Italian Stuffed Bell Peppers
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. Italian sausage, mild or hot
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cooked Orzo pasta (3/4 cup dry = 2 cups cooked)
3 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 (24 oz.) can spaghetti/marinara sauce
1 (14.5 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes, drained
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
8 bell peppers, any color
1 ½ cups Italian bread crumbs
Cut the tops off the peppers, removing the interior seeds and ribs. Remove stems from the tops and dice. Set aside.
In a large pot of boiling water, parboil the peppers until just tender, 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and dry on paper towels.
To a 9 x 13” baking dishes, spread some of the marinara over the bottom of dish. Arrange standing peppers in the baking dish. Set aside.
In a large skillet, over medium heat, brown the ground beef and Italian sausage until no longer pink. Add onions and reserved diced peppers, sauté 5-6 minutes. Add in garlic and cook 1-2 minutes. Drain excess grease.
Add in the cooked Orzo pasta, 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, ½ cup marinara sauce, tomatoes, beaten egg, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Divide the meat mixture evenly among the prepared peppers. Lightly press the mixture as you fill.
Spoon 2 tablespoons marinara over the tops of each stuffed pepper. Pour any remaining marinara sauce around the peppers. Cover with foil.
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Bake until the peppers are tender, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and top each pepper with some shredded Mozzarella cheese, then some of the Italian bread crumbs.
Turn oven to broil. Place peppers, uncovered, under the broiler. Broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the stuffed peppers to a platter, and spoon the sauce from the baking dish over and around the peppers. Serve.