Peperoni in Padella, Saucepot Bell Peppers

A reader recently wrote to ask, “I am harvesting my Asti peppers and want to make peperonata. I have several recipes, including yours, that use tomatoes. Are there any without tomatoes in them?”

Peperonata is stewed bell peppers, and I do include tomatoes in them. Always have, and never thought about why. So I looked through a bunch of cookbooks, and discovered that so does everyone else: Some call for less, and others more, but  tomatoes are a constant presence in peperonata.

In my search I did find a couple of other uses for peppers that I’m going to try, including Peperoni in Padella, Saucepot Bell Peppers. It’s a Campanian recipe, and is frankly rather lusty. Since bell peppers will flavor the oil they’re cooked in, you should use a cup, and cook them in batches.

To serve 6:

  • 2 1/4 pounds (1 k) bell peppers of the colors you prefer
  • 1 cup oil for frying
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pitted chopped black olives
  • 2 tablespoons salted capers, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Begin by stemming, seeding, and ribbing the peppers, and then cut them into squares. Heat the oil in a sauce pot over a brisk flame and fry the pepper squares in batches, draining the fried peppers on absorbent paper. When you are done frying, discard all but 2 tablespoons of the oil.

Heat the oil, and sauté the garlic, capers, and olives for a couple of minutes. Add the peppers and cook, stirring, for a few minutes more. Season to taste with pepper and (if need be) salt, dust the peppers with the minced parsley, and serve.
Yield: 6 servings saucepot bell peppers.

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Tags: , , ,

Categories: Bell Peppers, Campanian Vegetables

Author:Cosa Bolle in Pentola

Italy boasts an astonishing number of varietals, denominations, and wines, and tremendous changes are sweeping the land. New wines are being created, new DOCs are being introduced, and the existing denominations are overhauling their regulations both to reflect the practices adopted by their member wineries and to favor improvements in quality. Even the most staid and stolid region can flower seemingly overnight, emerging with exciting new wines and wineries that require rewriting the enological maps and rethinking one's positions. And, of course, recipes too, because cuisine and wine are closely intertwined and it's difficult to imagine one without the other.

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