Most regions of Italy have a version of stuffed capsicum, sometimes using mince meat. This easy-to-make vegetarian offering features ricotta, egg, pecorino, breadcrumbs and fresh herbs. You can use the mixture to stuff other vegetables too, such as zucchini or eggplant.
- 4 red capsicums (peppers)
- 400 g fresh full-fat ricotta
- ¾ cup (60 g) freshly grated pecorino
- 1 lemon, zested
- 4 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 4–5 basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 2–3 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling (optional)
- rocket or chicory leaves, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat your oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Wash the capsicums, cut off the tops and scoop out the white membrane and seeds. Place the capsicums on the prepared baking tray.
Mix together the ricotta, pecorino, lemon zest, breadcrumbs, egg and herbs in a large bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into the capsicums until three-quarters full, then sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over the filling and drizzle a tbsp of olive oil over each one. Drizzle extra oil all over the capsicum if desired.
Bake for 30–35 minutes or until a golden crust is formed. Serve hot or at room temperature with dark green, peppery rocket or chicory leaves.
• When buying ricotta, I tend to steer clear of the kind sold in tubs as it is often too watery. Get a nice, firm slice from your local deli, if possible, or make your own if you feel adventurous.
This recipe is from Made in Italy with Silvia Colloca. To find out more about the show, check out the episode guide, or scroll through Silvia's recipes. Tune in at 8pm, Thursday 27 November on SBS ONE.