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Published on March 24, 2012 by Cara @ Due Spaghetti
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A basket with a red pepper, orange pepper, yellow pepper, potatoes, an onion and cherry tomatoes.

Mens sana in corpore sano. A sound mind in a healthy body.

Regrettably, Italian food in the U.S. has garnered a reputation for being the least healthy of our myriad of ethnic cuisines, worse than Mexican, Chinese, or Middle Eastern. Here in the States, Italian-American food is characterized by pasta, cheese, tomatoes, rich sauces, cured meats, and heaping bread baskets.

This, quite simply, is a falsehood. Authentic Italian food is much more varied, local, and healthy. Each region of Italy specializes in foods native to its land. Food is locally sourced, and quality is valued. Fresh fruits and vegetables are staple foods. Pasta is balanced by rice and other grains, while seafood and legumes are valued sources of protein and meat is consumed more sparingly than it is here. Homemade meals are prioritized over processed food.

With this in mind, this week’s recipe is a healthy, vegetable-based dish that Stefano’s mom, Maria often makes. Peperonata is a flavorful and beautiful marriage of red and yellow peppers, potatoes, and onions, cooked slowly until the vegetables yield and release their lovely flavors. Simple and delicious, it’s a go-to at our house, too.

Peperonata in a small, wooden serving bowl. Additional bowls of peperonata and a baguette with a few slices of bread cut rest on a white napkin in the background.

Peperonata

Yield: 4-6 servings

Peperonata is a flavorful and beautiful marriage of red and yellow peppers, potatoes and onions, cooked slowly until the vegetables yield and release their lovely flavors.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 small white onion
  • 1-2 small on-the-vine tomatoes, or 1/2 cup crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • salt
  • pepper
  • crushed red pepper, if desired

Instructions

    Peel the potatoes and chop them into half-inch cubes.

    Core and seed the peppers and cut them into one-inch square pieces.

    Chop the onion into half-inch to one-inch pieces.

    If using whole tomatoes, dice them and set them aside. Or, prepare your crushed tomatoes.

    Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

    Add the vegetables and sauté for 5 minutes.

    If you like a bit of heat, add a dash of crushed red pepper.

    When the onions and peppers soften, pour in the white wine and tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

    Cover and let cook for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally. If needed, add a little water to the peperonata to prevent it from sticking, and turn the heat down. Remove the lid for the final five to ten minutes in order to allow any excess liquid to cook off.

    Serve hot or at room temperature. 

Notes

Peperonata stores well in the refrigerator and can be reheated easily for several days.

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