• 1 red bell pepper
  • 4 large (about 1 pound) hot Italian sausages
  • 1 cup Barley
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1½ cups chopped scallions, white bulbs and green tops
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, deveined, and minced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • ¼ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, or a pinch dried
  • ½ pound thick-sliced smoked ham, cubed
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 pound bay scallops or quartered sea scallops
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Using a long-handled fork, roast the bell pepper over a gas flame until it is blackened all over; or roast the pepper under a broiler, turning until crisp on all sides. Carefully wrap the pepper in paper towels and place it in a small plastic bag. Set it aside to cool. Then rub the burned peel off with paper towels. Core and seed the pepper, and sit it aside.

Sauté the sausages in al oil-rubbed 3- to 4-quart Dutch oven over medium heat until well browned on all sides. about 5 minutes. Transfer the sausages to a plate and set aside to cool. Then cut them into ½-inch-thick slices. In the same Dutch oven, sauté the barley over medium heat until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the butter and scallions; coot 1 minute. Add the garlic and jalapeo pepper; cook 5 minutes longer.

Pace the peeled bell pepper in the container of a food processor or blender. Add 1 cup of the chicken stock and process until smooth. Stir this mixture into the barley mixture, along with the remaining 2 cups stock, the thyme, ham and sausages. Heat to boiling. Transfer the pot to the oven and bake, covered 35 minutes. remove the pot from the oven, and stir in the shrimp and scallops. Return it to the oven and bake, covered, 15 minutes. Remove the cover and bake 5 minutes longer. Remove the pot from the oven and let it stand for 5 minutes. Then add salt and pepper. Before serving, sprinkle with parsley. Makes 6 servings.