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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.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 310kcal
Author Florentina


  • 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