Baby bell peppers are bright and flavorful — just too cute to chop into pieces. And what a wonderful way to put a little leftover Ricotta to use in a tasty recipe that is both fun to make and to eat. Sweet petite peas, crispy pancetta, savory onion and a little salty Parmesan all combine to make a creamy filling that accents the peppers to perfection. The stuffed peppers are served as hors d’oeuvre, appetizers or as a side. We served ours along with black beans & rice and barbecued pork chops. Just Yum!
STUFFED BABY PEPPERS (Serves 4-6)
Vegetable oil cooking spray
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/2 cup frozen petite peas, thawed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 24 (2 to 3-inch long) sweet baby peppers
- Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and pre-heat to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray and set aside.
- In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, until brown and crispy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pancetta and drain on paper towels. Add the onion to the pan and cook until translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, combine the onion, pancetta, cheeses, and peas. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Using a paring knife, cut 1/2-inch from the stem-end of the peppers. Remove the seeds and veins. Using a small dessert spoon, fill each pepper with the ricotta mixture. Place the filled peppers on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 to 18 minutes until the peppers begin to soften. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes.
- Arrange the peppers on a platter and serve.
~from Giada De Laurentiis