Simple and festive, these peppers will be welcome at any time of year
Preheat oven to 350F.
Slice bell peppers in half lengthwise. Remove core and seeds, rinse and pat dry. Set aside.
Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Sauté “sausage” for 2 minutes. Add onion, celery, garlic and parsley, and cook about 10 minutes more. Stir in 1/2 cup tomatoes, thyme and cayenne.
Put rice in bowl, and stir in vegetable mixture. Let stand 15 minutes so the rice absorbs any liquid from vegetables. Stir in cheese. Divide rice mixture among pepper halves, mounding mixture into cavities. Pour remaining tomato mixture into small baking dish. Nestle stuffed peppers on top of tomatoes. Cover dish with lid or aluminum foil.
Bake 1 hour. Uncover peppers, and sprinkle each pepper with 1 Tbs. Parmesan cheese. Cook, uncovered, 10 minutes. Serve with sauce from baking dish, and garnish, if desired.