I never thought to stuff a pepper with bolognese, but I found Italian sweet peppers at Wegmans (they don’t usually have them) and I needed to do something with them.
- When first starting the bolognese, BROWN the vegetables. Don’t be afraid to burn the pan – you are eventually going to deglaze it with red wine and that is where the flavor comes from.
- Make sure you use a lot of salt in the bolognese sauce. Salt the vegetables, and add salt again when adding the tomato paste. I don’t use cream in my bolognese, just tomato paste, wine, and water.
- The more times you add water and reduce it (keep repeating), the more flavor forms. Enjoy!
For the bolognese sauce:
- 3 Carrots, peeled
- 3 Celery stalks, rinsed
- 1 Onion
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 2 Cups Hearty Red Wine
- 4 Cups Water
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 LB Ground Beef/Veal/Pork Mix
- Salt/Pepper to season
- 1 6 oz Can Tomato Paste
For The Peppers:
- 3 Italian Sweet Peppers, halved, seeded
- 1 Buffalo Mozzarella Ball
- Olive Oil to drizzle
- Salt/Pepper to season
- Food process celery, carrots, onion, garlic until it forms a fine paste
- Heat 2 TBS olive oil in a sauté pan, and add the processed vegetables/garlic from the food processor, season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10-15 minutes on med-high heat until the moisture is gone and the pan starts to brown
- Add the can of tomato paste to the pan and mix until the paste turns a red/orange color (it turns brown as it cooks) – season with about 1 tsp salt. Cook for 3-5 minutes.
- Add Meat to the pan, season with 1 tsp salt, and mix together. Cook until meat is brown (about 5 minutes).
- Add the red wine to the pan and scrape the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
- When the wine is cooked (about 1-2 minutes), Add 2 Cups of water (just don’t cover the bolognese entirely with water). Reduce heat to low and simmer (you want to see slow bubbles but not a rapid boil)
- Keep adding water every 15-20 minutes (about 1 cup), and let it reduce, and add water. I do it about 3 times for a total of 1.5 hours.
- FOR THE PEPPERS:
- Preheat oven to 380 degrees
- Half the peppers and get rid of the seeds.
- Line a baking sheet with non stick spray
- Drizzle Olive Oil on both sides of the peppers, then season with salt and pepper
- Add bolognese to the peppers, don’t overflow too much
- Bake for 10 minutes
- Take out after 10 minutes and add a dollop of mozzarella to each pepper
- Bake another 10 minutes
- They are ready to serve. Season with more pepper and/or olive oil