Friday, October 22, 2010

Anaheim Peppers With Italian Sausage And Parmigiano-Reggiano

I think that roasting the peppers and removing the skin results in a better mouth feel.

My wife worked for a while as a food stylist on a cooking show. It was her job to execute the recipes that a "celebrity chef" wrote so that they could be presented on television. Each night before the shoot I had to watch my poor wife pull her hair out as she grappled with recipes that did not work as written. It was clear that while the celebrity wrote the recipe, they had not been tested, revised, then tested again.

     To spare others the torment my wife endured, I tried this dish a few times before I got it to a point where I was happy. I think that any published recipe should go through a trial and error period. It should be like a science experiment in that the results should be easily duplicated for the method to be considered valid.

     Most variations on stuffed peppers in an Italian style call for frying them in oil. The problem, though, is that it's hard to keep the filling intact when the peppers are face down in a saute pan. Furthermore, the skin can get caught in your throat and I just don't think that's a nice texture. I roast my peppers, stuff them, then cook in the oven and finish in the broiler for a nicer result, I think. I also used cilantro instead of parsley on the filling. I thought it was a thematic element that tied in with the Anaheim peppers.

Anaheim Peppers With Italian Sausage And Parmigiano-Reggiano

4 servings of three stuffed peppers each

5 oz bag of baby spinach
2 slices of white sandwich bread, finely chopped
1 large egg
1/4 cup milk
2-3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
2 tablespoons red onion, chopped
4 sweet Italian sausages, cases removed.
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 large Anaheim peppers, roasted, cored and halved
1 cup tomato sauce (see notes)

1. Preheat oven to 475.

2. Wilt the spinach in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a few tablespoons of water from time to time to ensure that the spinach is not sticking to the skillet. This should only take a few minutes.

3. Strain spinach and chop. Reserve.

4. In a large bowl combine the bread, milk, egg and 2 tablespoons of the grated cheese. Knead to form a paste.

5. Next, work in the pine nuts, onion, sausage, cilantro and spinach. Lightly season with salt and pepper.

6. Top the roasted pepper halves with the filling. Place peppers on foil-lined baking sheet and place in oven for 12 minutes.

7. When the sausage is lightly browned, top with tomato sauce, Parmigiano-Reggiano and finish in broiler for 1 minute. Serve immediately.

You can stay more traditional and go with Italian Sweet Frying Peppers, but I like using large Anaheim peppers since I'm a So Cal guy and I like to work in regional classics when I can. If you have a recipe for home-made tomato sauce, that can really add wonderful flavor to this dish.

Topped and ready for the oven!


  1. I love roasting peppers this way in a pinch. So yummy. And I agree on recipes being tested and tested again. That's what I do in my own 'lab' if you will. But it's also part of the fun, to get in there, and work out a formula until it becomes a recipe.

    Nice post, Christian. I enjoyed reading what you wrote.

    Happy Cooking to you and your wife :-)

  2. Thanks for dropping by, Happy Whisk. :)

    It's so funny to see the peppers popping and shaking on the burners. It's rustic, but it works!

    Cook and destroy!

  3. It really does work and oh so yummy. Have a great day :-)

  4. Hey Christian - just dropped by to see what yummy things you're up to? So ... did you eat anything good today? We did roasted chicken. Loved it. So simple, yet so wonderful.

    I'll pop back again and see what you're up to. Until then, Happy Eating (and gaming).