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Say the words “stuffed peppers” and I would guess that most people think of the version with ground beef and rice stuffed into green bell peppers. Today’s recipe – these Stuffed Italian Frying Peppers – are something totally different and totally delicious!
These Stuffed Italian Frying Peppers are a traditional recipe made using Marconi peppers – long, narrow, sweet Italian frying peppers with a distinctive smoky flavor. (Cubanelle peppers will also work in this recipe.)
The Stuffed Italian Frying Peppers are filled with a savory and super flavorful mixture of Italian bread, tomato sauce, black olives, anchovy paste, Romano cheese, garlic, basil and parsley. Next, the stuffed peppers are fried briefly in oil, then baked in the oven smothered in tomato sauce until cooked through.
One bite of these delicious Stuffed Italian Frying Peppers – and you’ll think you’ve been transported to a kitchen in Italy!
- 8–10 Italian frying peppers such as Marconi or Cubanelle (about 1/2 pound)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces in weight of Italian bread, crusts removed and cut into cubes
- 3 cups Italian tomato sauce, divided (see here) or purchased
- 25 pitted oil cured black olives, chopped
- 1 tablespoon anchovy paste or 6 anchovy filets mashed fine
- 1/2 cup Romano cheese grated, plus more for serving
- 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil for frying
- Wash peppers, trim off tops and using a teaspoon, dig out seeds and ribs. Rinse and let dry.
- In a cast iron skillet, over medium heat, place the two tablespoons of olive oil and once hot, place cubed bread into oil and toss and cook to brown, about 5-10 minutes. Remove toasted bread and any oil to a large bowl. The skillet will be used later in this recipe.
- Pour one cup of tomato sauce over the cooked bread and squish it into the bread with your hands or use a heavy whip. The mixture should be completely mixed to a mushy finish.
- Add olives, anchovy paste, Romano, garlic, basil, parsley and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Divide filling between the peppers, pressing the stuffing in to the end. OK if a little hangs out.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (Note: most Italian pepper recipes don’t finish in the oven and are cooked entirely on the stove top. I think they get too dark doing it that way so I cook half on the stove to brown and finish in the oven to cook through.)
- Using the same cast iron skillet as before, heat the ¼ cup of olive oil over medium heat.
- Dry the outside of the peppers of any water so they don’t splatter when cooking.
- Once the oil is hot, cook the peppers in the hot oil in two batches. Turn and cook until each batch is browned, about 15 minutes each. You may still need a splatter screen.
- Pour one cup of sauce into a casserole dish large enough to fit all of the peppers.
- As each batch is cooked, transfer to the prepared casserole dish and once the dish is full, cover with the remaining cup of sauce.
- Bake uncovered for about 15 minutes or until heated through.
- Serve with additional grated Romano cheese.
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