Saturday, March 5, 2011

Orzo Stuffed Peppers

One of my favorite blogs, Our Best Bites, mentioned an amazing Nutella cookie recipe by a fellow blogger, and as soon as I saw that I was hooked on Two Peas and Their Pod. Such amazing recipes!

So when I saw this recipe for Orzo Stuffed Peppers, I had to try it. It features my favorite things: peppers, pasta, spinach and cheese. Yum!

Orzo Stuffed Peppers
Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 (14 ounce can) cans diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth or 4 cups of water and 2 veggie broth cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups orzo
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, plus more for sprinkling on top
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for sprinkling on top
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 6 sweet bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  2. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for two more minutes. Stir in the spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat.
  3. Pour the tomatoes into a large bowl and stir in the spinach mixture. Set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, bring the vegetable broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the orzo and cook for five minutes. The orzo should be only partially cooked because it will finish cooking in the oven. Strain the orzo pasta, making sure you save the vegetable broth.
  5. Stir the orzo into the tomato spinach mixture. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the basil.
  6. Pour the vegetable broth into a 3-quart baking dish. Slice the tops off the peppers and remove all ribs and seeds. Cut a very thin slice from the base so the peppers will stand up in the baking dish.
  7. Place the peppers in the baking dish and spoon the orzo mixture into the peppers. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 40- 45 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle the top of each pepper with additional cheese and continue baking until the cheese is golden, about 15 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and let peppers sit for five minutes. Serve warm.

Makes 6 stuffed peppers

The verdict: I changed the recipe slightly to accommodate what I had on hand and to make it more kid-friendly by increasing the cheese. Zach and I loved it. He couldn't get enough orzo. Pickle ate it, but she was just doing it to get dessert. My two year-old Miss M. wouldn't touch it and opted to go to bed instead (sigh). Hubby ate the orzo stuffing but refused to eat the pepper. You can't win them all! I thought it was wonderful. Thanks, Two Peas!

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