Here is another version of ‘peperonata’ and one that does not include tomatoes for a change. This is a recipe I copied from an Italian food magazine called “Subito Pronto” (which means something like “done in no time”) — I think it’s a good idea to credit one’s sources. Anyway: the original recipe also included almonds but I didn’t have any that day so did without, and to no detriment to the final outcome.
The ingredients are: peppers (capsicum), olive oil, onions, anchovy fillets, capers, olives, garlic, parsely, bread, and basil leaves for garnishing.
Start by trimming the peppers and slicing them into fine strips, and slice your onion(s) too. Cover the base of your saucepan with olive oil and start cooking the onion on a low heat (you do not want it to brown). You could even sprinkle a little bit of sugar over the onion, why not, to add even more sweetness.
When the onions are silky soft, add the peppers and cook until they too lose their sense of crispness (about 10 minutes say). Season and then add the capers. Switch off heat and allow to cool. Here in the processor we have: a couple of cloves of garlic, a handful of parsely, 3 anchovy fillets, and some torn up bread (no crusts). Whizz away until the processor delivers green-looking and amazingly scented breadcrumbs as above.Put the cooled-down peperonata on a serving dish. Generously shower the peperonata with the breadcrumbs. Add the olives and the basil (I added some mint too).
A close-up …Very very nice, I shall definitely make this again. And for those of you who are prone to vampire-like fears regarding garlic, please be reassured that the garlic in this case is not at all overwhelming.
Yum. Caponata is already delicious, but that breadcrumb mix involves some of my favourite flavours. Does that mix have a name? It’s a bit like a pangritata, but not toasted. I suppose you could toast the breadcrumbs too, then mix the other (blended) ingredients, to give it a bit of crunch to contrast with the silkiness of the caponata. Might try that… when the market stalls open again…
Sorry, no name was provided for the mix … except for “mollica” which would make me think of something soft as opposed to crunchy. I did, however, eat some peperonata (cooked with oil as well as butter but no onion) upon which crusty crouton-like (i.e. they were quite big) bread pieces were strewn … and very nice it was too.
That’s an interesting version! As I recently visited Sicily, I was expecting that the breadcrumbs were going to be sauteed.
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