Stuffed Frying Pepper

Stuffed Frying Peppers
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Serves: 4

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(Peperoni Ripieni)
Category: Peppers
Makes 4 to 8 servings
My grandmother always made these peppers in the summertime. She would cook them in a big black skillet in the morning, and by lunchtime they were just the right temperature for serving with sliced bread.

   _ 1/4 cups plain dry bread crumbs made from Italian or French bread
   ___ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
   ___ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
   _ clove garlic, finely chopped
   Salt and freshly ground black pepper
   ___ cup (about) olive oil
   _ long light-green Italian frying peppers
   _ cups peeled, seeded, and chopped fresh tomatoes or 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
   _ fresh basil leaves, torn into bits

1 In a bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, cheese, parsley, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the oil, or enough to moisten the crumbs evenly. 

2 Cut off the tops of the peppers and scoop out the seeds. Spoon the bread crumb mixture into the peppers, leaving about 1 inch of clearance at the top. Do not overstuff the peppers, or the filling will spill out as the peppers cook. 

3 In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup of oil over medium heat until a piece of pepper sizzles in the pan. With tongs, add the peppers carefully. Cook, turning occasionally with tongs, until browned on all sides, about 20 minutes. 

4 Pour the tomatoes, basil, and salt and pepper to taste around the peppers. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook, turning the peppers once or twice, until very tender, about 15 minutes. If the sauce is too dry, add a little water. Uncover and cook until the sauce is thick, about 5 minutes more. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

From "1,000 Italian Recipes." Copyright 2004 by Michele Scicolone. Used with permission of the publisher, Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.