Friday, September 28, 2012

Baked Ziti in Peppers with Spicy Buttermilk Gravy

This recipe was a fun one for me.  I love to try different things and keep it interesting at dinner time.  I had these red peppers that I wanted to use up and didn't want to do the traditional stuffed peppers.  I love baked ziti...baked any kind of pasta really!  I thought it would be a great thing to try and I am glad because it came out great!  I also like a bit of something saucy with my stuffed peppers and wanted to do a white sauce.  The only milk I had on hand was buttermilk so I thought we will either have sauce or not so I gave it a shot.  It was beyond expectations and came out great with a little more tang than a traditional white sauce....and has a little kick...yum.  

  • 4 Large Bell Peppers (I like Red)
  • ½ Pound Whole Wheat Ziti
  • ½ Pound Ground Turkey or Lean Ground Beef
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Large Zucchini, sliced into half moons
  • ½ Large Onion, diced
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • 2 Cups Pasta Sauce
  • 4 Slices of Provolone Cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1 Cup Chicken Stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

First, make the sauce by browning the ground meat, season with salt.  Add the zucchini, onions, and garlic and cook until just softened.  Add homemade or store bought sauce and just heat through…bam…sauce.

Next, cut the peppers straight down the middle and clean out the seeds so you have little bell pepper boat.

Next, boil the pasta until just a little under done.  Add to the sauce and combine.  Divide among the pepper halves and top with a slice of cheese.

Bake in the oven for about 40 – 45 minutes.  Just keep your eye on them to avoid over browning the cheese. 

In a sauté pan heat the butter over medium high until melted and then add the flour.  Whisk the roux until foamy and slightly darker in color.  Add the buttermilk slowly while whisking briskly to keep the sauce smooth.  Add chicken stock, salt, and cayenne.  Whisk until smooth and let it come to a bubble for a few seconds.  Spoon over peppers and enjoy!

This meal was an experiment that turned out amazingly!  I highly recommend this dish whenever you want a nice home-cooked meal that is a little unique.

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