This year I’ve become completely addicted to the Farmer’s Markets near me. There is one in Keyport every Thursday and if I miss that one, there’s another one on Friday in Atlantic Highlands. I seriously do not know how I will survive past October when both of the Farmer’s Markets end. My favorite veggie/fruit vendor has been Hauser Farms from Old Bridge. They have a large variety of selections at extremely reasonable prices. Their produce is sooo good my two favorite restaurants in the area (Trinity and Drew’s) are regular customers (yeah, so much so, that sometimes they buy up EVERYTHING before I get there!!!).
A few weeks back I was excited to see the multi-colored peppers in baskets at the Farmer’s Market. They were so picturesque I bought up a few of each – red, yellow, orange. When life hands you peppers, you make peperonata. Peperonata is basically stewed peppers, slowly cooked with tomatoes, garlic, onions, basil, etc. Peperonata takes great alone or served over pasta (or whole wheat rigatoni in my case). It’s a great alternative as a pasta topping to your basic tomato sauce.
This recipe is from one of my very first cookbooks, The Italian Cooking Encyclopedia. My aunt gave it to me years ago a a gift and it’s a great resource for Italian cooking.What I always enjoy is how the recipes are labeled. The are in English and off to the side is the Italian word for that particular recipe. Even now when I look up a recipe I find it amusing that I am more familiar with the Italian phrase for the recipe versus the English version (like peperonata labeled stewed peppers).
Overall rating – 5 stars
Peperonata (aka Stewed Peppers)
4-5 very ripe peppers, preferably red or yellow
4 T olive oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
12 oz plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
salt and fresh pepper
a few fresh basil leaves
1. Wash peppers and cut into quarters, removing stems and seeds. Slice into thin strips.
2. In a large heavy saucepan, heat olive and saute onions until soft, add peppers and cook about 8 minutes until soft.
3. Stir in garlic and tomatoes, cover and cook 25 minutes over moderate heat. Season and tear basil leaves into pan. Serve hot or cold.