Rosemary Infused Peperonata Over Pasta

A few seasons ago, I discovered the delicious simplicity of peperonata. It's a rustic dish of stewed peppers, garlic, onions, and tomatoes that I came across in Cook's Illustrated Italian Classics. Any recipe that packs a ton of flavor with just a handful of ingredients wins a permanent spot in my cooking routine. And what's not to love? Peperonata can be served on pasta, bruschetta, any kind of protein, a sandwich, straight from the jar on a fork, and it freezes beautifully. If you're a pepper lover this dish is for you.






At last Wednesday's market the Peacock Farms display was overflowing with a rainbow of peppers (pictured below). It was about time for peperonata to make an appearance at a weekend dinner, so I filled up my bags with just about every color and almost made off with their Harvest basket. A hoarder's life for me. As I'm writing this (or was on Saturday) I can smell the rosemary, garlic, and peppers having a party on the stove. Yu-um.


Recipe

The flavor development of this dish benefits from some time in the fridge so I recommend making it a day ahead.


Tools (If an item is linked, it's the same as what I use in my kitchen.)

Fine Grater
BPA-free Storage Containers
Parchment Paper
Aluminum Foil
Baking Sheet
Ziplock Bags


Ingredients (Makes approximately 3 heaping cups - Adapted from Cook's Illustrated)





  • 1 pound thin spaghetti  
  • 2 small/medium onions, sliced thin or about 1/4 inch (you should end up with 2 cups)
  • 2 pounds sweet peppers, seeds and ribs removed, sliced in half vertically Note: I used red and orange peppers for some visual diversity. You can use all red, but skip green.
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes, cored and diced (you should end up with about 18-20 oz after prepping)
  • 1/4 cup quality olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes Note: This adds a very mild undertone of heat. If you want to turn it up you can add a smidge more, but I recommend adjusting slowly. I saw a recipe that mashed together garlic, salt, and jalapeno which could be another great idea for heat.
  • 5 inch sprig of rosemary + little sprigs for decoration
  • 2 teaspoons pomegranate or red wine vinegar
  • Kosher or flake-style salt and freshly ground pepper 
  • Freshly grated Parmesan for serving

Instructions

Stewing
  • Turn the broiler on high and adjust your oven rack to the highest position where you can still fit a pan. Char the peppers, then bundle them up in the foil and seal everything in a Ziplock bag. After the peppers sweat for about 15 minutes the skins should come right off. Note: I cook the peppers in a couple batches for even charring. Also, the truth is I couldn't get all the skin off my peppers for this batch. That being said, after everything stews you'll notice that any stray pieces of pepper skin have separated and curled up. They're easy to spot and remove before serving.
  • Once the skins are removed slice the peppers lengthwise into 1/4 inch pieces
  • Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven or similar pot
  • Add the onions, sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper, and then saute until light brown, stirring occasionally
  • Add the tomatoes, sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper, and simmer for 10 minutes until the tomatoes start to break down
  • Add the peppers, crushed pepper flakes, garlic, rosemary sprig, and stir to combine 
  • Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Remove the rosemary, stir, and simmer covered for another 10 minutes
  • Off the heat add the vinegar and then salt/pepper to taste 
  • This is the point at which I recommend refrigerating the peperonata in an airtight container overnight

Serving
  • Cook your pasta per the instructions and for the love of all things sticky don't rinse it
  • While the pasta is cooking gently warm your peperonata in a pot
  • Add the pasta to the peperonata and toss until combined 
  • Top with freshly grated Parmesan and a rosemary sprig

Storage

Peperonata can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days. If you've already mixed it with pasta, I recommend 1 to 2 days max since the quality of cooked pasta degrades pretty quickly. Peperonata also freezes beautifully.



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