4 large bell peppers (any color)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon EVOO, plus more for drizzling
6 plum tomatoes or small vine-ripened tomatoes
4 cloves garlic
1 fresh red chile pepper
1 red or mild yellow onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup orzo
1 cup long-grain white rice
2 cups chicken stock
20 to 24 small meatballs, coarsely crumbled
1 1/2 to 2 cups shaved or grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Halve the bell peppers lengthwise and remove the seeds. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with EVOO. Place the peppers cut-side down in a large casserole dish. Cut an X in the hull of each pepper and roast for 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, grate the tomatoes on the large holes of a box grater, discarding the skins. (You should have about 2 cups.) Grate the garlic, chile pepper and onion into the bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add a drizzle of EVOO and the thyme.
Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon EVOO in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the orzo and toast until golden and fragrant. Add half the tomato sauce and the rice and stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the stock and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the rice is tender, 17 to 18 minutes.
Combine the rice mixture, meatballs and 3/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano. Spoon the filling into the peppers and top with the remaining tomato sauce, the remaining cheese and a drizzle of EVOO. Bake until heated through and the tops are browned, about 45 minutes.
The stuffed peppers can be covered and refrigerated for a make-ahead meal. Bring to room temperature before baking.
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