Yellow Pepper Pesto and Sausage Stuffed Peppers
Inspired by Calabria, a region in southern Italy, this pesto is balanced with a hint of spice. Leeks and almonds add sweetness while the roasted peppers and garlic add rich flavor. This pesto can also be used as a dip with crudité or as a bruschetta or pizza topping. Instead of roasting the peppers, I follow Marcella Hazan's tip and peel raw peppers beforehand. Yes, it's one more step but worth the effort!
Preheat the oven to 400˚
Using a vegetable peeler, slice along flat parts of the peppers, removing as much of the skin as possible. Chop and remove the seeds.
Heat the oil in a 10″ skillet. Add the peppers and chopped leek and cook, stirring often until soft, about 10 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Add the cooked peppers and leeks to a high-speed blender along with the remaining pesto ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy, using the tamper, if necessary to fully blend the ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
Cut the mini peppers in half and remove the stems and seeds. Fill with some pesto, them some sausage. Top with some shredded mozzarella and a sprinkle of aji amarillo pepper.
Bake for 25 minutes covered. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes until the cheese is brown and bubbly. Garnish with fresh basil. Serve with a green salad and a crispy baguette.
To make Fresh Mozzarella – Combine ¼ cup raw cashews and 1¼ cups water in a high speed blender. Add ¼ cup refined coconut oil, melted. Blend on high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add 3 tsp kappa carrageenan, ¼ cup tapioca starch, 1 tsp salt and ¾ tsp lactic acid to the blender. process until combined. Pour the mixture into a non-stick saucepan and cook, over medium heat, stirring with a silicone spatula, until mixture is thick and glossy. Pour into a small 2 cup mold. Chill until firm.
- 2 yellow bell peppers
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 medium leek, white part only, washed and coarsely chopped, about ¾ cup
- ¾ cup blanched slivered almonds
- ⅓ cup packed basil leaves
- 5 cloves roasted garlic
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp aji amarillo pepper
- 1 lb mini multicolor sweet peppers
- 1 pkg Field Roast Italian vegan sausages, crumbled
- 1 cup shredded fresh cashew mozzarella, recipe follows
- a sprinkle of aji amarillo pepper
- fresh basil leaves