IT’S COLUMBUS DAY…..SO I MADE YOURS TRULY STUFFED BELL PEPPERS WITH ITALIAN SAUAGES

I’m always on the fence when it comes to a day as this, (Cristoforo Colombo Day). Is it a holiday? Well, as for yours truly, I’ve no break. Based on some history books, the Italian Explorer made his way to the ‘New World’ approximately four times. Christopher had his way to convince Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand to finance his trips.

Anyway, I won’t get too much in history. But, based on what I’ve grasped in history books, the guy (Columbus) was rather  sly and conniving. On one of his trips to Jamaica in 1500 where he and his men were supposedly stranded he became desperate for food. The Arawaks, the island’s natives refused to feed Christopher and his men. After all, it seemed like they were always relying on them.

Nature was on Christopher’s side. You see, an astronomer had previously told him that there would be an eclipse. As a result, he used it to his advantage by telling the Arawaks that if he and his men weren’t given food his god would be upset and would send his wrath on the land.

True to his words, later that night, the night skies became darkened and the moon transformed to red. The poor and humble Arawaks asked for mercy and granted the wish of the cunning Christopher and men.

Guys, who knows? All I know, it’s not a holiday for yours truly. However, because I love Italian food, I’ve decided to make myself stuffed bell peppers. I used up four from a pack of six. I cut three of them in halves and chopped off the stem of the remaining. I removed all the veins and seeds and gave a quick three-minute boil in salty water. I then rinsed and dried and set aside.

In my skillet a couple Italian (mild flavor) sausages were browned after I removed meat from the casing and did a quick drop of the pieces. I added diced bell peppers, egg-plant, onions, garlic and fresh tomatoes. I made sure to season along with cracked black pepper, dried basil/oregano and a pinch of salt. I also drizzled a little red wine vinegar because I had it on hand (any other vinegar will do).

STUFFING (INCLUDING ITALIAN SAUSAGE, PEPPERS) FOR PEPPERS
STUFFING (INCLUDING ITALIAN SAUSAGE, PEPPERS) FOR PEPPERS

I removed the Italian sausages and veggies from the heat and added a cup of left-over boiled rice. I combined and stuffed the bell peppers. By the way, I reserved my clipped off stem from the red one. Great for presentation.

BELL PEPPERS READY FOR STUFFING
BELL PEPPERS READY FOR STUFFING

In a baking dish a little water was added to cover the bottom. I then placed the stuffed peppers in the dish and covered with a piece of foil. This was then placed in a heated oven at 350 degrees F. I baked them for 15 minutes and then removed the foil. I sprinkled with light bread crumbs mixed with parmesan cheese and finely chopped parsley. I then drizzled the top with a little olive oil and place it back in the oven to complete another 15 minutes.

Guys, when I cut into my stuffed bell peppers, they were just perfect. The peppers were sweet and still had a ‘bite’. And that’s what I like. I hate mushy. The stuffing of Italian sausages, brown rice, egg-plant, onions, a few bits of olive, garlic and melted parmesan were just a perfect union of flavors.

What do you know? Christopher Columbus would have had a fight for my stuffed peppers. By the way, was he really Italian? Some history books said he was from Spain. But, who cares? It’s all water under the bridge. Guys, thanks to Christopher Columbus, it’s his day, go have some fun.

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