Ingredients

  • 3 pounds fresh ripe tomatoes
  • 2 small onions
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons lard
  • ½ pound veal, twice ground
  • ½ pound pork, twice ground
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 extra egg yolk
  • ¼ cup uncooked rice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat parsley or green leaves of knob celery
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 large fleshy bell peppers, red ripe if possible, or 10 to 12 Italian or frying peppers
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ cup tomato juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Lemon juice

Method

  1. Blanch tomatoes for a couple of minutes, and peel. Dice tomatoes and put into a saucepan with 1 onion, peeled and halved, and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook uncovered over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes.
  2. Melt 1 teaspoon lard in a small frying pan. Chop the other onion and wilt in the lard for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. In a bowl mix ground veal and pork, the whole egg and egg yolk, rice, chopped parsley, ½ teaspoon salt, the black pepper and ¼ cup ice-cold water.
  4. When onion is somewhat cooled, add it to the meat mixture. Stuff peppers; leave ½ inch of space at the ends so stuffing can swell during cooking. If you have leftover stuffing, make meatballs and cook them together with stuffed peppers.
  5. By now tomatoes should be cooked. Discard onion halves and force everything else through a strainer.
  6. Make a roux with 1 teaspoon lard and the flour and cook for 1 or 2 minutes to blend. Dilute with the cold tomato juice, whip the mixture, and add to strained tomato sauce. If sauce is too thin, simmer over low heat, uncovered, until you get the consistency you want.
  7. Lay the stuffed peppers at the bottom of a heavy casserole. Pour sauce over them, cover, and cook—for about 40 minutes if you use thin-skinned frying peppers, or for 1 hour if you use bell peppers.
  8. When done, adjust seasoning of the sauce. Depending on the sweetness of the tomato, you may need to add the sugar or perhaps a little lemon juice to get a nice sweet-and-sour taste. Additional salt may also be necessary.

Variation

  • I. For an excellent appetizer, let stuffed peppers cool, then slice crosswise into ½-inch-thick slices. Serve with Spicy Cold Tomato Sauce.
  • II. Cut the peppers lengthwise into halves and stuff them that way. Obviously, you will need a much larger pot to cook them.
  • III.
    1. For a completely different result, make stuffed peppers as in Variation II, and put them in a well-greased ovenproof casserole.
    2. Cut 3 pounds tomatoes into ¼-inch-thick slices and a piece of smoked bacon into -inch-thick slices. Score the bacon cockscomb style. Mix 1 cup sour cream with ¼ cup heavy cream.
    3. Arrange tomato and bacon slices on top of peppers. Pour sour-cream mixture on top. Bake in a preheated 400°F. oven until the top of the bacon browns.

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