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Peperonata – Summer stewed sweet peppers


  • 5 sweet bell peppers – a mixture of red, yellow, orange (no green peppers)
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 onion, sliced 
  • 1 garlic clove – crushed and minced
  • 4 oz. prepared tomato sauce -or- 1 tbsp tomato paste mixed with 4 oz water
  • 1 tbsp white or red wine vinegar
  • Large handful of Sicilian green olives – chopped and pitted
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Any combination of fresh basil, oregano and/or parsley 


  1. Clean and slice the peppers into ½-inch strips, removing all the interior seeds and membranes
  2. Place a heavy-bottom pot or a large sauté pan (either with with lid) over medium-low heat. Add 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and the red pepper flakes and heat. Add the onions and minced garlic and a pinch of salt. Cover the pot and cook the onions and garlic until soft, stirring occasionally (about 5-7 minutes). If the onions start to burn, lower the heat and add a bit more olive oil.
  3. Add the sliced peppers with another pinch of salt. Stir well and cover. Cook on medium-low heat until the peppers begin to soften, about 30 minutes. Check and stir occasionally. If the peppers start to burn, lower the heat and add a little water to the pan.
  4. Add the prepared tomato sauce (or tomato paste mixture) and some of the herbs, reserving the remainder of the herbs for a garnish. Stir and cover. Cook until the peppers are very soft but not soupy – about 30 minutes.
  5. Stir in the wine vinegar and olives and gently cook for 10 minutes more. Remove from the heat and taste for salt. 
  6. Serve hot, room temperature or cold–all these options work well–garnishing with the remaining herbs.