Previously, we talked about being overrun with peppers and what you can do with them. In the current summer of Covid, you can’t just simply dump them on your co-workers like you did every other year. And they are really good, so you want to use them if you can. The biggest problem is that you have so damn many of them now, and in the middle of the winter, you have none. I’ll show you a way you can use them today, and in January when the pepper patch is a distant memory.
Perhaps the most common use for banana peppers is to stuff them with sausage, cover them with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese, and bake them. Every decent restaurant in the Pittsburgh area has their own variation of stuffed banana peppers, and they are all good. Another good use is to make some pasta serve it with the sauce from the peppers. Yum. I have tried to make this, then freeze it, but I’ve had varying amounts of success. They are never as good as they are when you make them fresh.
Enter my brother-in-law, Danny. He shows up at our house one day with a stuffed banana pepper casserole, where instead of stuffing the peppers, he just cut them up into rings and cooked them with small sausage meatballs and sauce. It was delicious. So I took my pepper bounty and cleaned them like I usually do for stuffing. Then I popped them into boiling water for a couple minutes to soften them up. After blanching, I cut the peppers into 1/2-inch wide rings and put them into aluminum turkey roasting pans (I had a bunch of these from buying at Costco).
I then took some hot sausage links, removed the casings, and made small meatballs. I mixed the sausage with the peppers, put about 12 oz of marinara sauce over them, and covered them for freezing. My wife had the good suggesting that we put a vapor barrier over the mixture by placing a layer of Saran wrap right on top. We then covered the rim with aluminum foil and put them in the freezer.
This tastes great over pasta. And it gets rid of a whole bunch of banana peppers.
I’ll update this post in January to let you know how they worked out.
Day tripping in the kitchen with Rick