Spontaneous Stuffed Peppers

OK, this dish wasn’t that spontaneous as it was on this week’s menu – but it was spontaneous in the sense that I made it up as I went along. And oh my god, was it fantastic.  So fantastic, in fact, that I only have photos of the leftovers because the actual meal was devoured almost as quickly as it came out of the oven.

Spontaneous Stuffed Peppers

Yeah, yeah, stuffed peppers – total 50s housewife stuff, right? What elevates these to the sublime – or as sublime as stuffed peppers can be – is a tin of really good tuna, crumbled Pan Gallego, and a generous dollop of mascarpone left over from some pasta thing we made last week. The following recipe made enough for two good-sized dinner portions and two smaller lunch portions, but that was entirely dependent on the size of the pepper and your determination in stuffing. We’ll be making these again soon.

Stuffed Peppers E Style

4 medium-sized bell peppers
1 medium onion, finely diced
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3.5 oz can good tuna in oil – do not drain
2 slices of hearty bread, shredded, or 1 cup bread crumbs
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-2 oz cheese of your choice

Preheat your oven to 450. Remove the tops and seeds of the peppers and place them open-side up in a pan that is big enough to hold them, but small enough to keep them tightly nestled together. Stick the pan in the oven while you prep the stuffing – so around 15 minutes.

In a medium skillet, saute the onions and garlic in a bit of butter until soft and golden. Add other finely chopped veggies if you’d like – we used half a green pepper and one large mushroom, as we had both to use up. In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs, tuna and oil, and a generous amount of salt and freshly ground pepper. Remove the veggies from the heat, and toss with the bread and tuna mixture.

Spoon the mixture into the peppers, packing it in if necessary, and top each with a generous tablespoon of cheese – we used mascarpone, but cheddar, feta, chevre, or probably just about any kind of cheese would be delicious. Bake for 20 minutes, then serve with a salad and crusty bread.

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