Today's harvest is tonight's dinner. (Don't worry, I'll finish that series on saving money on groceries.)
My eldest sister passed this recipe on to me. Well, actually it was instructions more than a recipe. The instructions were: stuff a bunch of banana peppers with italian sausage, cover with a tomato sauce, bake til they're done & add some cheese to the top. That's what I did, honest...but I'll try to define it a bit better.
- banana peppers -- enough for your meal (I used 2 per person, plus a cherry bomb 'cause I wanted to see how it tasted cooked)
- Spaghetti sauce -- I used two jars, but that's because I know this will make two meals for us.
- Italian Sausage, hot or whatever you prefer. I used 4 links hot Italian pork sausage and 2 (much larger) links Italian turkey sausage. The turkey sausage was twice as large as the pork but contained only 5 grams fat/0 saturated. The pork sausage was much smaller and contained 15 grams fat/5 saturated. (I'm gonna wean my hubby off the fat one way or another.)
- 1/4 cup grated cheese. I'm sure fresh Parmesan or Romano would be better....even Mozarella, but I used colby-jack because it's what I have. It was fine.
First, cut & clean your banana peppers. Wash away those seeds and if you've ever had a skin reaction to hot pepper oils, wear gloves while doing this. My skin isn't bothered so much as my hands are like leather at this point in the gardening season. But I scratched my face with my fingernail and left a nice red welt that needed to be cleansed with an alcohol swab . (Alcohol will break down the enzymes that cause that burning sensation.) Even if it doesn't bother your hands, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling it because it can irritate other body parts that you might touch...and some of those body parts might not like alcohol poured over them if you catch my drift.
Next, stuff the peppers. You can leave the peppers whole if they're large and shove the sausage down in them, but this was MUCH easier. I just squeezed the stuffing out of the sausage skins (dear hubby refused to photograph that) right onto the peppers and flattened it down with a knife as needed.
Pour a whole jar of sauce over the stuffed peppers.
Pop into a 325 oven for 40 minutes. (I think you can do 350 for 30 minutes, though.) During the last 5 minutes of cooking time, sprinkle the cheese over the top.
While that's baking, cook your pasta. (I found this store-bought fresh pasta MUCH lighter than dry pasta. I really liked that.)
It was good. It was very good. I prefer the turkey sausage. Never liked the fattiness of pork sausages. Everyone approved. Everyone had seconds. There are still three servings for leftovers.
Okay, the littles didn't eat the hot stuffed peppers (they weren't hot) but they had pasta with sauce and turkey Italian sausage along with almost ALL the cukes and 'maters.