Italian Recipes Vegan Vegetarian

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.


90 replies on “Peperonata (Rustic Stewed Peppers)”

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!!

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.

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

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.

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 🙂

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.

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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