You know, this kinda nonsense isn’t funny – at least not if you ask Trota…
Stuffed peppers / Peperoni ripieni
Imagine if you’d just lifted the lid on one of your beautifully crafted stuffed peppers and were rudely greeted by the springy sprightly jester! Trota nearly fainted…
But don’t be led astray by those grinning buffoons: this dish is a treat – a real show-stopper and ideal for dinner parties as it can be prepared in advance.
So if you’re in the mood and want to make these delicious stuffed peppers you will need: 450g minced meat (Trota used equal quantities of top quality sausage meat and minced pork), 80g stale bread, 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley finely chopped, 1 whole egg plus 1 yolk, 50g parmesan grated, 50g pecorino grated, 1 clove garlic finely chopped, 4 peppers. For the topping: 4–5 tbsp breadcrumbs, olive oil and an extra 2 tbsp grated parmesan to sprinkle.
Start by soaking the stale bread in water for 5 minutes, then squidge it manually to remove the excess water and combine with the minced meat. Add the grated cheeses, eggs, parsley and garlic, season to your liking and, using the fingers, mix well (very satisfying). Leave aside to rest while you prepare the peppers.
When sourcing your peppers make sure they’re evenly shaped and firm. Wash and cut them so that you separate the top quarter, the ‘hat’; the remaining three-quarters will be your ‘container’ for the filling. Remove the seeds and white membrane. Fill the containers with the meat mixture and place in a suitably sized oven-proof dish so that the peppers are kept upright and close together.
In a frying pan quickly toast the breadcrumbs in a couple of tbsp olive oil and sprinkle over the filled peppers. Top with the remaining grated parmesan. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°/gas 4 for an hour or so until the filling is cooked.
Half-way through the cooking time remember to place the hats on a baking tray (lined with baking paper and a sprinkle of olive oil) and bake alongside on a lower shelf. When cooked, put a hat on top of each pepper and serve at once.
Delicious straight from the oven, they also make fabulous lunch fare and can be reheated successfully. All the more reason, then, why Fidget and Salmon need to be careful not to push their luck: because another trick like that and you can be sure Trota will keep it all to herself!