Here is my newest favorite pepper recipe that escaped my mom’s repertoire. I learned this recipe just last year when I was staying at Casa Janca, a rustic agriturismo near the fishing village of Pizzo, just northeast of Tropea. The owner, Rita Callipo, is a highly regarded cook that runs a restaurant out of her home. Eating there is like eating at my aunt’s house. She makes the best Calabrian dishes, and always bases her meals on what she finds that day at the market. Every time I am there I barge into the kitchen to see what she is cooking. I have included a few of her recipes in my book, My Calabria, but this one was too late to submit, so you can try it out now in anticipation of additional delicious recipes when the book is released next year.
I watched her make this dish; she just sprinkled “a little of this and a little of that” of what was available in her kitchen. I took notes so that I could duplicate it at home and it has become a favorite at our house. It’s very easy to prepare and has all the flavors of Calabria.
Peperoni ripieni della Casa Janca
(Roasted peppers Casa Janca style)
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs (see note below)
1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, finely chopped
4 large red or yellow bell peppers
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon capers, chopped if using large capers
6 anchovy fillets cut in small pieces
18-20 small cherry tomatoes, cut in half or quarter if large
In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, pecorino cheese, garlic and parsley.
Cut the peppers in half lengthwise. Remove the stem and seeds.
Coat a 9×13 baking dish with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and place the peppers cut side up. Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon of salt evenly over all the peppers. Add chopped capers, anchovy pieces, chopped tomatoes and a nice coating of the breadcrumb mixture inside each pepper.
Drizzle generously with the remaining four tablespoons of olive oil and bake at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes or so, until the peppers are soft and fully roasted.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: to make fresh breadcrumbs use day-old bread (good Italian or French loaf), cut it up in cubes and place it in a blender. Puree until you have fine, even breadcrumbs.
Copyright 2009, Rosetta Costantino. All rights reserved