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Traditional Italian Peperonata Recipe: Why You Shouldn't Be Scared of Anchovies

August 12, 2016

 

With beautiful peppers lining the produce aisle and backyard gardens - you need a great recipe to inspire you to do something different!  This beautiful Peperonata is a traditional Italian recipe, courtesy of Chef Daniela, our Southern Italian chef who hosts all of our Southern Italian cooking classes. This recipe is such an easy and delicious side dish, perfect for any summer BBQ.  

 

Olives and capers are popular ingredients in southern Italian cooking - and so are the often controversial anchovy.  These three ingredients are key to making this Peperonata.  Many associate anchovies with the salty, cured variety found in tin jars in the middle of the grocery store. But if you're one of the many that thinks you don't like them, they deserve a second chance.  Anyone who loves Italian food may be surprised to know they're a staple in many traditional dishes - and often the ingredient that makes the dish extra special.  

 

These small fish are found in abundance along the coasts of Italy and Spain and when eaten fresh are an amazingly fresh and rich dish.  A simple preparation is to dip them in flour and fry them whole. Such a treat!

 

Aside from being delicious, they're also incredibly good for you - great for heart health, cholesterol, skin health, and promoting tissue repair. 

 

More often than not, the anchovies you'll have access to are preserved.  Preserving them immediately after the catch in either salt or olive oil is critical in preserving great flavour. When buying anchovies, if you're looking for a less salty option, select a jar that's preserved in olive oil or other liquid.

 

 

If you buy anchovies packed in salt, make sure to rinse the fish before eating them, otherwise they're much too salty.  After opening the tin, be sure to store any uneaten anchovies in a different container and eat them within a two days.   

 

So, for all the anchovy haters - give them another try in this recipe.  You won't be disappointed. 

 

 

PEPERONATA 

Ingredients

(for 4 people)

  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 garlic 

  • 4  yellow peppers

  • 4 red peppers

  • 3 spoons breadcrumb

  • 14 capers

  • 10 black olives

  • 4 anchovies

  • salt

Method

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil and garlic.  Add the sliced peppers and cook for 10 minutes.

 

Put the peppers in a baking dish and add capers, olives, anchovies, salt and breadcrumbs.  Cook in the oven for 30 minutes at 300 degrees.  

 

Cool before serving.  

 

Chef Daniela's Cooking Classes include Visit Sicily, Roman Classics, Sweet Italy (learn how to make tiramisu - yum!) and lots more.  If you'd like to book a cooking class, find a date on the schedule, or email us to request a special date.

 

RELATED

 

Cook with an Italian Nonna

 

Can't make it to Italy this year? Let us bring Italy to you.  Skype Chef Daniela del Balzo into your home kitchen.  She'll Skype in from Rome, and together you'll cook classics like Tiramisu, Saltimbocca, Cacio e Pepe, and more.

 

More on The Chef & The Dish Italian Cooking Classes >

 

 

 

 

 

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