Somewhere there is summer – Oven Baked Peperonata with Celery and Olives

bell peppers

I know, I should behave like a real ‘foodie’ (how I dislike that word and I can’t believe I actually just typed it here!) and only post seasonal recipes but I have had this one hanging around for so long and I just don’t seem to be able to get going with cooking and shooting new recipes here even though I have a list of ideas that is almost as long as the river Po. And it IS summer down under so there, this is what you are being served today.

There must be must be as many recipes for peperonata as there are Fiats in Rome, every family seems to have their own. My version is based on a combination of two different recipes that I have gotten from friends and adding to that,  I cook my peperonata in the oven instead of on the stovetop. There are two secrets to making a perfect peperonata; the first is to use mature, sweet peppers, only red or yellow, never green, and the second is to avoid adding too much tomato, as the dish easily becomes too mushy and the flavour of the peppers risks drowning in that of the tomato, follow that and you will have a wonderful, tasty dish on your table.

Oven Baked Peperonata with Celery and Olives_

 

Oven Baked Peperonata with Celery and Olives
4-6 servings

4 big bell peppers, red and yellow
2 onions
4 celery sticks
10 plum tomatoes
200 ml/ ⅘ cup tomato sauce
a handful of black olives
salt
extra-virgin olive oil

Cut the peppers in thumb wide strips, slice the onions and the celery and divide the plum tomatoes. Spread out all the vegetables in a large oven-proof form, top with the olives and the tomato sauce evenly spread over it all.

Sprinkle olive oil over, season with salt and mix carefully. Bake in a pre-heated oven (175°C/350°F) for 30-40 minutes. If the vegetables burn, cover with foil.

L