I came across a vintage A&P advertisement offering “a treat to eat” that served 6 for 40¢ – green peppers stuffed with a can of spaghetti, then baked and garnished with sliced green olives and cunning little radish roses.
It seemed to me that the treat would’ve been to miss that particular meal; but then I got to thinking…
I had some linguiça red sauce in the freezer, leftover from my last batch of lasagna, and a whole bunch of red, yellow and orange peppers from our latest visit to Costco, how about stuffing some sweet peppers with some spaghetti in a decent sauce?
IT. COULD. WORK!
I mebbe should also note that Rich is not a fan of the stuffed pepper in general, and really hates green peppers in particular – tho’ he is quite fond of them when ripe – so this was an experiment in more ways than one.
•2 peppers – I used one yellow and one red
•24 oz. spaghetti sauce
– I used that leftover linguiça sauce
•Spaghetti, broken (like your mom used to do) and cooked al dente – eyeball it
•Tomato paste – about 1/4 cup thinned with 1/4 cup of water – see options below
Wash your peppers, then cut in half lengthwise and remove seeds and ribs.
Cook and drain the spaghetti, then add to the sauce.
Heat your oven to 350º, then stuff the pepper halves with the spaghetti mixture and arrange in a baking dish just large enough to hold them.
Now for the baking liquid. I used that 1/4 cup of tomato paste, thinned with 1/4 cup of water, and then rounded it out to one full cup with some Catalina Dressing I had in the fridge – but you could easily use a bit of thinned out sauce (without the spaghetti), or maybe even tomato or V-8 juice. Whichever you choose, pour it into the baking dish around the stuffed peppers, seal the pan with foil, and bake for 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven, peel back the foil, and baste the peppers with the baking liquid.
Close the foil over the peppers and pop them back into the oven for another 20 minutes.
Your peppers are ready to eat at this point; but I chose to make mine early so that they could rest and the flavors could blend for a bit before I did one last cheese-topped bake.
Spoon a bit more of the baking liquid over the peppers and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese.
Pop back into the oven until heated through and the cheese is melted – I then spooned a last bit of that baking sauce over all and served the peppers to a skeptical Rich.
I thought them quite nice. Rich allowed as how they weren’t quite as bad as other stuffed peppers he’d had.