1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add salt. Cut off the lids of the peppers and reserve. Seed and derib the peppers, leaving them whole. Cut a small slice from the bottom of each pepper so it will stand upright. Add the peppers and lids to the pot of boiling water and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain and let cool.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the meat, egg, cheese, parsley, oregano, basil, onion, bread crumbs, the 1 tablespoon salt, the 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1 cup of the water. Knead the water into the meat mixture with your hands. Add another 1/2 cup water and knead again. By now the mixture should feel smooth, with no grittiness left, and have a very soft texture.
3. Sprinkle the insides of the peppers with salt and pepper. Spoon a little tomato sauce into the bottom of each pepper and divide the meat mixture among them. Put upright in a flameproof baking dish and pour the remaining tomato sauce over and around the peppers. Top each pepper with its lid. Cover the dish tightly with a lid or aluminum foil lined with waxed paper or parchment paper. Bake until the peppers are soft and the filling has cooked through, about 1 hour.
4. Uncover the dish, remove the pepper lids, and dust the top of each pepper with about 1 teaspoon gremolata. Turn the oven to broil and place the peppers under the broiler just until browned, about 1 minute. Replace the lids and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
TO MAKE AHEAD: Let cool completely, cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.
TO REHEAT: If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator. Reheat in a preheated 350°F oven until heated through.
From From Our House To Yours. Compilation copyright © 2002 by Chronicle Books LLC. Foreword copyright © 2002 by Joyce Goldstein. Photographs copyright © 2002 by E.J. Armstrong. All rights reserved. First published by Chronicle Books LLC, San Francisco, California.
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