It’s been quite a while since I made those amazing Basil Goat Cheese Stuffed peppers. Those were sooo amazing, I kind of just stopped trying to top that recipe. Eventually, though, I got to thinking: why not try some other cheeses? I mean, what about Ricotta? Ricotta is such a nice cheese for stuffing things–it must be nice in a tiny little sweet pepper, too, right?
So I tried it and yes, ricotta is almost as wonderful as goat cheese. Since I just got myself some new herb plants, I tried some of my new basil and oregano in the stuffing, along with a bit of spinach and some sauteed mushrooms, because hey, spinach and mushrooms really rock with ricotta. You can make all the peppers at once, if you’re making this for a crowd, or make a few at a time if you are just making a little tasty snack for yourself.
I have to say, this little trick made me fall in love with mini sweet peppers all over again. Yes, it can be a bit of a pain to get the cheese all the way down into the crevasses of a tiny pepper, but it is SO worth the effort when you bite into it. Make sure to use a good, flavorful marinara sauce with these little wonders.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 - 4 fresh mushrooms, chopped
- 3 - 5 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 2/3 cup frozen spinach, thawed & chopped
- 1 - 2 Tablespoons cooked hot Italian chicken sausage (optional)
- About 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped basil leaves
- About 1/2 Tablespoon fresh chopped oregano leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 cup shredded Italian cheeses
- 1 egg
- 1 package mini sweet peppers
- About 2 cups marinara sauce
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, garlic and mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms are tender.
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the mushroom mixture with the ricotta, spinach, sausage, herbs, shredded cheese and egg.
- Cut the tops off the mini sweet peppers and remove any ribs or seeds from the inside of the peppers, saving the top of each pepper with its matching pepper. Using a small spoon, stuff the ricotta mixture into the peppers.
- Pour the marinara sauce into an oven proof casserole or baking sheet. Arrange the stuffed sweet peppers on top of the sauce.
- Bake the peppers at 400 F. for 15 - 20 minutes or until the peppers are tender and starting to brown on top. Let them cool slightly. Eat these plain or spoon onto toast for a lovely snack or light lunch. Make sure to scoop up some of the yummy sauce to go with the cheesy peppers!
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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