I especially like it with swordfish. Use red and yellow capsicums for their sweetness and make sure you adjust the seasoning at the end. The splash of vinegar really lifts this peperonata, so although I’ve suggested two teaspoons, don’t be afraid to add more to achieve the right balance.
Peperonata is such a versatile dish. Served simply with bread, stirred through pasta, as a topping for pizza, stuffed into a panino, served on top of polenta and as a side dish to meat or fish.
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 800 g capsicums (a mixture of red and yellow), trimmed and sliced into 1 cm strips
- 400 g canned whole peeled tomatoes
- pinch of caster sugar
- 2 oregano sprigs or a small handful of basil leaves
- sea salt
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar, plus extra if needed
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a low–medium heat. Gently fry the onion and garlic for 10–15 minutes until softened and just beginning to colour.
2. Increase the heat to medium and add the sliced capsicum, stirring it through the onion and garlic. Add the tomatoes, sugar and herbs and simmer for 30–35 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking up the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon, until the capsicum has softened and the sauce has reduced. Season with salt and stir through the vinegar. Taste and add more sugar, salt or vinegar if necessary.
3. You can serve immediately, otherwise the peperonata will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
A Year of Simple Family Food by Julia Busuttil Nishimura, Published by Plum, RRP $39.99, Photography by Armelle Habib.