For this recipe, I got unbelievably lucky. My mom happens to know someone whose family is actually from the Molise region. I was thrilled to have someone who could suggest some traditional dishes from the region. However, they took it a step further and actually provided me with some of their family's recipes! This recipe for Stuffed Peppers is one that the Villani family enjoys as part of the seven fishes dinner held on Christmas Eve. Personally, I'm not sure I'd be able to last a whole year between servings! Simple, as many Italian dishes are, the quality of ingredients speaks for itself. There is really no need to experiment and add anything to this dish, but I made some exactly as the recipe dictated, and for the rest I added a little freshly grated parmigiano reggiano to the top. Both were excellent. Though you can't really tell from my pictures, the stuffing is full of flavor from the garlic, anchovies and parsley.
Thanks so much to Tarie and Robert Villani for sharing their family recipe with me. I hope I did it justice!
Recipe from Helen Villani courtesy of Tarie and Robert Villani
6 medium green bell peppers
5 cups bread cubes (use day old bread)
3-4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1 can anchovies, chopped
extra virgin olive oil
Optional: Fresh grated parmigiano reggiano
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Wash the peppers. Cut a hole around the stem. Remove the stem and seeds. Use a spoon to scoop out the ribs.
- In a bowl, combine the bread, parsley, garlic, and anchovies. Mix together. Sprinkle with olive oil and toss to coat; do not saturate the bread with oil.
- Put 1/4 to 1/2 cup of olive oil in a baking pan. Lay the peppers on their sides in the pan. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally to cook evenly.
- Optional: Add some fresh Parmigiano Reggiano at the end of the cooking time and allow it to melt over the pepper.
Ryan's rating of Stuffed Peppers - 4.5. Delicious!