Peperonata – luscious cooked peppers


A flavorful stew of cooked peppers and tomatoes, peperonata can be eaten hot or at room temperature as a flavorful side dish or with slices of crusty Italian bread. It’s flavors meld perfectly with a mild hard cheese.


1-2 large onions
8 large bell peppers – red, yellow, orange, green
Optional: spicy chilies (jalapenoes, red fresno chilies, thai chilies, etc)
1 28oz can of chopped tomatoes (preferable unsalted, organic)
1-2 bay leaves
Italian Parsley
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Optional: 1-2 tablespoons sugar and 1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar


1. Wash the peppers. Chop them into quarters or large wedges and remove the seeds. Chop the spicy chilies into rounds. Chop onions into half rings about 1/4 inch thick.

2. Heat olive oil in large pot or dutch oven. Add onion slices and cook uncovered over medium heat. Stir only to prevent from burning.

3. Five minutes later, add 1 pepper chopped into quarters.

4.  When onion browns (generally, after another 5 minutes) add the rest of the onions and peppers. Cover. Cook until peppers wilt (but don’t brown) and don’t stir too often – this usually takes a good 20-30 minutes. Once there is enough liquid, add the bay leaves.

5. Now uncover, add tomatoes, cook on medium-low heat until wilted and much of the watery liquid evaporates, leaving a slightly thicker, more dense liquid. Generally, this takes about 10-15 minutes. Add salt.

6. In the final 15 minutes of cooking, add chopped parsley, and  – if you wish – the sugar and vinegar. Taste and adjust seasonings.

7. Enjoy! You can eat hot from the pot, but for best flavor, let it sit for 24 hours (refrigerated) and serve at room temperature as a side dish or on bread with a good hard cheese and a bold red wine!

Acqua e Sale – a refreshing summer raw-veggie soup

This is a refreshing summer dish made with raw vegetables in a simple broth of water, salt and olive oil. It is similar to a cold gaspacho and is great with stale bread.


2 ripe tomatoes
1/4 to 1/2 red onion
1/2 cucumber
1 green pepper (bell or other)
good extra-virgin olive oil
hearty stale bread, sliced (you can use any hearty country bread with a nice crust, though Pugliese frise are the best)


1. Cut the tomatoes, onion, peppers and cucumber into small pieces and place in a medium bowl.

2. Add lots of water, abundant olive oil and salt.  Refrigerate for 1 hour. The end result will be almost like a cold soup or gaspacho.

3. Eat in bowls, over slices of stale bread.