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     Stuffed Peppers with Mozzarella, Bread and Pancetta Header

                   Stuffed Peppers with Mozzarella,

                              Bread and Pancetta

   Stuffed Peppers with Mozzarella, Bread and Pancetta Photo
Category: Vegetables
Servings: 4 - 6
Total time: 1 hr 15 min
Level: Intermediate
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An authentic Italian recipe from our kitchen to yours. Buon Appetito!


- 8 medium bell peppers

- 1 large loaf day old, crusty bread (2 1/2 to 3 cups bread pieces)

- 6 ounces thick cut pancetta or bacon, diced

- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, chopped or broken into small pieces

- 8 large basil leaves, chopped

- Extra virgin olive oil

- Salt and pepper


1.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2.  Remove the crust from the bread and reserve it for another use. Either tear the rest of the bread into bite size pieces or cut it into 1-inch cubes. If the bread is not stale, spread the pieces out onto a baking sheet and bake the bread for about 8 - 10 minutes. Then remove the bread from the oven and set it aside. It should be lightly toasted but still soft and spongey. If the bread is truly stale, place the bread pieces in a bowl and add 1/2 to 3/4 cup water. Toss the bread in the water and let it soak for about 5 - 7 minutes. Then drain the water from the bread and set the bread aside.

3.  Rinse the bell peppers and clean them well. Cut the tops off each of the bell peppers and remove the seeds and white filments from inside the bell peppers as well as their tops. If the peppers are large enough inside, you can leave them as they are so that they can be filled like cups. Alternatively, you can slice the bell pepper open by cutting one side or you can cut the bell pepper in half to make it easier to fill.




4.  Prepare an oven safe baking dish by lining it with parchment paper. Rub the exterior of the bell peppers and their tops with extra virgin olive oil - just enough so that they are glossy on the outside - and place the peppers in the baking dish. Sprinkle a bit of salt inside each of the peppers.

5.  In a pan over medium high heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and the diced pancetta. Saute the pancetta until it begins to brown and the fat has rendered - about 5 - 7 minutes.

6.  When the pancetta has finished cooking add the entire contents of the pan into a mixing bowl along with the pieces of bread. Stir the ingredients well to combine them ensuring the rendered fat from the pancetta is evenly distributed over all of the bread.

7.  Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the bread and pancetta mixture and fold the ingredients together once again.

8.  Finally, add the chopped basil and pieces of mozzarella cheese to the mixing bowl. Fold the ingredients once more so that they are all evenly incorporated thoughout. Taste the mixture and add salt, pepper and any additional basil and/or olive oil to suit your taste.

9.  Proceed to filling the peppers with this mixture until all of the mixture is used and the peppers are sufficiently filled.

10.  Place the tops of the peppers over the filled peppers or place them near the filled peppers in the baking dish.

11.  Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place the dish on the center rack of the oven. Bake the peppers for 30 - 45 minutes or until they are sufficiently soft and starting to brown. If the peppers are thick, they will take longer to bake. Thinner peppers will require less baking time.

12.  When the peppers have softened well, uncover the dish and bake another 10 minutes to brown the stuffing.

13.  The peppers are finished baking when the top of the filling is a golden brown and the mozzarella has melted throughout.

14.  Remove the dish from the oven, re-cover it and let it cool for 5 - 10 minutes prior to serving.