We harvested a good supply of large red bell peppers from our Italian Quadrato Rosso pepper plants this week. I roasted most of them but saved a few for peperonata. This stewed bell pepper dish is one of my favorites because it is so sweet, bursting with flavor and very versatile. We enjoy it as a side dish with roast chicken or Italian sausage during these chilly autumn months. It is also delicious on crostini or bruschetta and can easily become a pasta or polenta sauce. It makes a tasty sandwich filling, along with some prosciutto. It could also be part of a nice antipasto or side dish for Thanksgiving. Peperonata tastes particularly good the day after you make it as the flavors have had time to mature. I sometimes find myself forking cold leftovers straight out of the refrigerator.
Peperonata (Italian Stewed Peppers)
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c. sliced red onion
2 cloves garlic, sliced
3 large red bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
1 medium orange or yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 c. peeled and chopped fresh tomatoes (you can use canned)
1/2 c. white wine
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
10 medium kalamata olives, pitted
1 Tbsp. fresh chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
Heat olive oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Add onions and cook 8-10 minutes until beginning to brown. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute to soften. Add red and yellow pepper slices. Sauté 5 minutes, stirring to coat with oil and onions. Add tomatoes, white wine, salt and pepper. Cover and continue cooking on medium heat for 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep peppers from sticking. You want the peppers to be meltingly soft and tender. Remove cover and add olives. Cook 2 minutes to heat olives. Spoon onto a serving platter and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley. Serves 4.