Archive | Bell Peppers RSS feed for this archive

Bell Peppers Stuffed with Sausages, Peperoni Ripieni alla Salsiccia

A Bell Pepper Stuffed with Sausage

A Bell Pepper Stuffed with Sausage

Sausages and bell peppers are a delightful combination, and this recipe will be perfect in spring or autumn, when you want neither the really light dishes of the summer months or the hearty dishes of winter. While you are of course free to use any sort of sausage, I suggest mild sausages.

  • 4 bell peppers of the color you prefer; select not-too-large peppers with flat bottoms because they will stand upright more easily
  • A scant pound (400 g) sausage meat; remove and discard the casings and crumble the meat
  • An egg
  • 2 scallions, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 cup (25-30 g) freshly grated Parmigiano
  • A small bunch of parsley
  • The leaves from 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 360 F (180 C).

Finely chop the parsley and the thyme leaves from two of the sprigs. Combine them in a bowl with the egg, sausage meat, and grated cheese, and season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper.

Finely slice the scallions and gently sauté them in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 of water in a non-stick pan, stirring gently. When the water has evaporated add the pine nuts and cook another minute, then let the mixture cool some and add it to the sausage mixture. Mix well.

Wash and dry the peppers, and cut off their tops. Seed them and rib them without puncturing them, and fill them with the sausage mixture, covering them with their tops.

Put the stuffed peppers in a baking dish, drizzle them with the wine and 3 tablespoons of olive oil, cover them with a sheet of aluminum foil, and bake them for 20 minutes. Remove the sheet of aluminum foil and bake them until done, another 20-25 minutes or so.

Let the peppers cool somewhat, garnish them with the remaining thyme leaves, and serve.

The wine? I’d be tempted by a white, perhaps a lusty Sauvignon from Friuli Venezia Giulia.

Yield: 4 servings bell peppers stuffed with sausage meat.

Advertisements

Peperoni alla Goria, Marinated Grilled 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 peperonata.

I did however find a couple of other uses for peppers that I’m going to try, and we’ll begin with Italian food writer and historian Giovanni Goria’s Peperoni alla Goria,  which are Marinated Grilled Peppers.

The recipe has been quoted in a number of cookbooks, as well as appearing on the web in several places. In other words, it’s good!

You’ll need:

  • Sweet bell peppers, ideally of the Astigiano variety, cut into broad strips
  • 2 canned anchovy fillets per strip (you could reduce this some if you want), rinsed and patted dry.
  • Finely sliced garlic, 2 slices per strip (optional)
  • Salted capers, well rinsed
  • Extravirgin olive oil
  • A mixture of finely chopped fresh herbs of choice; possibilities include:
  • Parsley, sage, mint, celery leaves, tarragon, thyme, and marjoram
  • A bunch of basil leaves, shredded

Begin by stemming, seeding, and ribbing the peppers. Cut them into broad strips that will lie flat, and either grill them skin-side down or broil them skin-side up to blister the skins. When the skins are well blistered, remove them under cool running water and pat the peppers dry.

Put the peppers on a serving platter and lay an anchovy fillet or two, a couple of slices of garlic, and a few capers on each.

Mix sufficient olive oil to season the peppers (enough to oil them, though they shouldn’t be swimming in oil — say a half cup for 3-4 peppers) with the chopped herbs — Italian recipes don’t say how much, but I would figure a tablespoon of chopped herbs per pepper (not strip!) — and spread the mixture over the peppers. Turn the slices to make sure they are coated on both sides, sprinkle the shredded basil over all, cover, and let the peppers marinate for several hours before serving them.

Peperoni in Brusco, Marinated 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.

I did find a couple of other uses for peppers that I’m going to try, including Peperoni in Brusco, Marinated Bell Peppers. This is a Piemontese recipe, and rather than have you marinate the peppers in the olive oil most recipes call for, has you marinate the peppers in vinegar before serving them. A tasty antipasto!

To serve 6:

  • 6 bell peppers of the color you prefer
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • A heaping tablespoon of minced parsley and basil
  • A clove of garlic, minced
  • 3 anchovy fillets, boned and rinsed
  •  1 tablespoon pickled capers, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Begin by stemming, seeding, and ribbing the peppers, before cutting them into broad rectangular strips that will lie flat.

Heat the oil in a broad skillet, and briefly cook the peppers, turning them once or twice; they should be done but not soft. Sprinkle the remaining ingredients over them and cook for another couple of minutes. Remove them to a platter, spooning the pan drippings over them, let them cool, and they’re ready to serve.

Yield: 6 servings marinated bell peppers.

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.

Peperonata Rustica, a Rustic Peperonata

Peperonata, Stewed Peppers

Peperonata, Stewed Peppers

Peperonata is stewed peppers, and there are innumerable variations on the theme. This  one is from the Pianura della Versilia, the coastal plain north of Pisa, and is drawn from Mariù Salvatori Zuliani’s excellent book, “La Cucina di Versilia e Garfagnana.”

Like many Italian recipes it is long on text and short on quantities:

Take bell peppers of a variety of colors, seed them, and rib them. Thinly slice one or two onions, depending upon the number of peppers, and blanch, peel, seed, and crumble a couple of tomatoes. Mince and sauté a little bit of the onion in olive oil, and when it begins to brown add the remaining onion and the peppers. Cook covered for a few minutes over a medium flame, just long enough for the peppers and onion to wilt without browning. At this point remove the cover and cook, stirring gently, until the liquid evaporates. Next, add the crumbled tomatoes; when they have wilted but aren’t completely cooked the peperonata is ready: You’ll end up with a dish that’s somewhat cooked and somewhat raw, and which can be eaten hot, as a side dish, or spread cold over slices of toasted bread as a snack.