This week’s column focusses on our own tubs of ‘Pepperonata’ and could better be described as inspiration information rather than an exacting and specific recipe.
If you’ve recently been to our shop, you may already be familiar with this product. We originally developed the tubs as a short cut for putting together your own brunch version of the classic Turkish breakfast ‘Shakshuka’, and we also include a method for this below. However, ‘Shakshuka’ refers to the complete and finished dishes with eggs, so it was a bit lazy giving the same title to basic pepper stew that we sell. Although we follow a classic pepperonata method, we also, somewhat controversially, add some background spicing in the form of cumin seeds and smoked paprika. We like it and we hope you do too.
If you want to make a version of the classic Italian recipe, we include a recipe below.
All meal recipes are plenty for 2 main course dishes, but would also do as four side dishes or starters.
Breakfast – ‘Shakshuka’
For this, you’ll need…
- Rua Peperonata, eggs, yoghurt, and some coriander.
- Add Shakshuka to pan and heat gently
- Make a ‘well’ and add your eggs to poach in the sauce. You should comfortably get 4 in a large 28cm wide pan
- Cook/poach eggs in the sauce until the whites set and the yolks are still runny( or however you like your eggs cooked) – this should take about 8-10 minutes. If you’d like them done a bit more, flash the pan under the grill or put in a hot oven for a minute, being careful to use a dry tea towel when removing the hot handle.
- Delicious with some yoghurt drizzled over, some fresh herbs and served with warm flatbreads. Extra chilli, crumbled feta or creme fraiche are also great additions.
Lunch – Peperonata with chorizo, butter beans and feta on toast
For this you’ll need…
- Rua Peperonata, a tin of butter beans (or chickpeas, haricots etc),
- Some good quality cooking chorizo, a block of feta cheese, sourdough or suitable bread for toasting.
- Heat the butter beans and Pepperonata together.
- Fry the chorizo separately and add to the warm Pepperonata/beans mix.
- Toast your slices of sourdough, drizzle with oil and spoon over the pepperonata.
- Finish with some crumbled feta, chopped herbs and another drizzle of your olive oil.
Supper – Penne with Pepperonata and Kylemore cheese
For this you’ll need…
- 200-250g Penne or suitable pasta
- A good, nutty hard cheese like Kylemore or Parmesan
- Rua Pepperonata
- Some basil leaves
- Warm your pepperonata and set aside
- Boil a pot of water and add a teaspoon of salt,
- Add your pasta and cook until al dente
- Drain the pasta, reserving a small bit of the pasta water.
- Add the pasta to the warmed pepperonata, add the basil and loosen with your pasta water,
- Serve in warmed bowls, and generously grate your chosen cheese on top.
If you fancy making it yourself, Here’s a basic and classic recipe for the Italian style, that does not include the cumin and smoked paprika of our version
- 1 Kg red peppers and yellow peppers
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely sliced
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and pressed
- Salt, to taste
1 400g tin of good quality chopped tomatoes (or fresh when in season)
- Red wine vinegar, to taste (optional)
- A handful of chopped basil
- Cut the peppers into strips, about 1cm wide and 6cm long, discarding the seeds, stalks and any pithy white bits.
- In a heavy-based pan with a lid, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat, then cook the onion and garlic until soft, translucent and fragrant (they should not brown), which usually takes about 10 minutes. Add the peppers and a pinch of salt, stir, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring every now and then
- Add the tomatoes, stir and then leave, uncovered, at a lively simmer for about 20-25 minutes minutes. Stir occasionally, gently pressing the tomatoes against the side of the pan, so they break up.
- The pepperonata is ready when the peppers are soft and everything has come together into a thick stew. Add the basil, taste, season generously, and add a dash of vinegar to sharpen things up, should you want to.