Stuffed Green Peppers
The sausage will add more flavor than straight ground beef - I'd go 50/50. My seasoning suggestions would depend on the type of sausage you're using...but since it sounds like you're going in an Italian direction with the tomato sauce, some grated Parmigiano or Pecorino would certainly elevate the savory & salty flavor components.
If you plan to use meat, my suggestion would be to use sausage meat vs ground beef or pork. That way you already start out with a seasoned dish. You can choose your sausage based on the theme of your dish. If you plan this to be an Italian-style dish then use sweet or hot Italian sausage. I tend to season my sauce in the same manner as my stuffing so, for Italian I'd use garlic, fennel seeds and oregano in my sauce. Rice or, orzo pasta is also nice in Italian stuffed peppers and adding freshly grated parmesan to your stuffing adds yet another layer of flavour. I always like to top them w some fresh mozzarella that I add during the final 15 mins or so of cooking since it melts so quickly.
This is what I mix into the cooked rice)
Seasoning mix A: (measurements mostly estimated)
1/8 tsp. dried cayenne
1/4 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. sweet Hungarian paprika
*** next ingredient is Not crucial -can just use salt to taste ***
1 tsp. Herbamare Spicy Pikant (This is just for your reference - a co-worker sent it to me from Germany http://www.avogel.ie/food/herbamare-s...
Then for the tomato sauce,
Seasoning mix B:
1 Tbsp paprika
1/8 tsp. cayenne
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
Put 3 bay leaves and @1/4 tsp black peppercorns in bottom of pot.
Now I am starting to crave them!
I use garlic and onions cooked in olive oil and cooled before mixing into the raw meat and I use cooked rice and parsley mixed with the meat. Sometimes I add some parmesan to the meat mixture and have sometimes cooked the meat with the onions and garlic before putting it into peppers. I like it all different ways. I agree that it is about the flavor the peppers imparts on the meat and sauce. I use cooked onions, garlic, oregano and some hot crushed red pepper in the tomato sauce for the topping. I always like some kick.
This isn't about the sauce but about the peppers, if you haven't made this dish before. Some people will tell you that you have to parboil the peppers to make sure they get done in baking. I find it's easier to skip parboiling and just cover the dish of peppers and sauce with foil for the first part of baking; the steam will stay in to cook the peppers through and you can then remove the foil to finish the baking. As for the sauce, I don't spice mine with anything as I love the pure tomato flavor in contrast with the taste of the beef and the peppers. I mix ground beef, chopped onion, an egg, salt, and Minute Rice (the only thing I use it for!) to make the stuffing.
But when a vegetarian niece visits, I stuff peppers with Corn Pudding: Put a bag of frozen corn in the Cuisinart and just pulse it on and off not to puree the corn but just break up the kernels. Add 2 beaten eggs, 1 cup milk, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 cup Bisquick or 1/4 cup flour plus 1/2 tsp baking powder, and an 8-oz bag of shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese. Lay some onion rings on top of each pepper. Bake.