This delicious roasted vegetable recipe and photos were shared with me by Karen Calanchini, Food
Stylist and Photographer, of Redding, CA.
Karen says, "There is a bounty of beautiful produce at our Farmer’s Markets now. The eye popping bell peppers caught my eye this week.
I caught a Giada de Laurentis television show in which she made these pretty stuffed peppers. This is my adaptation of the recipe."
Red and Yellow Bell Peppers Stuffed with Orzo and Zucchini
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 60 min
1 (14 ounce) can stewed tomatoes with Italian seasonings
basil leaves, chopped
1 (14 ounce) can fire-roasted tomatoes
2 to 3 grated zucchini
squash (depending on the size)*
1 tablespoon Fines Herbs seasoning or 2 tablespoons fresh
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 cup extra-virgin
1/4 cup finely-chopped red sweet
4 cloves fresh
1 teaspoon coarse
salt or sea salt
or more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly-ground white
or to taste
4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups uncooked Greek Orzo Pasta**
3 red bell peppers and 3 orange or yellow bell peppers
1 cup (or more) of grated sharp cheddar cheese
* I like my food to have a lot of color, so I use 1 green and 1
yellow/orange zucchini squash.
** Greek Orzo is a pasta shaped like grains of rice.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Pour canned tomatoes into a large bowl. Using kitchen shears or your clean hands, break any large
tomato pieces into smaller chunks. Add grated zucchini squash, herbs, Pecorino cheese, olive oil,
onion, garlic, salt, and pepper; set aside.
Bring chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add Orzo and cook 4 minutes
only (the orzo will be underdone at this point). Drain
off the chicken broth and reserve. Transfer reserved chicken broth to a 3-quart
baking dish and set aside. Add the orzo to the tomato/zucchini mix
and mix well to combine.
Slice the tops off the bell peppers; remove ribs, seeds, and discard. Note: You may also cut bell peppers in half and fill each
half, if you prefer smaller portions, which is what I did.
Cut a very thin slice from the bottom of the peppers so they will stand upright. I put the piece I cut off into the pepper. Carefully spoon the
prepared orzo mixture into each prepared bell pepper and place in a baking dish. Pour the reserved chicken broth around the stuffed bell peppers in the baking dish.
Cover with aluminum foil.
Bake 45 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle the grated cheddar cheese evenly over each pepper. Continue to bake until cheese is golden and melted, approximately 15 minutes.
Any extra orzo mixture may be frozen to fill a few more peppers later, or add to your next homemade vegetable soup.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.