1. Food

Stuffed Peppers with Cheese and Olives - Peperoni Ripieni Con Formaggio e Olive

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Bell peppers are extraordinarily versatile, and can be stuffed in innumerable ways. This recipe will be nice either as an antipasto or as part of a light lunch. It will work best with long bell peppers, what are called corno di bue (bull's horn) in Italian, though if you only have square peppers they will work well too.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 large bell peppers, ideally Corno di Bue
  • 1/2 pound (220 g) fresh mild pecorino (the Tuscan or Sardinian kind, not Romano, which has a very different texture) or unsmoked Scamorza -- one could substitute a mild provolone, removing the rind
  • 20 unpitted black olives in brine, if possible from Gaeta
  • A healthy pinch of dried oregano
  • 4 canned anchovy filets, drained well and crumbled
  • A garlic clove, peeled
  • Salt to taste

Preparation:

Begin by washing the peppers and patting them dry. Cut a slice from each lengthwise (the result should look rather like a canoe) and dice the slices.

Peel the garlic cove and sauté it in a skillet with 3 tablespoons of olive oil for a couple of minutes, then add the diced pepper, salt to taste, and simmer over a gentle flame, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. When the time is up remove and discard the garlic clove, and let the chopped pepper cool.

In the meantime, preheat your oven to 400 F (200 C), and rib and seed the bell pepper canoes. Cook the canoes in a second high-sided skillet large enough for all four to lie flat, in 2 tablespoons of olive oil for 5-6 minutes, turning them to cook all sides.

Dice the cheese (remove the rind if necessary) and mix it with the by-now cool chopped pepper, the olives, and the oregano.

Lightly oil a baking tin proportionate to the size of the four peppers. Arrange the peppers in it, slightly salt their interiors, and fill them with the cheese mixture. Bake them in your oven for about 20 minutes, and upon removing them dot them with the crumbled anchovy filets.

Serve at once.

Yield: 4 servings bell peppers stuffed with cheese and olives.

A wine? Perhaps a Sauvignon Blanc from Friuli Venezia Giulia

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