I opted to make these fresh, and they were wonderful, and gorgeous. I love when food looks pretty. The more color, the better. It almost makes me want to have a party, just to show off the pretty food. Then I think of the party-planning stress, and I would rather just make it for my family (and maybe, maybe, a handful of friends).
3/4 C. dried orzo
4 oz. bulk Italian sausage (hot or sweet/mild)
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 C. crumbled feta cheese (8 oz)
1/4 C. snipped fresh mint
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
6 medium-size red, orange, and/or yellow bell (sweet) peppers
1 1/2 C. carrot or tomato juice
1/2 tsp. salt
fresh mint sprigs
In 4- to 5 quart stock pot (or dutch oven) cook orzo according to package directions; drain. Set aside.
In large skillet cook sausage, onion, celery, and garlic until sausage is browned and onion is tender. Remove from heat; drain fat. Stir in cooked orzo, cheese, mint, and black pepper.
Cut tops from peppers; remove seeds and ribs. Barely trim bottoms of peppers so they are able to stand upright. Spoon orzo mixture into peppers and replace tops; set aside. In Dutch oven stir together carrot juice and salt. Stand peppers upright in Dutch oven. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 20 to 25 minutes, or until peppers are tender.
Serve peppers on rimmed or deep plates. Spoon over any remaining cooking juices. Garnish with additional mint.
1. For lack of time, I skipped the simmering step, and we opted for fresh bell peppers. (it was a hot day, forgive me).
2. I used Chicken Mango Sausage from Trader Joe's. The sweetness was very complementary to the dish.