Stuffed peppers are one of those classic recipes with the promise of being anything but boring. With a flavorsome homestyle combo encased in roasted bell peppers, it’s a sure-fire hit. Traditionally, peppers are stuffed with cooked rice, ground beef, and an assortment of vegetables. Even though this easy weeknight dinner is a staple for many families, it’s easy to change things up a bit to make it your own.
It’s not hard to ditch the rice in this recipe. Adding more flavor to your stuffed peppers usually involves changing the mixture of meat, adding more cheese, or choosing a healthier alternative to rice such as quinoa or cauliflower. Despite this, celebrity chef Rachael Ray wanted to take an even more innovative approach when it came to reinterpreting the American classic.
Ray’s stuffed bell pepper recipe will change the way you think of stuffed peppers forever! For the best, most delicious stuffed bell peppers ever, Ray’s recipe goes back to her Italian heritage.
An Unusual, But Brilliant Way To Stuff Peppers
As opposed to the tried and true fillings, Ray reached for her husband’s favorite pasta, Bucatini (AKA perciatelli). Basically, Bucatini is thick, hollow spaghetti that coats and fills with sauce, making them ideal for stuffing peppers.
Our mouths are watering just thinking about Ray’s Bucatini-Stuffed Peppers. Why have we not thought to stuff peppers with noodles before? An Instagram user agreed, stating “for some reason I’ve never thought to stuff my peppers with pasta, always quinoa or rice.”
How To Make Rachael Ray’s Bucatini-Stuffed Peppers
In terms of her stuffed bell peppers, Ray doesn’t hold back. Besides stuffing her peppers with pasta, she also spices up the peppers with Calabrian chili paste, which gives the dish a rebellious kick.
Ray started by preparing the peppers. “I scooped out all of the fibrous bits of the pepper, and all of the seeds of course, and I saved the tops,” Ray explained. Later, she sprinkled them with salt and pepper and spritzed them with cooking spray. She then roasted the peppers, unfilled, for about 20 minutes.
Ray prepared the savory sauce to accompany the pasta inside the peppers while the peppers were roasting. After heating a large skillet with EVOO, she added anchovies to the hot oil and allowed them to melt. As the anchovies began to brown, she added Calabrian chili paste, garlic, sundried tomato paste, capers, and olives. Following this, she deglazed the pan with dry vermouth, allowing the mixture to reduce, then removed the pan from the heat.
In addition to draining the bucatini, Ray reserved about half a cup of the starchy pasta water. Lastly, the cooked pasta, starchy water, fresh herbs, and mozzarella are tossed in the anchovy-sauce mixture and set aside to cool. Ray explained that the cheese “acts as glue for the stuffing of the peppers.”
In the end, Ray stuffed each pepper with the saucy bucatini and topped each with mozzarella cheese. Additionally, the peppers were put in the oven for 10 more minutes until the cheese melted.
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