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Bell Peppers Stuffed with Rice in Tomato Sauce


For tomato sauce

  • 2 lbs ripe tomatoes
  • 6 garlic cloves , chopped
  • 1 chili pepper , seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsop sugar
  • salt

For the filling

  • 1 small onion , chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large or 2 small tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped basil
  • salt
  • good pinch of saffron threads
  • 3/4 cup short grain rice or risotto rice such as Arborio
  • 11/4 cup hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • pepper
  • 2 green or red bell peppers


For the sauce

  1. Cut the tomatoes into quarters and remove the hard core. Blend to a light puree in a food processor.
  2. Heat the garlic and chili pepper in the oil in a wide skillet, stirring, for 30 seconds, until the aroma rises, then add the tomatoes, sugar and some salt. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally for 25 to 30 minutes, until the sauce is reduced and thick.

For the filling

  1. Fry the onion in the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until soft and golden.
  2. Add the tomatoes, sugar, basil and a little salt and cook until the liquid has almost disappeared.
  3. Add the rice, stir well, then add the stock. Stir in the saffron, salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed but the rice is still underdone.
  4. Retaining the stalk, cut a circle around the stalk off the tops of the peppers, and keep these to use as caps.
  5. Remove the cores and seeds with a knife or spoon and shave the inside of the lids to make more room for the filling.
  6. Using a spoon, fill the peppers with the rice without pressing it down too much, so that there is a little room for it to expand.
  7. Replace the caps and arrange the peppers snugly in a baking dish.
  8. Pour the tomato sauce around the peppers, cover with a sheet of foil and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 1 hour.
  9. Remove the foil and continue to bake for another 15 minutes, or until the peppers are soft and have browned on top; be careful not to let them fall apart.
  10. Serve hot!