Peperonata is simply stewed peppers and it is one of those traditional dishes that Italian cuisine is renown for. I try to make peperonata as often as I can, especially when peppers can be found on sale. I was out for brunch with my family recently, and we stopped off at a local grocery store on our way home. All I needed were oranges and lemons, but of course, I ended up with four bags full of groceries! There was a great sale on produce, and bell peppers were on sale for less than a dollar each. I couldn’t help myself, and before I knew it, I had a dozen large peppers in my grocery cart.
Once I arrived home, I knew that I would have to find a way to use my pepper bounty as soon as possible. In the end, I settled on this traditional dish of peppers gently stewed in tomatoes. This “pepper stew” is lovely with grilled or roasted meats or as an addition to an antipasti table. I even enjoy a scoop of these peppers alongside some creamy cheese and crusty Italian bread for lunch or a light dinner. Since I like a bit of spice, I add one or two hot peppers into the mix of sweet peppers but feel free to leave them out if you prefer. Depending on my mood, I may add other vegetables such as mushrooms and celery, but I always start out with the basic recipe below. This dish freezes well, so I put half my finished pepper dish in the freezer to enjoy over the holidays.
Deborah Mele Revised 2020
A tender stew of sweet and spicy peppers that works well as a great side dish.
- 4 to 5 Mixed Red and Yellow Peppers
- 2 Hot Banana Peppers (Optional)
- 6 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Medium Onion
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 Cloves Minced Garlic
- 1 (14 oz.) Can Chopped Tomatoes
- Fresh Chopped Parsley
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Pitted Kalamata Olives (Optional)
- Wash and dry all of the peppers.
- Cut off the tops, and cut in half, removing seeds and membranes and slice into 1 inch strips.
- Slice the onion into thin slices, and cut these slices into quarters.
- Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pan, and add the onions, garlic and peppers.
- Cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring frequently, until both the onions and peppers have softened and taken on some color.
- Add the tomatoes, and reduce heat to a simmer.
- Season with salt and pepper and cook for an additional 30 to 40 minutes, adding a little water if the mixture seems to be drying out too much.
- Add the parsley and olives, and cook an additional 5 minutes.
- Taste once more, and adjust seasonings if needed.
- Place mixture into a platter, and allow to come to room temperature.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 151Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 58mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g