Colourful peppers and tomatoes bring the taste of summer and lots of colour to your table: peperonata is a typical Italian side dish or starter. My family, for example, loves it on toasted white bread with olive oil and basil.Jump to Recipe
The peperonata originated in southern Italy. Here under the intense sun, farmers can harvest the first peppers and tomatoes as early as spring. This quickly prepared steamed vegetable has long been known and loved throughout Italy. The basic recipe for peperonata includes not only peppers but also garlic and/or onion and ripe tomatoes. The difference: stewed or sautéed peppers are called peperoni.
Even the simplest of foods can be improved with the right tricks: always choose ripe, firm and relatively small vegetables for the peperonata. They are usually more aromatic. Because of their special combination of spicy and sweetness, you should use red onions. And the perfect peperonata should stand for 4 to 6 hours at room temperature (not in the refrigerator!). Only then does the unmistakable taste develop.
Peperonata – the basic recipe
- 4 peppers bell peppers
- 4 tomatoes ripe
- 1 onion
- 1 clove garlic
- olive oil
Heat some olive oil in a casserole. Tilt the pan slightly to one side until it is floating and fry the garlic in the oil. When the oil is fragrant and the garlic is golden brown, remove the clove.
Add the chopped peppers and onion, cover and cook at a low temperature for a few minutes.
In the meantime, bring water to the boil, place the tomatoes in it for about 1 minute and then peel them. Cut the tomatoes into quarters, remove the stalk and inner seeds. Work over a bowl to collect any tomato juice. Add the tomato pieces and the sieved tomato juice to the peppers. Season to taste with salt. Simmer until the peppers are tender but not mushy.
The peperonata are then left to cool for at least four hours at room temperature. Season with fresh olive oil and serve. A teaspoon of white wine vinegar or white wine adds a fresh note to this dish.
Some regional variations
- Sicily: additionally, black olives and fresh basil. Just before serving, breadcrumbs are lightly browned in olive oil and sprinkled over the peperonata.
- Apulia – Peperonata salentina: without onion, but with fresh chilli, oregano and olives
- Campania Peperonata neapolitana: additionally, black olives, basil and black pepper
- Tuscany – Peperonata del Valdarno : additionally, potatoes
- Piedmont: additionally, capers and parsley
- Veneto: additionally, aubergine and parsley, oil is replaced by butter
- Liguria: without onion, additionally, roasted pine nuts and basil