Peperonata (Rustic Stewed Peppers)


In my last post I mentioned a desire to overcome my Christmas “hangover”. One method by which this might be accomplished has already been mentioned – the hair of the dog. However, it appears that a more effective method may be required. This is where my new, roughly vegetarian, diet comes in. By ‘roughly vegetarian’ I mean that I shan’t sniff at a soupçon of a fairly healthy, meat-filled dish, but my main diet shall consist of vegetables and fruit. Surely, this must be as close to a cure for a food-hangover as it is possible to get?

As has already been mentioned, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall shall be providing one or two of these recipes. Indeed, this recipe is adapted from one of the same title found in his newest book: River Cottage Veg Everyday! Though, I shan’t bang on about this jolly good little read any longer, for fear of boring many of my readers to tears – sorry Hugh.

Peperonata is a dish which has only recently become known to me, yet it is already one of my favourites. If done correctly, it is so achingly rich, sumptuous and juicy – a real feast for both one’s eyes and one’s taste buds. I’ll admit that it can only be considered a half-way house between decadence and health; while it contains on vegetables, they are underpinned by more than a modicum of olive oil. It is also of vital importance to stress just how patient one should be when preparing this dish. Please give it the full cooking time, or you’ll simply be a little disappointed. You see, the onions and the peppers need time to break down and sweeten; not to mention the fact that the bitterness must be removed from the seeds of the plum tomatoes. I sincerely hope you try this one, as it really should not be missed.


Serves 3-4


• 2 medium onions, finely sliced

• 1 red pepper, finely sliced

• 1 yellow pepper, finely sliced

• 2 cloves of garlic, crushed and roughly chopped

• 400g tin plum tomatoes

• 1 tsp balsamic vinegar

• Olive oil

• Salt and Pepper


1. Gently fry the onions in a healthy dose of olive oil for around 10 minutes – by this point they should be soft and golden. Add the garlic and peppers and continue to cook for another 20 minutes, the peppers should become visibly soft.

2. Add the tomatoes, break them down and allow to stew for 30-40 minutes, one may need to add a little water. Season to taste before serving with pasta or bread.

Cost: This simple, rustic meal is, as one would expect, very cheap to make. The only real expenses are the red and yellow peppers and even they can be found reasonably cheaply. Indeed, the entire pan of food, including pasta or bread, should cost around £1.10, at a maximum. Then again, as with most recipes, I suppose the cost of ingredients is dictated by the area in which you live.


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90 comments on “Peperonata (Rustic Stewed Peppers)

  1. Amrita
    January 3, 2012 at 11:12 am

    definitely looks like a picker-upper. gorgeous colours!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 7:35 pm

      It is, give it a go! You’ll like it, I promise 😀

  2. EmmaMT
    January 3, 2012 at 11:21 am

    My husband and I were meal planning last night (an attempt to be healthy in the new year and not wasteful with food!) and we were saying how we need some new easy recipes to knock up after work. This Peperonata is just the ticket! It’s great that it’s ingredients are the kind of food/ store cupboard items that we always have in.

    Definitely going to add it to next weeks meal plan…… or maybe just switch one from this week to next so we can have it tonight!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 7:18 pm

      It really is very simple, as you can clearly tell. I really hope you enjoy the meal!

  3. Susan
    January 3, 2012 at 11:32 am

    I *adore* peperonata (and its Spanish cousin, sofrito), especially with good crusty bread. Lovely post.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 7:17 pm

      I shall have to look into this sofrito :D. I’m glad you enjoyed.

  4. My Lovely Bites
    January 3, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Peperonata, this is one of the recipes my grandmother would make and I would never eat. How I wish that I could taste it now, even thought she lives literally on the other side of the world! 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 7:34 pm

      Tut! Poor granny. Why not make it yourself 😀

  5. Bam's Kitchen
    January 3, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Oh yum this dish has so many possibilities with just switching up the type of pasta, grain, polenta, or even Spanish Rice. Take care, BAM

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 7:17 pm

      That’s why I love it so much. Though, I think bread is the perfect accompaniment 😀

  6. malaysiagirl
    January 3, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Great idea for dinner tonight. It looks like a versatile dish that i can pair with just about anything.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 7:16 pm

      Thanks! Exactly. It’s so delicious as well.

  7. Arturo Féliz-Camilo
    January 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Thanks for always bringing those saucy dishes that make me always go “some white rice would be nice” or “How about a piece of bread to clean the pan”! LOL!! I would definitely have some of that!

  8. spree
    January 3, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Love this sort of eating – clean, versatile, easy, tasty and concocted with all healthful ingredients. Lots of freedom in a dish like this, and it’s a whole lot more appealing than the likes of “hair of the dog”! 🙂 Nice post!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 7:15 pm

      Exactly! There is so much freedom – do with it what you want! 😀 Apart from adding meat 😛

  9. bombedpop
    January 3, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Looks great!

  10. batterwitch
    January 3, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    This looks sooo good… Definitely trying it soon!! 😀

  11. JeniferR
    January 3, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    This looks delicious!! I did a vegan “diet” for about 2 months and felt the best I ever have. The food is delicious and my body now craves green spinach smoothies. LOL. I am going to use this recipe and just substitute the oil for water. You can really bring out the flavor of the pepper by using a small amount of water, let it evaporate, and then use another small amount of water. Do this several times and you have amazing veggies with no oil!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 7:15 pm

      I honestly could not do that! Thing is, I love the oil. for me it brings all the richness and silkyness. A little olive oil never hurt anyone.

  12. JeniferR
    January 3, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    You should get a Facebook page!!! Just shared you on my Facebook fan page. 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 7:14 pm

      There is one in the works – I promise 😀

  13. threeblondesandatomas
    January 3, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    this kind of thing is good on anything or just with some really good warm bread! i can just taste the peppers looking at it!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 7:13 pm

      Exactly. I’m glad you’re not advocating adding meat to it – it simply doesn’t require or need it.

  14. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    January 3, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Looks good all on its own or with beef or chicken. I know, I’m defeating the point!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 7:12 pm

      You are rather. It would be nice, but I don;t think it needs any of that. I don’t believe in adding meat for the sake of it.

  15. countrywoodsmoke
    January 3, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    This is a lovely recipe, as others have said with some woderful artisan crusty bread.
    It has many other uses I would imagine, on a pizza, stirred into some pasta or with a lovely couscous.

  16. Huy-zer
    January 3, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    As Rufus said, it is not exactly part of a “roughly vegetarian” diet, but I’d imagine this would be fantastic to stew a little spicy Italian sausage in. Or, better yet, I would love to add a little more base tomato sauce and use it to stew some oxtails. Oh my, just may have to break the P90X diet to do that this weekend!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 7:11 pm

      Now, now, don’t defeat the point of the exercise 😀

  17. thebigfatnoodle
    January 3, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    You may have just converted me to peppers. they’re not my favourite vegetable but I think I could really like them cooked this way.

    • Huy-zer
      January 3, 2012 at 11:16 pm

      I’m not a big fan of raw peppers, either, but slow cooked like in this recipe, or fire roasted over a gas flame, they sweeten up and become a completely different product. If you have a gas range, trying charring a red pepper all over on direct flame, then put in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 15 mins. Wash off the charred parts and slice it up. I guarantee you’ll dig it!!

      • frugalfeeding
        January 4, 2012 at 7:06 pm

        Nah, they taste a bit weird… That happens when you roast them too, I love doing that!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 7:07 pm

      They’re a fruit :D. You should try it, you won’t regret it!

  18. Kay aka Babygirl
    January 4, 2012 at 6:09 am

    My mother and grandmother used to stew peppers and tomatoes.. so this is a welcoming sight to see this dish. Wonderful post

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 7:04 pm

      Oh, awesome! So glad it brings back good memories 😀

  19. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial
    January 4, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Bang on, bang on, we loved River Cottage Veg and Hugh FW! Great series, and so many wonderful recipes. Your peperonata looks wonderful and very moreish indeed!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 7:02 pm

      Yes! Awesome. It was really moreish – I ate it all.

  20. patsquared2
    January 4, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    I make a similar recipe but I can it. Especially useful at the end of the gardening season when I am inundated by half red peppers and the last of the tomatoes. Nothing like opening a jar, adding freshly browned, organic Italian sausage and creating a meal that warms you inside and out.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 7:32 pm

      Canning this is a really great idea! Perhaps I should try it when the time comes.

  21. spicegirlfla
    January 4, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    I love this dish. Perfect as a side, on an appetizer platter, you can’t go wrong with this one. Great recipe!!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 7:01 pm

      It’s great as a main dish too, with a good hunk of bread!

  22. Robin Ellis
    January 4, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    One of my favourite dishes too.

    Congratulations on a good blog–nice photos too!

  23. Cathy
    January 4, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    This looks so warming and appetizing. I bet it would be great with some tasty (and nutritious) brown rice too. 🙂

  24. Chica Andaluza
    January 4, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    I adore peperonata and the more patient you are with it, the better the result! A perfect antidote for the excesses of Christmas.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 7:31 pm

      Completely! One must always be patient with cooking!

  25. Smedette
    January 4, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    My mouth is watering!

  26. Crystal Rayne
    January 4, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Looks delish! I can think of so many tasty uses for this dish and love the red color.

  27. meetyourtreat
    January 4, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    This looks wonderful, I’m going to try it with bread AND pasta just for good measure! I am glad to see you will be trying more veggie dishes, I have cooked for many years as a meat eater and as a vegetarian and honestly cooking without meat is much more exciting, the possibilities are endless and the flavors are a lot more interesting.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 8:04 pm

      Thanks! Ahha, carb fest :D. I’ve always cooked a fair few veggie meals, but a few more shall find the daylight soon.

  28. Christie
    January 4, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    This looks absolutely delicious. I would love this on top of pasta – in fact, I think I might try to make this tonight!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 8:05 pm

      Thanks, Christie. You certainly would :D. Let me know how it goes.

  29. Jen R
    January 4, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Oh I want some for breaky on sourdough….right now!!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 8, 2012 at 9:58 pm

      That would be delicious, but don’t be impatient 😀

  30. Food, Flowers, Herbs and Life!
    January 4, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    That would be truly lovely over some pasta! I can’t wait to try it!

  31. KatsHealthCorner
    January 5, 2012 at 1:47 am

    That’s looks SO good! 😀

  32. Anastasia
    January 5, 2012 at 7:51 am

    My kids have been on a pasta diet lately (they refuse everything else that is not sweet), this dish will add some variety to our table – I’m totally making it!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 8, 2012 at 10:03 pm

      Haha, I’ve heard kids love pasta :D. I certainly did. I hope they enjoy it!

  33. magefesausa
    January 5, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Oh! Looks sooooo good!
    Thanks for you post.

  34. amymarie
    January 5, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    I’ve nominated you for a Kreative Blogger award on my blog. Here’s the link Have a great new year!

  35. Cheri
    January 6, 2012 at 5:00 am

    This looks delicious, but here in Seattle each pepper would cost about $2, a can of good tomatoes would be about the same, and the onions would run about $1–say another $.50 for the oil, balsamic and garlic–this dish costs about $7.50. My currency converter says that’s £4.84. Of course, you could only make it in summer, when the cost of the peppers is less, but even then they’re about a dollar apiece.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 8, 2012 at 10:00 pm

      I’m sure you must be able to find them for cheaper if you shopped around or bought in bulk. Anyway, it’s hard for me to take this into consideration. I can only do what’s frugal for me. I’m glad you think it’s delicious 🙂

  36. Vered at EatNowTalkLater
    January 7, 2012 at 10:51 am

    I love peperonata, my parents make it at least once a week (coming from my italian side) and we eat it with anything! It is such a delicious dish, and you’re right, definitely worth the cooking time!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 8, 2012 at 9:42 pm

      It’s a truly fantastic dish. The cooking time is simply a must.

  37. Stacey
    January 11, 2012 at 1:17 am

    That looks great. I can’t wait to make it.

  38. bjonesphotography
    January 11, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Sounds very similar to the Hungarian favourite, Lecsó really tasty and I love your blog…

    My blog is not just about foodie stuff but there are a few bits and pieces in there, we grow all our own food so eating frugally is just part of what we do without thinking, I will be checking back regularly 😀

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 10:27 am

      Ahha, I shall check it out. Oh that’s great, we grown quite a lot here too!

  39. Missy
    January 11, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    That looks delicious! Perfect for a post Holiday hangover!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 10:27 am

      Thanks! It really was. It was good to get some vitamins in my body 😀

  40. Chef Scar
    January 12, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    This looks great, I love peppers.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 9:55 am

      Thanks, me too. Not so much when they’re raw, but cooked peppers are amazing and sweet.

  41. weweremeanttosparkle
    January 15, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    wow, never heard of this dish but it looks super good! I think I have to try this some time 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      January 15, 2012 at 9:35 pm

      I hadn’t either, but I simply had to try it.

  42. Nancy
    January 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    I love peperonata! I have a different version that’s spicy with capers and hot cherry peppers. Really yummy on crostini. I’ve just finished a post for it and plan to put it up soon on my blog. You’ll have to take a look.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 21, 2012 at 9:54 am

      That sounds great, you’ll have to remind me when you put it up 😀

  43. Nancy
    January 21, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    I definitely will!

  44. 4plates2table
    January 30, 2012 at 2:19 am

    Hi. Just posted my peperonata.
    Wanted to share : )

  45. Paul Calway
    July 1, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Would it be possible to use fresh plum tomatoes instead of tinned. I live in Peru and here they have a real aversion to tinned products! A circumstance that has improved my diet to no end. 🙂

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