A rustic Southern Italian dish traditionally from Calabria, made of stewed peppers with tomatoes, onions and herbs, peperonata Calabrese showcases the beauty of peppers like no other dish. Lovely as a healthy vegetarian side dish scooped over a bed of creamy polenta, as an appetizer on top of ricotta bruschetta or as a main dish tossed together with your favorite short pasta, like rigatoni or pene.
This is a really nostalgic dish for me as it reminds me of the man in the photo. So I make it often during bell pepper season, using a mix of colors and different heirloom tomato varieties. A healthy vegetarian peasant stew that just never gets old.
Wondering what to make with peppers and all the tomatoes this summer ? This rustic stew / sauce is the answer!
There are different variations you can experiment with, I mostly stick to the more traditional recipe but you could crumble some goat cheese on top and whatever herbs are having a moment. You can also add mushrooms (con i funghi), thinly sliced potatoes, eggplant and zucchini ( peperonata zucchine e melanzane ), even poach a couple of eggs in there at the last minute for a riff on eggs in purgatory.
Simply put: an Italian ratatouille!
Feel free to add some olives or salty capers on top too and serve it on the antipasto platter.
If you like things a little spicy you may want to add a little fiery chili pepper in there, otherwise keep it sweet “dolce”, mild and kid friendly. It’s particularly nice served on top of creamy polenta, Italian rice or fluffy olive oil mashed potatoes and mopped with a piece of Italian crusty bread.
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
A rustic Southern Italian dish traditionally from Calabria, made of stewed pepper with tomatoes, onions and herbs, peperonata Calabrese showcases the beauty of peppers like no other dish.Print 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.
Calories: 310kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 600mg | Potassium: 834mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 4395IU | Vitamin C: 156.8mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 3.2mg
Servings: 4 people
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