Stuffed Bell Peppers with Tomato Sauce - preparation
Place a skillet with olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and saute for 6 minutes. Add the minced garlic, chopped parsley, and rice. Saute for another 2 minutes. Set aside for 5 minutes for the mixture to cool slightly.
Add ground meat and the rest of the ingredients from the skillet to a large bowl. Season with pepper, thyme, marjoram, and salt. Add an egg and cream cheese and stir into a combined mixture.TipIf you're not sure you seasoned the filling well enough, drop a teaspoon of batter into a skillet, cook for a few minutes, and taste. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Prepare the bell peppers. Slice the tops off the peppers and remove the seeds inside. Fill each bell pepper with the prepared meat filling. Place the top of the pepper on top of the filling and close with two toothpicks. This way, the filling won't get out of the pepper while cooking. Transfer the peppers to a large plate. Place a large skillet over medium heat, and add a tablespoon of oil and stuffed peppers. Pan-fry them on two sides for approximately 3 minutes on each side. If you're not sure you seasoned the filling well enough, drop a teaspoon of batter into a skillet, cook for a few minutes, and taste. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Add two tablespoons of oil into a large pot. Add the flour, sugar, and crushed garlic clove. Set over medium-high heat and pan-fry for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato passata, stir and cook for another minute. Add the water and season with bay leaf, parsley, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the stuffed peppers into the pot with tomato sauce. The cut side should be looking up. Arrange them closely together. Cover with a lid and cook for one hour and fifteen minutes at a low simmer. Divide between plates and optionally serve with mashed potatoes.