Italian

Peperonata: Stewed Bell Peppers

Peperonata is a simple dish of stewed bell peppers, onion and tomatoes – so basic but so, so delicious. If you’ve ever wondered why they’re called sweet bell peppers, you’ve never tried peperonata. The longer and slower you stew them, the sweeter and silkier they become, almost surprisingly so. I certainly never knew that bell peppers could taste so good!

Peperonata is a simple dish of stewed bell peppers, onion and tomatoes - so basic but so, so delicious. If you've ever wondered why they're called sweet bell peppers, you've never tried peperonata. The longer and slower you stew them, the sweeter and silkier they become, almost surprisingly so. I certainly never knew that peppers could taste so good!

Beautiful multi-coloured bell peppers are at their peak right now and there’s probably no better way to highlight peppers at their seasonal best than this peperonata recipe which requires only five main ingredients.

The other beauty of this recipe is how versatile it is. Peperonata can be served as a starter, main dish or side; atop pasta, rice or chickpea flour pizza; to accompany mushroom arancini; or in a sandwich, burger or pita (it would be great with falafel). But my favorite way to eat it is simple: piled on a thick slice of crusty bread.

I can think of no better end-of-summer meal than a big bowl of hearty vegetarian pasta fagioli with a side of deliciously sweet stewed bell peppers and thick crusty bread, yum!

Peperonata is a simple dish of stewed bell peppers, onion and tomatoes - so basic but so, so delicious. If you've ever wondered why they're called sweet bell peppers, you've never tried peperonata. The longer and slower you stew them, the sweeter and silkier they become, almost surprisingly so. I certainly never knew that peppers could taste so good!

Most recipes for peperonata I’ve seen have used only red and yellow peppers. I like to advocate eating the rainbow so I picked up a pepper of each colour, including a purple one which I saw for the first time in the market this year.

I turns out that purple peppers lose all their colour and turn white when slowly stewed for an hour, so don’t bother using them for this recipe. Choose whatever colour of pepper your heart desires.

Peperonata is a simple dish of stewed bell peppers, onion and tomatoes - so basic but so, so delicious. If you've ever wondered why they're called sweet bell peppers, you've never tried peperonata. The longer and slower you stew them, the sweeter and silkier they become, almost surprisingly so. I certainly never knew that peppers could taste so good!

Cooking time is also up to you. Stewed peppers are sweeter and with a more concentrated flavour the lower and slower they are cooked. I had time to leave my in the pot over medium heat for almost an hour and a half, but if you don’t have the time to spare, you can crank the heat a bit and stew them for about 40 minutes.

Peperonata: Stewed Bell Peppers

Peperonata: Stewed Bell Peppers

Yield: Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Peperonata is a simple dish of stewed bell peppers, onion and tomatoes – so basic but so, so delicious. 

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup good quality olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 4 - 6 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
  • 5 bell peppers, your choice of colour, sliced lengthwise
  • 4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • red wine vinegar, optional and to taste

Instructions

  1. Warm a very large pot over medium-low heat then add the olive oil, onion and garlic. Fry gently, stirring occasionally, until soft.
  2. Add the sliced peppers and a pinch of salt, mix well. Cover the pot and allow the peppers to soften, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the chunks of tomato and raise the heat to medium so that the juices begin to simmer. Cook uncovered. Cooking time is up to you. I left my peperonata to stew for about an hour and a half, stirring occasionally. If you don't have so much time, raise the heat a little and stew for about 40 minutes.
  4. When the juices have cooked down into a thick sauce, the peperonata is ready. Season to taste with salt, pepper and red wine vinegar.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 202 Total Fat: 14g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 12g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 93mg Carbohydrates: 19g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 9g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 3g

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