Yesterday I had the pleasure to have my dear friend Rosetta to cook lunch for my family. She is originally from Benevento in the south of Italy.
Her family emigrated to the UK when she was only seven years old in order to seek a better life during the poverty stricken post war Italy.
There was a massive emigration at that time. My own grandparents emigrated to Argentina too. Life for an immigrant family was always hard as they were in a foreign land with a different language and different culture and a very different climate too!
Rosetta's mum used to work very hard making homemade pasta once a week to feed the family and there were no mod cons like washing machines, indoor bathrooms or heating. Some families did not even have running water which we take for granted these days.
She grew up learning that in life you have to work hard. Indeed she is a hard worker and I admire her very much. Her family is a very typical Italian one with children and grandchildren often coming and going and having meals altogether, indeed when they are all together there is about 25 of them! Imagine how much food you need to prepare to feed 25 people!
But as she always has a smile on her face, I can sense that she really knows where true happiness lies: with a united family.
Rosetta prepared these typical Calabrian stuffed peppers which were a real delicacy. Meat free and very tasty are suitable for a dinner party as a starter or as part of the main meal like we did, with a salad, a slice of cheese and a good glass of red wine. Could you actually ask for anything more?
- Prep Time : 45 minutes
- Cook Time : 1 hour minutes
In a pot bring some salty water to the boil. Cut the top off the peppers and remove the seeds
Cut around the edges of the peppers's tops and chop them into little pieces. You will use them for the stuffing
Dip the peppers into the boiling water and blanch them for about 3 minutes. This will soften them up. Drain and set aside to cool.
In a large pan stir fry the chopped onion with 3 tbsp of olive oil until translucent. Add the leftover diced peppers, the chopped parsley and chopped courgette and cook for 10 minutes until soft.
In a bowl put the cooked vegetables, breadcrumbs, chopped olives, chopped tomato, chopped anchovies, eggs, grated Pecorino cheese and 2 tbsp of olive oil. Mix it all up very well using your hands.
Stuff the peppers pressing the filling in well
Put a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray and lay the peppers on it. Pour a little olive oil on top of the peppers and bake in a hot oven at 200C for 40 minutes.