Orzo Pasta with vegetables for the stuffing
We all have had some form of stuffed shimla mirch (bell pepper or capsicum) but mainly it is filled with aloo or rice, isn’t it? at least this is what I have had for the most part. Have you thought of stuffing shimla mirch with pasta? Fascinating, don’t you think? I was in Napa Valley this past weekend, enjoying the gorgeous weather and tasting world class wines. As I was browsing through one of the stores for buying wine, a recipe book caught my attention because it has an attractive burger cover page. I was quickly glancing through the book as I was with my family and they wanted to leave, I came across Pasta Stuffed Peppers. But I could not go through the recipe as I had to leave. So, I have used my own imagination and created this recipe and let me tell you this – you will be pleased. I was able to make two dishes from one. I will save my other recipe for later on.
Recipe: (For 4 people)
2 cups Orzo pasta
1 red shimla mirch
4 green shimla mirch
1 medium size onion
2 – 3 cloves of minced garlic
< 1/2 cup frozen or fresh corn
< 1/2 cup frozen or fresh peas
4 – 5 asparagus
10 – 12 olives seeded, any kind
3 – 4 sun dried tomatoes in olive oil
1 tsp of basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary – dry or fresh. I used dry.
2 – 3 tsp of red chili flakes or per taste
Salt per taste
Freshly ground black pepper per taste
1 – 2 tbsp olive oil
1 – 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
Handful of grated fontina or cheese of your choice
Orzo pasta looks just a long grain rice
Cut the top of the green shimla mirch, remove the seeds and save it. Heat water in a large pot and season them with salt liberally. Blanch the green shimla mirch and the tops for about 5 minutes until almost done but not over cooked. Keep it aside. Now add the pasta to the same water and let it cook. Chop all the vegetables very small so that it’s size is in par with the orzo pasta. Heat olive oil, add the chili flakes, garlic, onions, sun dried tomatoes and sauté. Add the rest of the vegetables and sauté for a few minutes. Add the herbs, salt & pepper and mix well. Turn off the stove, add parmesan cheese, toss.
Orzo pasta stuffed inside blanched shimla mirch
Preheat the oven to 375F. Stuff the shimla mirch with the pasta mixture, cover it with it’s top and place it in a oven proof container. Bake it for about 30 – 40 minutes until the shimla mirch looks cooked completely and it started to brown just a little bit. Remove from the oven, add grated cheese on top of each mirch and put it back into the oven without the top for another 5 -10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and browned just a little. You can also use your broiler for browning but watch out so that the cheese does not burn. Serve hot with a garnish of fresh basil. There will be some left over Orzo pasta mixture. Save it for another recipe that I will be sharing in my next post.
NOTE: You can always modify the vegetables, herbs & cheese that go into the recipe to suit your needs.
I chose Leo as zodiac sign which corresponds to Bell Pepper. My good old childhood friend is Leo and she is true the sign, very honest & straight forward. A perfect combination of character that she makes true friends for life.