The success of this wonderful Campanian speciality depends upon the sweetness and juicy texture of the peppers in the summertime. They must be red and yellow and carefully singed over a naked flame to remove all the outer transparent skin.
An alternative to this filling can be made with small pasta shapes boiled until soft, then dressed with olive oil, capers, chopped anchovies and olives.
Spear each pepper onto a long-handled fork and hold them, one at a time, over a naked flame, turning the fork so that the pepper blisters all over and goes black. Rub off the outer skin carefully with your fingers, taking care not to split the flesh.
Cut off the end without the stalk and very carefully remove the seeds and membranes from inside the pepper.
Heat enough oil in a frying pan to almost deep fry the bread cubes and fry until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Mix the fried bread with the strips of anchovy, the olives, capers, garlic, oregano and chopped pepper ends. Season well.
Spoon the filling into the peppers, then arrange them, upright, sitting on the stalk in an oiled ovenproof dish. Drizzle a little oil over them and warm them through in a low oven (120°C, 250°F, gas 1) to let the flavours blend for 15 minutes. Serve hot or cold.
© 1995 Valentina Harris. All rights reserved.