As an Italian girl something I am ALWAYS craving is pasta. Give up carbs? Over my bread body. I neeeeed my carbs, they are too good. My booty needs it, my soul needs it. But I also want to be as healthy as possible, especially with this pregnancy. I kind of gave up in my third trimester last time, which resulted in a year long bounce back process. So I am trying to find a healthy balance- have your carbs, & eat it too. This is a great recipe because it satisfied my carb cravings, but it is also filling so I only need 1 stuffed pepper. I served with a side of steamed broccoli and was stuffed! Now if you are making for your husband or boyfriend, beware, they’ll have like 3 at least.
This meal does get a little messy so I ended up cutting it up into pieces and getting a little bit of each ingredient in each bite & it was perfect. This makes for great leftovers too, I just refrigerated & warmed it up for 2 minutes in the microwave & wa-la, another meal without going out and spending money. Piggy backing on that- I had a good amount of pasta sauce leftover, so I used that with some organic spinach pasta we picked up from the farmer’s market and made yet ANOTHER meal. I am all for saving money and turning one meal into two or three.
6 bell peppers, various colors
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
½ pound ground beef
½ pound sweet (or hot) Italian sausage
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 28-ounce can tomato sauce
15 ounces whole milk ricotta
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
½ cup fresh basil, chopped
8-10 cooked lasagna noodles, quartered
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 350*.
- Cut the top off of each pepper and remove the seeds. Transfer to a square baking dish with tin foil placement. Bake for 20 minutes, to soften.
- In a small bowl, combine ricotta, parmesan, basil, and egg. Mix together with a fork, set aside & let chill in fridge.
- Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat on large pan. Add garlic and onions, cook until softened.
- Add sweet or hot sausage, ground beef, salt & pepper. Cook until meat has browned & there is no more pink.
- Add diced tomatoes & tomato sauce. Bring to low-medium heat & simmer 5-7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the lasagna (~8 pieces) & drain/cool.
- Remove peppers from the oven & drain any excess water that has accumulated inside.
- Assemble each pepper with lasagna. Add two spoonfuls sauce, layer with 1/4 lasagna, two spoonfuls cheese mixture, layer with lasagna, two spoonfuls sauce, etc. repeat this pattern until full.
- Top with mozzarella cheese.
- Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes.
- Rest for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!