Lamb and Orzo Stuffed Pepper with Chunky Tomato Sauce

stuffedpepperslamb

I thought I’d list one of my favorite recipes from one of my favorite magazines, Gourmet. This particular recipe was from their October 2004 issue. The minced garlic was not part of the Gourmet recipe – the first time I made it, it was lacking flavor. I thought to add the minced garlic to the next time I made it and it was delicious! This makes 4 halved stuffed peppers.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons orzo
1/2 lb ground lamb
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
3 to 4 cloves of garlic, minced finely
4 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped (approximately 2 cups)
2 small orange bell peppers with stem, half lengthwise through stem, then ribs and seeds discarded.

Directions:

Put oven rack in the middle position and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Oil a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie plate with 2 teaspoon oil.

Cook onion with salt in remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, 7 to 9 minutes.

While onion is cooking, cook orzo in a 2-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup of cooking water, then drain orzo in a sieve.

Spread half of onion in pie plate. Add lamb and minced garlic to remaining onion in skillet and cook, breaking up large clumps with a fork, until meat is no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in orzo, reserved cooking water, 2 tablespoon dill, and salt and pepper to taste.

Stir tomatoes into onion in pie plate and season with salt and pepper. Nestle bell pepper halves, cut sides up, in tomato and onion mixture and season with salt and pepper. Divide lamb mixture between bell pepper halves, then cover pie plate with a sheet of oiled foil (oiled side down) and bake until pepper is tender when pierced with a fork, 25 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon dill.

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