Peppers always remind me of Rome. There is something about their colours which conjure up what it is like when the Rome football team wins a game - the entire city becomes a mass of flapping red and yellow flags. The sensuous texture of peppers is also very Roman - ‘heavy-handed elegance’ describes it rather well. Not for the Roman palate the delicate flavours of subtle herb and cream, no place here for shallots - bring on the garlic! No Roman cook has ever had time to spare in fussing over a stove: there are always far more important things to be done. So a recipe like this one, very simple, very easy, delicious and strong-flavoured, is about as typically Roman as you can get. Serve it as an antipasto or accompaniment; it also makes a wonderful omelette filling.
Put the peppers on the end of a fork, hold them over a naked flame, such as a lit gas ring or a candle, or under a grill, and singe the skin all over so that it blisters and blackens. Rub it off under cold running water. Cut the peppers in half, remove and discard the seeds and the inner membranes and cut each half into about
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion and garlic until the onion is soft but not coloured. Add the tomatoes and their juice, simmer for about 10 minutes, then add the peppers. Season with salt, stir and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Serve hot or cold.
© 1990 Valentina Harris. All rights reserved.