Orzo Stuffed Peppers

4 large green peppers
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
1 pound bulk Italian sausage
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 cups marinara or spaghetti sauce
1 medium tomato — chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons dried rosemary — crushed
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Cut tops off peppers and remove seeds. In a large Dutch oven, cook peppers in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water; set aside.

Cook orzo according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the sausage, onion \over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.

Drain. Drain orzo; stir into meat mixture. Add the marinara sauce, tomato, basil, rosemary and pepper flakes. Spoon into peppers.

Place in a greased 11-in. x 7-in. baking dish. Cover and bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with cheeses. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Serve immediately or before baking, cover and freeze casserole for up to 3 months.

To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake according to directions.

Yield: 4 servings.

Cooking with Basil

Cooking with Basil

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