These golden yellow pepper boats with their surprise red tomato filling are a treat for a winter first course. They can be kept warm for an hour or more in a really low oven before eating.
To make the topping, melt the butter in a pan, remove from the heat and stir in the flour. Gradually stir in the milk. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring all the time. Let the sauce bubble, still stirring, for 2-3 minutes until very thick. Then add the red Leicester and remove from the heat. Stir until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth. Stir in a generous sprinkling of Parmesan, then season.
Cut the peppers in half lengthways and discard the seeds and stems. Arrange the peppers fairly close together in a large, shallow ovenproof dish. Spoon the tomato mixture into them and then spoon the cheese sauce on top, completely covering the tomatoes. Sprinkle with more Parmesan, dot with butter and cook in the oven for 1-1¼ hours, until the peppers feel soft when you insert a knife. Serve hot or warm.
© 1997 Josceline Dimbleby. All rights reserved.