Today, I am taking a perfectly delicious vegetarian recipe and putting some meat in it. This week my menu plan does not include three vegetarian dishes, so I decided to go for broke and just skip the vegetarian meals altogether. (I mean since this week is shot for vegetarian meals anyway, why start now????) (I can justify anything, I tell ya.) Anyway, I am hoping to get back to more vegetarian meals next week, but really I need to use up some of the protein items that I have in my stores. Italian sausage is one of those protein items, and this dish is just begging for the addition of some meat.
When we originally tried this dish out, it was a great light dinner. In my notes of that original post, I mentioned that I would add some Italian sausage the next time I made it...just to see how it turned out. Well, tonight is the night for that little experiment. The nice part is that dinner is already half finished. I still have a pretty good amount of filling leftover that I froze, so I don't have to start making this dish from scratch again. Hooray! Here is the link to the original post and my notes below (i.e. what I am adding) for the variation. I will let you know how this version turns out!
Giada's Orzo Stuffed Peppers
1 Tablespoon of canola oil
2 links of hot Italian pork sausage, removed from casings
2 links of sweet Italian chicken sausage, removed from casings
Additional chicken stock, if needed
Additional salt and pepper if needed
2-3 diced fresh Roma tomatoes (just because I need to use them up)
1 portion of frozen Orzo filling, thawed
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Crumble sausage and cook until browned. Add thawed orzo filling, additional chicken stock, salt and pepper (if needed0, and diced tomatoes. Simmer until thickened and all liquid is almost all evaporated. Use new sausage/orzo filling to stuff peppers and put in a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Place some additional chicken stock in bottom of casserole dish. Cook at 400 degrees for 25 minutes uncovered, then cover with a piece of foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
As good as this dish was the first time...and it was good...this was even better with the sausage. Not a little better, but fan-freakin'-tastically, leaps and bounds better! Seriously, I think sausage is the only way to go with this dish. It was awesome!!!! This is a total keeper. So delicious it is indescribable. Just trust me and try it for yourself.