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Active time15 minutes
Total time2 hours 30 minutes
Serving Size1 bell pepper half
1 pound ground beef or turkey
¼ cup ﬁnely chopped onion
3 tablespoons Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1-½ cups cooked whole grain barley kernels, cooking directions below
3 bell peppers, cut in half and seeded
2 jars (26 ounces each) prepared pasta sauce
Additional grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, optional
For the Barley:
- In medium saucepan with lid, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Add 1 cup whole grain barley kernels (also called hulled or hull-less barley) and return to boil.
- Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 50-55 minutes or until barley is tender and most of liquid is absorbed. (NOTE: Whole grain barley tends to absorb less moisture than pearl barley and it may be necessary to pour oﬀ any unabsorbed liquid after cooking.)
- Place any extra cooked barley in an airtight container and refrigerate or freeze for up to a week. Add to soups, stews, casseroles and salads for extra ﬂavor and ﬁber. For best results, bring frozen or refrigerated cooked barley to room temperature before using.
For the Peppers:
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- In large bowl, combine ground meat, onion, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, egg, salt, pepper, and cooked barley.
- Divide meat-barley mixture into 6 portions. Press each portion into a bell pepper half, forming mixture to the shape of the pepper.
- Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place ﬁlled pepper halves in dish. Pour pasta sauce over peppers. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake peppers for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- To serve, arrange peppers on platter, spooning a portion of sauce over each pepper. Pour remaining sauce from baking dish into container to serve at table. Sprinkle additional grated Parmesan cheese over peppers, if desired, and serve.
Recipe and photo courtesy of National Barley Foods Council