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Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Roasted peppers with tomato, anchovy and garlic

I recently went on a kosher Italian cooking course. In Italy. With my Mum. I’m sure that most of us feel pretty accustomed to what we think of as Italian food, but really it is just scratching the surface. What astounded me so much with the food we cooked, and the food we ate over that marvellous week in Umbria, was how such massive, gutsy flavours could be brought out of a few, simple ingredients. All it took was a little olive oil and salt, and a sense of respect, time and place. And probably a little love. The course was run by Silvia Nacamulli, and I highly recommend it. For information on the Italy trip and the classes Silvia runs in London, see her website.

Making pasta at Sismano's Castle, Umbria
I learnt some great techniques and some new flavour combinations during the trip and over the coming few weeks I will be posting some recipes inspired from my time in Italy. This roasted pepper recipe was in my repertoire already (via Delia Smith and my Mum), but it certainly fits of the theme of the trip – simple ingredients, olive oil and salt, and big flavours. Make these for a starter, light meal with salad and crusty bread, or as part of an antipasti, and the flavours will knock your socks off.

Serve approx 1 pepper per person as a starter, scale up as needed. Don’t worry about making too much, they will definitely all get eaten.


Red peppers (My Mum uses the pointy peppers, and while they are definitely a bit sweeter, they don’t hold the other ingredients quite as snugly, which I think really helps with the cooking.)
Smallish tomatoes - not as small as cherry tomatoes, I use medium sized vine tomatoes. Approx 1 and a half per pepper
Sliced garlic – approx 2 slices per pepper half
Anchovies (the kind that come in tins or jars) 1 per pepper half
Olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180 C

Cut the peppers in half, through the stalk if possible (it looks prettier).

Carefully remove all seeds and white pithy bits, and arrange the pepper halves on an oven tray. Quarter the tomatoes and put two or three tomatoes into the middle of each pepper half. Add a couple of slices of garlic to the pepper halves, and one anchovy fillet. Pour approx half a teaspoon of olive oil into the centre of each pepper, and drizzle a little more over the tops (this is considerably less oil than in the original recipe).

Season with peppers with pepper (there is enough salt in the anchovy) and put them in the oven for about 45 minutes. It will smell amazing when they are ready, and the peppers will be soft and sweet, and a little blackened around the edges.


1 comment:

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