[ No headline ]

Peperonata (Sweet-Pepper Stew)

`There are many versions of Peperonata,'.writes Julia della Croce. `I prefer this, one of the simplest, because I love the direct, simple flavor of sweet bell peppers when they are stewed with few other distracting flavors. While red peppers are usual, I like to combine red and yellow ones because the two vibrant colors are stunning together. Peperonata can be served as an antipasto with fresh bread, bruschetta, or crostini; or as a side dish.'

6 medium-sized bell peppers, a mixture of red and yellow

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, quartered and finely sliced

4 cloves garlic, peeled and bruised

6 vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped; or 1-1/2

cups canned plum tomatoes, drained, seeded, and chopped.

6 large fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces (optional)

Cut the peppers in half lengthwise, de-rib them, and remove their stems and seeds. Slice them into long strips 1/2-inch wide. Set aside.

Warm the olive oil in a skillet over low heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute gently until they are softened, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the pepper strips and saute gently for 5 minutes, tossing. Add the tomatoes, cover, and cook gently; stirring occasionally, until the peppers are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with basil (if using). Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Serves 4 to 6.Note: The flavor of peperonata is improved if it is made in advance and allowed to cool. It can be made 2 or even 3 days in advance of serving, and even reheated if you prefer it hot.

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.