Savoury stuffed peppers

Spicy peppers in a smoky tomato sauceAs fall as arrived, and despite a hint of Indian Summer, it is time to savour slow-cooked stuffed peppers. My husband craves them. Friends always ask for the recipe. It’s a snap. I mix equal part of a good spicy sausage and rinsed basmati rice together. Use any sausage you like: turkey, pork, or even veggie – but make it spicy. I used long green Cubanelle peppers, but I have used long thin red ones and sweet bell peppers too. Please yourself — they are all tasty and healthful!

Stuffed peppers
One package of hot Italian sausage links, or whatever you like that is spicy, but not breakfast sausage. An average package contain about six links, or buy the same amount of bulk sausage as you will remove the sausage from the casing to make the filling. You can also use chicken, turkey or vegetarian sausage if you prefer.
1 to 1¼ cup of washed basmati rice, or any long-grained rice .
Cumin gives the sauce a smoky taste and the chilies a hit of spice, but you can leave them out if you like the dish to be milder.
Stuff six to seven good-sized Cubanelle peppers. Cubanelles are long, thin light peppers, and they are not hot. They come in green, which I usually use. Lately we have found a red, sweet pepper that has the same shape as Cubanelles. You can also use bell peppers, if you prefer, but cubanelle peppers are delicious and usually cheaper.
Wash and dry the peppers. Cut of the tops in a single slice and reserve. Pull out and discard seeds and ribs, and stuff the peppers. Place tops on stuffed peppers in pan.
Sweat one large diced onion with 1 tsp of chili flakes or 2 if you like spicy or omit it if you don’t.
Add 2 tsp. of cumin
Puree or crush 3 cloves of garlic into a large can of tomatoes, and add it to the onion with 1 tbsp. of sugar or 1 pkg. Splenda. Simmer for 10 minutes and add salt to taste.
Add 1 can of water, and simmer for five minutes. The sauce will be watery, but you need the water to cook the rice.
Put the peppers in a covered baking dish that will just hold the sauce and peppers, or use a pot that goes in the oven. If you don’t have a covered dish the right size you can use foil to seal you pan. You need a tight-fitting lid. Cover the peppers with the lid and bake in a slow oven, 275F/140C for three-and-a-half hours. You may also to make it in a crock pot. Follow the directions.  Placing an old flat baking sheet under the pan can help keep your oven clean.