Last week we made a quick trip down to Gaeta, a great little city on the coast set on a promontory stretching towards the Gulf of Gaeta, between Rome & Naples. When we can get a couple of days away, we tend to head to the sea so we can indulge in our love of seafood, and we certainly managed to do that on our trip to Gaeta as well. At dinner one night at Ristorante Odissea, as well as enjoying the best shrimp dish I have ever tasted, I ordered a side dish of sautéed peppers called friggitelli which we were told were a local specialty. The peppers were cooked with some tomatoes, garlic and hot chili peppers and were absolutely delicious. Friggitelli, which are also known as friarelli, are small sized, slender, mild flavored, south Italian peppers that are great for frying.
Upon our return to Umbria, I actually found friggetelli in my local supermarket so I decided to replicate the pepper dish I so enjoyed in Gaeta. Because the peppers themselves are thin walled, they do fry up pretty quickly compared to other peppers. Though delicious, I found the pepper dish we enjoyed in Gaeta to be a little overcooked as I like to have some texture in my food, so that was really the only change I made. My husband likes his food to have a little spice, so I added two tiny chili peppers, but you could skip this addition if you prefer, or cut the addition of the chili peppers in half. These peppers are a delicious side dish, and I prefer them at room temperature.
Deborah Mele 2012
Fried Friggitelli Peppers
A delicious southern Italian specialty.
- 1 Pound Friggitelli Peppers (or Small Green Mild Peppers)
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 4 Plum Tomatoes
- 2 Cloves Garlic, Peeled & Thinly Sliced
- 4 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Basil
- 2 Hot Chili Peppers (Optional – See Note Above)
- Salt & Pepper
- Cut the top off the peppers, then cut in half, and remove the seeds and membranes.
- Core the tomatoes, then gently squeeze over the sink to remove most of the seeds.
- Chop the tomatoes.
- In a large skillet, heat the oil, then add the peppers and cook over medium high heat for about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook another minute or two until fragrant.
- Add the tomatoes and chili peppers if using, then season with salt and pepper.
- Cook another 4 to 5 minutes until the peppers are tender and the tomatoes have melted.
- Stir in the basil and mix well.