Calabrian bell peppers and potatoes

The first time I tasted this dish was in a restaurant in Calabria and I practically ate the whole serving tray by myself. I asked the owner what the ingredients were and he told me potatoes, bell peppers and tomatoes, but if you tasted it you would have thought there was a secret ingredient. I seriously didn’t believe him. The next day I went to the vegetable market and bought the local bell peppers which are really different from typical peppers. They are round, flat and really small. The flesh is not so thick as typical bell peppers, but they’re much more flavorful than their cousins. I made them and surprise surprise they tasted just like at the restaurant.

When I’m in Verona I use regular green bell peppers and the dish is really good too. This year though I saved some seeds and I’ll try to grow the Calabrian bell peppers in my garden.  They will certainly lack the strong Southern Italian sun, but hopefully they will have some of that wonderful flavor and aroma.

This dish is usually prepared in an iron pan so the potatoes get roasted and a little bit charred. I used a nonstick pan, but I let the potatoes get golden brown first and then I added the peppers and tomatoes. I also added few spoons of water at the end to soften up the peppers. It’s up to you to decide how you prefer your potatoes. I like them cooked through but still firm so they maintain their shape and don’t fall all apart.

Calabrian bell peppers and potatoes

14 oz./ g. 400 potatoes
10.5 0z./ g. 300  green bell pepper. I used Calabrian bell peppers
7 oz./ g. 200,  fresh tomatoes or canned tomato chunks
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
sea salt to taste

1. Peel and cut the potatoes in chunks. Heat up the oil in a nonstick skillet and add the potatoes. Cook them on high heat for about 10 minutes mixing them often with a wooden spoon until they get golden brown.
2. Wash the bell peppers, discard seeds and membranes and cut them into 1/3-inch (1 cm.) strips. Peel the tomatoes, remove the seeds and cut them in chunks.
3. Add the bell peppers and tomatoes to the potatoes and cook  the vegetables at medium heat for about 30 minutes or until done. Salt to taste.
4. If the vegetables get too dry you can add few spoons of water.
5. Serve the dish warm or at room temperature.

5 Responses to “Calabrian bell peppers and potatoes”

  1. Chef Chuck said:

    My kind of dish! Love Peppers:)
    Thank you~

  2. HMC said:

    your cooking is my delight…..can’t wait for your tempting recepies and try to
    make them just like you…..thank you

  3. Jerry said:

    These ingredients are more like main entree in themselves. Put them together and I don’t know how you could go wrong. I’ll follow your recipe and maybe next time add some sliced onion too. Thanks!!!! Jerry

  4. Patty said:

    Hi Jerry, in fact many people add onions to this recipe, however I had eaten them at the restaurant like this and I think it’s a very nice balance of flavors without them. I’ll admit I was tempted to add them myself as I like onions just about anywhere.

  5. lolly said:

    Hi Patty

    Could you boil the potatoes first and then heat them in oil. I find boiling them first makes it nice and soft in the inside. Thanx for the recipe sounds great.

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