Red peppers, aubergines and onions

Red peppers, aubergines and onions

Peperonata

By
From
Venice
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

Made all over Italy, and as colourful as the carnevale itself, the difference with a Venetian peperonata is that it contains aubergines, and for a touch of medieval spice we have added a stick of cinnamon. We love it with white fish, steak or with a poached egg on top. Try it too as a chutney with cheese. ‘Everyone has their own recipe,’ I was told by a couple of Venetian women. I took them at their word and we invented our own version with roasted aubergines.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 red peppers
1 knob butter
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 small white onions, cut into half moons
1 cinnamon stick
1 garlic clove, kept whole and lightly crushed
salt
freshly-ground black pepper
1 aubergine, sliced into 1 cm circles
small handful parsley leaves, roughly chopped
or small handful basil leaves, roughly chopped

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. To roast the peppers, heat the oven to 180°C and roast on a baking tray for about 45 minutes. If you are in a hurry, you can speed up the process by cooking at 220°C for 25–30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the peppers to sweat in a clean plastic bag or in a bowl covered in plastic wrap. When cool, peel off the skins.
  2. Meanwhile heat the butter and 4 tablespoons of the oil in a frying pan over a low heat and sweat the onions with the cinnamon, garlic and seasoning for around 10 minutes or until soft and translucent. Make sure the onions don’t burn or take on any colour. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Lay the aubergine slices on a baking tray, brush with the rest of the oil and roast in the oven for 20–30 minutes until they are golden and are soft to the touch.
  4. Peel the skin from the peppers and discard the stalk, seeds and pith. Tear the peppers into strips and lay on to a serving dish. Add a layer of the onions, followed by a layer of aubergines. Repeat the layers, seasoning lightly in between each layer and pour over any oil from the pan of onions. Let the dish sit for 1 hour or so, or overnight if you have time, to let the juices amalgamate and improve the flavour. Just before serving garnish with the parsley or basil and another good twist of black pepper. Serve at room temperature.
Tags:
Venice
Giancarlo
Katie
Caldesi
Venetian
Italian
European
Mediterranean
Italy
Europe
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