This is a really nostalgic dish for me as it reminds me of the man in the photo. So I like to make it often during bell pepper season using a mix of colors and different heirloom tomato varieties. A healthy vegetarian peasant stew that feeds the soul and just never gets old.
Wondering what to make it all the peppers and tomatoes this summer! This rustic stew/ sauce is the answer!
There’s different variations you can experiment with, I mostly stick to the more traditional recipe with lots of sauce to be wiped clean with some homemade potato bread.
You could add mushroom ( con I funghi ), thinly sliced potatoes, eggplant and zucchini (peperonata zucchine e melanzane), even poach a couple of eggs in there for a riff on Sicilian eggs in purgatory.
Simply put: an Italian ratatouille!
You could even add some olives or salty capers on top and serve it on the antipasto platter.
Make it Spicy
If you make this recipe please don’t forget to come back here and leave us a rating in the comment section below, it always makes my day ~ Florentina Xo’s
Traditional Peperonata Recipe
- 3 bell peppers (red, yellow and green)
- 1.5 lb heirloom tomatoes - mixed colors
- 1 purple onion (small)
- 1/2 leek (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + more as needed
- 1/3 cup fresh herbs (basil, chives + oregano)
- 1 tsp sea salt + more to taste
- 1 lemon
- Slice the leek in half lengthwise and reserve half for later. Slice up the other half and rinse it well in a bowl of cold water. Scoop the leeks out of the water and dry them well on a tea towel.
- Warm up a large skillet on medium low flame. Add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and the leeks with a pinch of sea salt. Saute for about 10 minutes until they start to get some color. Add the re pepper flakes.
- Rinse and cut the bell peppers into 1 inch pieces. Add them to the skillet with the leeks and give everything a good stir.
- Slice the red onion into 1 inch pieces as well and add it to the skillet. Stir well and cook everything together for about 10 minutes until the peppers start to soften and get some color.
- Meanwhile wash and cut the tomatoes into wedges or similar size pieces with the peppers.
- Add the minced garlic to the pan and give everything a good stir. Cook 30 seconds then add the tomatoes. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and cover with a lid. Cook another 5 minutes or so until the tomatoes burst and release their juices.
- Squeeze the juice from half a lemon to the Peperonata, taste and adjust seasonings with more sea salt and lemon juice.
- Remove from heat and finish with a light drizzle of extra virgin olive and sprinkle with the fresh basil, chives and oregano.
- Serve with crusty bread, creamy polenta, toss with your favorite short pasta or cous cous.