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Peperoni ripieni di pasta

Pasta Filled Peppers
Total Time1 hr
Course: Primo
Cuisine: Campania
Keyword: baked
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 12 bell peppers

For the filling

  • 500g 1 lb bucatini or other pasta
  • 500g 1 lb fresh plum tomatoes roughly chopped, or 1 large can of canned tomatoes, or a jar of passata di pomodoro
  • 1 cloves garlic peeled and slightly crushed
  • 100g 3-1/2 oz capers rinsed
  • 100g 3-1/2 oz olives
  • 100g 3-1/2 oz anchovy fillets cut up
  • A pinch of dried oregano
  • A few sprigs of fresh parsley finely minced
  • Salt and pepper

For baking

  • olive oil

Optional

  • 500g 1 lb 500g (1 lb) eggplant, cubed and sautéed in olive oil and garlic
  • 1 ball mozzarella, scamorza, caciocavallo or other meltable cheese cut into cubes
  • Grated parmigiano-reggiano or pecorino romano for topping

Instructions

  • Trim off the tops of the peppers and remove the core, seeds and ribs from their insides. Parboil the peppers in abundant water for about 5-6 minutes, long enough to soften them a bit. They should remain firm enough, however, to stay standing. 
  • In a large sauté pan, sauté the garlic briefly in olive oil, then add the tomatoes. Simmer until the tomatoes have melted and reduced to saucy consistency, about 15 minutes or so. Then add the olives and capers and let them simmer another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and fold in the oregano, parsley and anchovy fillets.
  • Meanwhile, boil the pasta in well salted water until ever so slightly underdone, say a minute less than indicated on the package. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the cooked pasta and the tomato sauce and mix well. 
  • Using tongs or a carving fork, twirl the pasta and fill the peppers with it, interspersing the pasta strands with bits of the mozzarella and/or eggplant if using. Top with any excess sauce and, if using the grated cheese. 
  • Transfer the peppers to a well greased baking dish. Bake at in a moderate oven (180C/350F) for about 30 minutes, until heated through and slightly browned on top. 
  • Let cool for at least 5 minutes or so before serving. These peppers are also quite nice served lukewarm or at room temperature.