Peperonata or Italian Bell Pepper Stew is a traditional Italian summer recipe that you can find on almost the entire territory of Italy. Still, it has its origins in the southern part of the country.
You can serve the Peperonata as a side dish, as an appetizer on a slice of homemade bread, or as a pizza & pasta topping. If you decide to serve it as a side dish, you can serve it on the plate near meat, chicken, fish or just on a delicious homemade focaccia Genovese.
So, What is Peperonata?
It’s a simple, traditional, and delicious Italian dish that has as a star of the plate the bell peppers. Besides the bell peppers, you can find onions, garlic, tomatoes, capers, and fresh basil. All these ingredients will give a delicious Mediterranean flavor.
Of course, you will find tons of variations of this recipe on the internet because it varies from the region of Italy, but let me share with you my favorite family recipe.
Let’s get started!
What Ingredients do you need to prepare an Italian Peperonata?
- 21 oz (600 g.) of Bell Peppers (Different colors)
- 17.5 oz (500 g.) Tomatoes (Different Colors)
- 8.8 oz (250 g.) Onions
- 5 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic
- 1 teaspoon capers
- ½ teaspoon Chili Peper Flakes
- 2 tablespoons Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- ½ teaspoon Dried Basil
How to prepare Italian Peperonata?
1. Wash well and clean all vegetables.
2. Chop the onion julienne.
3. After that, we will need to peel the tomatoes. For that, make an X-shaped cut on top of the tomatoes and pour boiling water over them. Leave them for 3-5 minutes. After that, move the tomatoes in cold water.
4. As a result of the thermal shock, it will be very easy for you to peel the tomatoes.
5. After you have peeled them, cut the tomatoes into cubes and put them in a bowl.
6. After that, we need to get ready for the bell peppers. Cut them into slices of about 1cm (1/3″).
7. After you’re done with the peppers, take the garlic cloves and mash them with the wide side of your knife. Thus, you will release the flavors from the garlic, and after cooking it, will be easy to remove the garlic cloves from the pan.
8. After we have all the ingredients ready for the pepperoni, we can go to the pan to cook them.
9. We start by flavoring the oil with some garlic cloves. To do this, pour about 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil into the pan and put the garlic cloves in the pan.
10. When you feel a pleasant aroma of the garlic, it’s time to add onions over them. Add a pinch of salt (1/4 tsp). We are adding a little bit of salt to help the onion release the juice from them. Cook the onion with the garlic for a few minutes, until the onion becomes soft and a little transparent.
11. After that, add the chili flakes to taste.
12. Now is the time for our star of the recipe. Add the bell pepper to the pan and mix all the ingredients. Let it fry for about 7 minutes.
13. After that, add the capers. In my case, I used the salted capers, but you can also use the regular ones from the jar.
14. After we added the capers, it’s time to add the vinegar and sugar.
Quicktip: Depending on whether you use vegetables in season or not, it will be necessary to adjust the balance of the sweet and sour taste by using a teaspoon of sugar and vinegar.
Therefore, do not be afraid to taste the product during preparation to adjust it to your taste.
In my case, I used the vegetables in their season, and I added only 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Or, if you like the vegetables to be a little more acidic, you can add 2 tablespoons of vinegar instead of one.
15. After the vinegar, add a teaspoon of sugar to give a sweet and sour taste to the final product.
16. Now it’s the turn of the tomatoes. Pour them into the pan and mix the well all the ingredients.
17. Let the vegetables cook for about 15-20 minutes on low heat. To understand when the vegetables are cooked enough, orient yourself according to the bell peppers’ level of cooking. They must remain a little crispy.
18. In the end, add the dried or fresh basil.
19. Mix well again all the ingredients and our delicious peperonata is ready to be served.
As I said, Peperonata is delicious both hot and cold. This time, I decided to serve it in the simplest way: next to a toast. Also, you can serve it near a couscous. We already have a super simple and delicious recipe for how to cook a quick couscous.
- 21 oz (600 g.) Bell Peppers
- 17.5 oz (500 g.) Tomatoes
- 8.8 oz (250 g.) Onions
- 5 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp garlic
- 1 tsp capers
- ½ tsp Chili Peper Flakes
- 2 tbsp Vinegar
- 1 tsp Sugar
- ½ tsp Dried Basil
- Wash well and clean all vegetables.
- Chop the onion julienne.
- Peel the tomatoes
- Cut the tomatoes into cubes and put them in a bowl.
- Cut the bell peppers into slices of about 1cm (1/3″).
- Mash the garlic cloves.
- Flavor the oil with some garlic cloves. To do this, pour about 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil into the pan and put the garlic cloves in the pan.
- When you feel a pleasant aroma of the garlic, it’s time to add onions over them. Add a pinch of salt (1/4 tsp).
- Add the chili flakes to taste.
- Add the bell pepper to the pan and mix all the ingredients. Let it fry for about 7 minutes.
- Add the capers. In my case, I used the salted capers, but you can also use the regular ones from the jar.
- Add the vinegar and sugar.
- Add a teaspoon of sugar to give a sweet and sour taste to the final product.
- Add the tomatoes and mix well all the ingredients.
- Let the vegetables cook for about 15-20 minutes on low heat.
- Add the dried or fresh basil.
- Mix well again all the ingredients and our delicious Peperonata is ready to be served.
- Category: Side Dish
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: italian recipes, peperonata, vegetable stew
Answering Your Questions:
Where does Peperonata come from?
As you might have guessed from the name, this is Italian food that is widespread throughout Italy, but which has its origins in the south of the country.
What does Peperonata mean in Italian?
In Italian, “Pepperoni” means peppers, so it means food made from peppers.
How to eat Peperonata?
Peperonata is a vegetable stew that is as tasty as both: cold and hot. It is perfect to eat as just an appetizer served on a slice of toast or as a main course at lunch next to a side dish such as rice or couscous, and of course next to Italian polenta.
How long does peperonata keep?
If you plan to eat it in the next 3-4 days, it is enough to keep it in the refrigerator in a tightly closed container.
Can you freeze peperonata?
It is better not to freeze it, but to keep it in well-sterilized jars.
How to preserve peperonata?
Caponata vs Peperonata
Caponata and Peperonata are both two traditional Italian recipes, prepared from vegetables. The difference between them is that Peperonata has bell peppers as the plate’s star ingredient, and caponata has eggplant as the main ingredient.