Cut a crosswise slice from the stem end of each pepper and discard. Remove the seeds from the peppers.
Sprinkle the ground beef with the salt, pepper and thyme. Add the remaining ingredients except the tomato sauce and basil. Toss gently with a fork to blend. Stuff the mixture into the peppers and place the peppers close together in a deep saucepan.
Combine the tomato sauce, basil and one-halfcup water; blend. Pour over the-stuffed peppers. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and place in the oven. Bake for forty-five to sixty minutes, until the peppers are crisp tender.