Has everyone seen those cute little sweet peppers that have been in the grocery store for a little while now? In the bags? What, am I the only one who didn’t realize they were there aallll this time? Anyway, I’ve been wanting to do some stuffed peppers for a while now. Hubby requested them a while back, and I’ve been meaning to do some of the more traditional larger variety for dinner and such, but the idea of mini ones was right up my alley. These things make great appetizers.
See, there they are! Sweet mini peppers. And just look at the awesomeness that’s going into them.
Scooping these little guys out isn’t nearly as labor-intensive as I thought it would be. While it’s the step that took the longest – we’re using 24 of them after all – some didn’t even have seeds or the ribs in them to scoop out.
After sauteing the pancetta and onion, it’s a quick, easy hop to fixing up the rest of the filling. Ricotta, fresh-grated Parmesan cheese and little baby peas complete it.
Stuffed and ready to be baked!
Ready to be loooooved.
We knew the filling would ooze out a little bit, and that was OK. It was very easy to slip a pancake-style spatula underneath them and onto our plates. Maybe a little TOO easy.
The noms, they are on.
I wish science could enable a way for you to taste the sensations my taste buds sensed while noming on these seriously awesome little peppers. I’m actually not a huge pepper fan since most of them are of the spicy variety, but these beauts, these are as sweet as their name proclaims them to be. They are marvelous. Baking them only encourages them to be more so.
The salty, savory and creamy filling is the perfect taste counterpart to the peppers. I wouldn’t change one thing about this recipe. Everything was perfect, down to the amount of time in the oven even. The peppers were cooked perfectly – not soggy but still a tad crisp. And whoulda thunk peas – peas! – for a mini pepper filling?
These are completely wonderful, awesome and worth every minute it takes to make smaller finger foods. I can’t wait to make them again.
Stuffed Mini Peppers
from Giada De Laurentiis via Food Network
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Level: Easy 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 preheat 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.
We decided not to add salt to the filling mixture because pancetta and Parmesan cheese are both naturally salty. We were glad because the filling was perfect without added salt and it may have been too salty otherwise.
You may get more than 24 peppers out of this recipe. We didn’t discriminate and used ones that were smaller than 2 inches as well. I think we made about 30 and still had enough filling for about four more peppers.
Even our dessert spoons were a little too big for some of the peppers. If this happens to you, just turn the soon around and use the other end to coax and smoosh the filling down into the peppers. Scoop with one end, fill with the other.