One of my favorite comfort foods to date is Sicilian-Style Stuffed Peppers; made with Sausage & Couscous. A delicious version of stuffed peppers made with quality Italian sausage, Ramano-Parmesan cheese, couscous cooked with Rosemary and Authentic olive oil, placed in sweet bell peppers served with fire roasted San Marzano tomato and red wine sauce.
Some of you may not realize Couscous has been a part of Sicilian cooking since Sicily was under Arab rule, a period of enlightenment whose cultural, social and economic reforms had a profound and long-lasting influence that is still felt today in Sicilian societies. One of the most common dishes in western Sicily is couscous, an obvious dish from the Arab culture.
Did you know couscous is a celebrated menu item each year at the end of September in gorgeous San Vito Lo Capo? Each year chefs from Algeria, Brazil, Eritrea, Ethiopia, France, Israel, Italy, Morocco, Mauritania, Palestine, Senegal, Tunisia, and Turkey all compete for the ‘Best Couscous’ award at the International Couscous Festival.
Cous Cous is a truly universal food known by many other names in other cultures, languages , and dialects such as: ‘maftoul’, ‘kseksou’, ‘cuscus’, ‘cuscussu’, ‘cascasa’, ‘sekso’, ‘kskso’, ‘kuskus’, ‘kuski’, ‘burgul’, ‘tabouleh’ and ‘bran’.
I hope you enjoy eating our families favorite comfort food…
Sicilian- Style Stuffed Peppers with Sausage & Couscous
- 1 pound quality Italian sausage, casing removed
- 1 tablespoon authentic olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 cup of diced zucchini
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon of authentic olive oil for couscous
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 of a cup uncooked couscous
- 1/4 of a cup of grated Ramano-Parmesan blend cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
- 1 of a teaspoon of fresh chopped oregano leaves
- 1/2 of a teaspoon fresh chopped Rosemary
- kosher salt to own taste
- freshly ground pepper to own taste
- 4 large sweet bell peppers halved, seeds removed
- 1/2 of a cup of sauce from recipe below
- Provolone cheese
- Chopped basil or flat-leaf parsley for garnish
For The Sauce
- 1-28-ounce can of diced fire-roasted San Marzano tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 1 ounce of Italian red table wine
- 1 teaspoon of dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- a pinch of red pepper flakes
- kosher salt to own taste
- fresh ground peppercorns to own taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Place a metal frying pan on medium-high heat, add 1 pound of quality Italian sausage in which casing has been removed, break up sausage into small pieces. Cook for about 6 minutes.
- Add onion to metal frying pan; cook for 3 or 4 minutes, till softened.
- Add minced garlic to the metal frying pan; cook for about 1 minute, then add diced zucchini and cook 2-3 minutes longer.
- Meanwhile, bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan; add 1 tablespoon of authentic olive oil, and 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter to boiling water before adding 1/2 of a cup of uncooked couscous, cover with tight-fitting lid and remove from heat. Let sit for about 4 minutes before removing the lid.
- Add grated Ramano-Parmesan blend cheese to couscous, along with fresh chopped basil, fresh chopped oregano leaves, fresh chopped Rosemary, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper to own taste. Combine gently.
- In a large bowl combine sausage mixture with couscous mixture; reserve till needed.
- In a 3-quart metal saucepan combine; diced fire-roasted San Marzano tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian red table wine, dried basil, dried oregano, pepper flakes, kosher salt and fresh ground peppercorns to own taste. Cook on low for about 8 minutes.
- After the sauce has cooked for 8 minutes; add 1/2 of a cup of it to meat and couscous mixture and combine.
- Ladle the bottom of a large glass baking dish with part of the tomato sauce.
- Fill the 8 pepper halves that you have washed, halved and removed seeds evenly with sausage and couscous mixture. Place in the large glass baking dish; do not overcrowd.
- Ladle a bit more sauce on top of the stuffed peppers and top with a thick slice of provolone cheese. Reserve any leftover sauce to add to cooked peppers if desired.
- Place in a preheated 350 degrees F oven; cook uncovered for about 19-23 minutes till peppers are tender but still slightly firm.
- Remove from the oven and place on a heat-safe area to cool a few moments before serving.
- May garnish with chopped fresh basil or flat-leaf parsley
© Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch,2015- 2014-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material or photos without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. You may not copy and paste recipes to share on Social Platforms.