A simple and Mediterranean recipe but definitely enjoyed all over the world.
Peperonata (Pay-pay-row-NAH-ta) is a summer dish, since peppers are in season from June to September. Fruit and vegetables are definitely more tasty and full of flavor when they are in season. In summer I really like doing my vegetable shopping at the market, all stands are overflowing with bright colors and fresh fragrance. Peperonata is a simple dish made with bell peppers, onions, garlic and tomatoes, but it is very versatile; we can enjoy it as a side dish with meat (I love it with meatballs!), with fish such as cod, as an appetizer with toasted bread, or as a first course on pasta. I leave the choice to you! If you prefer a richer recipe, you can add some diced potatoes to the peppers. Instead, the Sicilian recipe adds toasted (in olive oil and garlic) bread crumbs before serving.
Another delicious summer recipe to enjoy with these vegetables is grilled pepper, a tasty appetizer or a side dish. Do not forget that peppers are very rich in water, about 90%, therefore they are an excellence choice for your summer diet.
Preparation time: 55 min. Cooking time: 50 min. Servings: 6
1.2 kg bell peppers of different colors, cut into 1.5 cm strips
350 g Tropea onions (red onions) peeled and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves
400 g peeled plum tomatoes cut into small cubes
6 tablespoons of olive oil (extra-virgin)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon of dried chili pepper (optional)
Ground black pepper
1. Peel the onions, wash and cut into thin slices.
2. In a pan heat the oil olive over medium heat, add the garlic. Sauté over medium heat and remove when it is lightly brown, Add the onion and cook over medium-low heat for about 15 min. turning a few times with a wooden spoon until onion is soft and translucent
3. Wash the peppers under running water. Remove the stalk, cut in half, then remove seeds and filaments. Cut the peppers into strips (1.5 cm, about 1/2 inch thick). Combine with the onion. Cook covered over medium-low for 15 min. Remove the lid, add the tomatoes, chilli pepper (optional), salt, pepper and sugar. Mix well and cook for about 15 min. until peppers are tender.
Note: I suggest to buy bell peppers of medium size, firm and meaty. The onions that I use are the red onions of Tropea (a city of Calabria), they have a delicate and sweet flavor. -Paola