PEPERONI RIPIENI SOTTOSOPRA

PEPERONI RIPIENI SOTTOSOPRA
(UPSIDE-DOWN STUFFED PEPPERS)

Tomato Sauce
4 tablespoons Colavita? Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium onion, peeled and minced
3 pounds boneless pork butt, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
1 28-ounce can tomato purée
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
5 or 6 leaves fresh basil, shredded

Stuffing
9 large sweet bell peppers, washed and dried
1 pound ground sirloin
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground veal
2 cups cooked rice
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 large onion, peeled and minced
4 eggs
2 tablespoons minced parsley
3 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
7 cups of tomato sauce

Makes 9 stuffed peppers

To make the sauce, in a saucepot heat the olive oil and cook the onion until it softens. Stir in the pork butt chunks and Italian sausage and brown on all sides. Stir in the garlic and cook until the garlic softens. Lower the heat and stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato purée, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer the sauce for about 1 hour. Stir in the basil. The sauce is now ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Cut 1/4 inch off the tops of the peppers. Carefully remove the seeds with a spoon, then rinse the peppers and set them aside.
In a large bowl, combine the sirloin, pork, veal, rice, cheese, onions, eggs, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix gently with your hands. Fill the cavities of the peppers with some of the mixture, being careful not to over-pack them or they will spill in the oven while baking.
Ladle 1 1/2 cups of tomato sauce in each of 2 large baking pans. Arrange the peppers upside down in the pans. Ladle 2 cups of the sauce over each pan of peppers. Cover the pans tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the peppers are soft. Remove the pans from the oven, remove the foil, and carefully turn the peppers right side up. Serve the peppers immediately with additional sauce on the side.