Italian Sweet and Sour Peppers or Agrodolce di Peperoni are delicious and easy to prepare. Make double the amount, keep it in the fridge for a quick lunch or side dish.

This recipe is adapted from Gennaro Contaldo’s Passione.¬†His recipe only used two peppers but if you are going to make something like this which improves on the second and third day, it makes sense to have a larger quantity. Really this is a guide more than a recipe. Add as much or as little of each ingredient but it must be sweet and it must be sour so don’t skimp on the sugar and vinegar.

Sweet and Sour Peppers in a bowl

Reading through Gennaro’s book, he talks of his childhood growing up in a small village on the Amalfi coast. His love or “passione” of food is so evident as he explains about the ingredients. When it come to vinegar he says he likes to make his own red wine vinegar by putting some dry pasta into leftover red wine. Left for 20 days apparently it will¬† to turn into vinegar. Growing up, my father always made his own red wine vinegar. He loved pottering around in the cantina where he kept the vinegar. Our cantina was not the Italian underground wine cellar but an Australian windowless room off the garage that was used for storage of wine, homemade passata and of course, dad’s many bottles of vinegar in production. I loved that vinegar and have never been able to reproduce it maybe I’ll try Gennaro’s method.

Sweet and Sour Peppers in a bowl with 2 slices of grilled bread and a spoon

Here in Australia we are in the middle of summer and peppers (or capsicums) are almost at the end of their prime. Use the red ones or mix it up with the different colours but make these Italian Sweet and Sour Peppers soon before the season ends. I’d love to know if you love it as much as I do.


PS: Have you made your own vinegar? I need some tips. 2018 is going to be the year I make my own red wine vinegar.

5 from 1 vote
Sweet and Sour Peppers in a bowl with 2 slices of grilled bread and a spoon
Italian Sweet and Sour Peppers
Know as Agrodolce di Peperoni in Italy, this dish is wonderful with a steak or piece of chicken bu serve it with grilled, sourdough bread and you have a light meal. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Author: adapted from Gennaro Contaldo
  • 8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 medium red peppers (capsicum) deseeded and cut into strips
  • 10 anchovy fillets
  • 6 cloves garlic crushed but left whole and peeled
  • a handful of black olives unpitted
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 3 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 8-10 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan.
  2. Add the peppers and saute over medium heat until slightly softened and the skin slightly colours.
  3. Add anchovy fillets, garlic, olives, capers and sugar.
  4. Begin with adding 8 tablespoons of white wine vinegar.
  5. Allow to simmer. Stir every now and then.
  6. After a couple of minutes taste and add more vinegar if needed.
  7. Cook until softened and the liquid has reduced
  8. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper
  9. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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