Peperonata is a traditional Italian dish much like French ratatouille but without the aubergines. Versatile and very tasty, it has a large number of uses; as a topping for pizzas, as a sauce for pasta or au gratin dishes, as a side dish with antipasto, or simply spread on a slice of fresh, crusty bread as a snack. It is delicious either hot or at room temperature, as a vegetarian dish [i.e. if made without anchovy fillets] or mixed with meats. This version owes much to an article in that wonderful publication Cuisine magazine issue number 175, with thanks again to the brilliant Ginny Grant.

½ cup olive oil.
1 large onion, peeled and sliced into half rings.
3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped.
1 large red capsicum, seeded and sliced into strips.
1 large green capsicum, seeded and sliced into strips.
3 large, red, very ripe tomatoes.
2 tsp balsamic vinegar.
3-4 anchovy fillets, chopped.
1 sprig rosemary.
Salt to taste.
Freshly ground black pepper.

Heat the oil in a sauté pan over a medium flame and stir fry the onion until it is soft and breaking up into strings. Add the garlic and stir fry until beginning to turn golden then add all the other ingredients. Bring to the boil and simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Remove and discard the rosemary, and pour the sauce into containers. Peperonata can be frozen, but if freezing allow to cool right down and to sit for at least an hour before placing in the freezer compartment.

Yield: About 4 cups [1 litre].

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