Stuffed peppers (à la grandma Fani)

What a pleasure it is to visit my Grandma Fani! As you may know, she is my greatest teacher and inspiration in the kitchen. I spent summers with her and my grandfather, and admired her as she moved quickly back and forth from the beloved vegetable garden and kitchen. To her I owe many tips, tricks and techniques, both practical and intuitive, that no one else could have taught me. And perhaps it is thanks to her if I'm lucky enough now to be a good chef. Visiting her this weekend I once again became her little boy and made one of the dishes that are part of the Slovenian tradition and also of my childhood. I assure you that even if you are quick in and around the kitchen, she is really fast! It was hard to keep up with her! We made these peppers stuffed with ground meat and rice together. We chose some white peppers that are typical of Slovenia, but if you can’t find them don’t worry: you can use normal yellow and red peppers that are available virtually everywhere, and the result will be equally tasty. Ready then? Let’s start making stuffed peppers (as my grandmother Fani makes them).

Ingredients

  • onions 1 whole white onion
  • lard 1 tablespoon of lard
  • white wine 1 drop of white wine
  • marjoram A pinch of marjoram
  • tomato passata 400 millilitres
  • butter A knob of butter
  • Italian 00 flour 2 tablespoons of flour
  • rice 7 handfuls of rice
  • salt 10 grams
  • pepper 5 grams
  • paprika 5 grams
  • vegetable stock cube 5 grams Crumbled
Information
90 minutes Total time
60 minutes Active time
Serves 4 persons
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Preparation

First wash and prepare the peppers. Don’t cut them in half, but open them by cutting around the stem and then removing their seeds. You should get ten empty peppers ready to hold the filling. Coarsely chop the onion and fry with a little oil and a tablespoon of lard. Crumble the meat thoroughly and let it fry with the onions; add plenty of salt, and some marjoram. Add a dash of white wine. Add the rice to the meat mixture and sauté everything for 3 minutes. Fill the peppers with this mixture of meat and rice, but be careful not to overdo it because the rice will swell during cooking. Now melt the butter in a pan and mix it with the flour; briefly cook. Add two tablespoons of tomato paste and dissolve in the flour and then add the remaining tomatoes and 500 ml of warm water. Season the sauce with stock granules, salt, sugar and paprika. In a large baking dish with high sides, arrange the peppers close together and drizzle with the tomato sauce. Cook on the hob on a low heat for an hour.

Tips
If you want to prepare the recipe for peppers stuffed with vegetables which you grow at home, remember that you plant your peppers in February and March, and pick them between the months of June and September.
Trivia
The pepper has its origins in Latin American and arrived in Europe, along with many other foodstuffs, following the voyage of Christopher Columbus.

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