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.
About this recipe Italian Sweet and Sour Peppers
This recipe is adapted from Gennaro Contaldo’s Passione.
Genaro’s 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.
Another tip is to take care with the cooking. Don’t saute over a very high heat, otherwise the peppers will burn. Similarly, too low of a heat or placing the lid on the pan, will cause the peppers to sweat, become mushy and the skins start to peel off.
Which vinegar is best for this recipe?
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.
Good quality red wine vinegar. even if it’s not homemade, is the best vinegar to use in this recipe.
How to eat these Sweet and Sour Peppers.
I love these sweet and sour peppers warm or cool. Take the dish out of the fridge a little bit before you want to eat to get the chill off the peppers. These make a great side dish to grilled, barbequed or roast meats like my butterflied roast chicken. As well, a bowl of these peppers with bread makes a perfect antipasto. Why not include a bowl of marinated eggplant to complete your antipasto?
Which coloured peppers are the best to use?
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.
Italian Sweet and Sour Peppers
- 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
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan.
- Add the peppers and saute over medium heat until slightly softened and the skin slightly colours.
- Add anchovy fillets, garlic, olives, capers and sugar.
- Begin with adding 8 tablespoons of white wine vinegar.
- Allow to simmer. Stir every now and then.
- After a couple of minutes taste and add more vinegar if needed.
- Cook until softened and the liquid has reduced
- Season with salt and freshly ground pepper
- Serve warm or at room temperature.