice splash of green, and because they had been charred a bit in the frying pan, had a really nice flavour that worked surprisingly well with the anchovies.
I served these with spaghetti and a vegetarian Bolognese sauce with mushrooms.