Summary: This easy-to-throw-together contorni turned out rich in taste but light enough to use as a starter for a long night of eating and drinking. You will feel like you’ve been transported to Tuscany
- 5 yellow, red or orange bell peppers
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups (1 lb.) whole-milk ricotta
- 1 Tbsp. torn fresh mint leaves
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves, torn, plus a few whole leaves for garnish
- 1 Tbsp. minced fresh rosemary or 1½ tsp. dried
- 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves or 1½ tsp. dried
- ½ cup finely sliced green onions*
- 1 handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup (2 oz.) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1 tsp. fennel flowers
- 2 Tbsp. fresh breadcrumbs, crisped in a little extra-virgin olive oil
- Heat a grill or turn the gas flame on the stove on high. Singe the peppers on the grill or the stovetop. I set them down right on the stove’s flame and keep turning them with tongs. In about 10 minutes, the pepper should char all over, but don’t cook them so long that they turn limp.**
- Cool in a medium bowl, and then slide off the burned skin. Cut in half and clean out the ribs and seeds. Rub inside and out with the olive oil.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta, mint, basil, rosemary, thyme, green onions, parsley, salt and pepper. Beat in the eggs and Parmigiano.
- Fill the peppers with the mixture and top with the fennel flowers and breadcrumbs.
- Line a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with parchment paper and arrange the peppers.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until the ricotta is set to the touch and the breadcrumbs have browned. Garnish with basil leaves.
* I used red onions in place of green. ** I placed the peppers in a large pan over high heat, turning them until singed.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 10
Recipe and Photo courtesy of: SauceMagazine.com