Peperonata, More Than a Side Dish

I love this dish because it requires few ingredients and provides a lot of flavour. It is a great side dish to present at a dinner party – but I love it solo or with a naughty slice of cheese on top – just like how I’m making it today, with my favourite smoked provola sarda (which I’ve imported from home). I often use bell peppers for this, mixing all colours in, but this time I’m making it using these long red and green peppers, very sweet flavoured and comforting to the palate. This recipe makes enough for two.

1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
3 red peppers
3 green peppers
1.5 tomatoes (if big, otherwise up to three tomatoes; you can also use passata, but the flavour is so much better if you use fresh tomato and it takes just as long)
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Step 1 – Prepare all your ingredients. Chop the onion in half and slice them through the length. Slice the garlic. Remove the fibre and seeds from the peppers and chop them into thick stripes. Chop the tomatoes into small cubes.

Step 2 – Add the onion and garlic into a generous splash of extra virgin olive oil. Let them fry gently for around 10 minutes, till they are soft and golden.

Step 3 – Add the peppers and fry them on a gentle heat for about 20 minutes, after which they should be nice and soft.

Step 4 – Now you can add your tomatoes and add salt and pepper to your taste. Let the pepper stew in the juicy tomato for around 30-40 minutes. Congratulations – you have your super-simple scrumptious peperonata, and you can serve it as it is or as a side dish.

Step 5 – Time to have fun!! The best way to serve this is by layering it on a slice of toasted bread. Toast the bread either on a toaster, the oven grill or a cast iron grill – as you prefer. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on the bread, and serve the peperonata on the top of it, trying to make a tidy pile. Then slice the provola affumicata (but you can use provolone, cacio cavallo, scamorza…or any cheese you know will melt in the oven and retain a gentle but defined flavour against the peperonata), and place a slice on the top of your pile, add some oregano and put in the grill for a few minutes till the cheese has melted a bit. Enjoy your meal warm!

Have you tried peperonata before? Let me know if you like the idea of the melted cheese on top!Peperonata_recipe_12


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