Thursday, March 22, 2012

Crostini ai Peperoni

The following is a recipe Gabriella found in one of the cookbooks Gino lent us (see previous posting on “Language Exchange”).  The book is a wonderful collection of recipes from the Casentino (one of the valleys near Arezzo).  One charming aspect of the book is that the recipes often don’t include specific measurements or precise instructions - they will simply list the ingredients without saying how much to use.  Clearly these recipes are designed for people who know how to cook!  Each recipe also includes the name of the person who submitted it (presumably you can call if you get in a pinch!).  This particular one is from Luisa Boschi Puri (and it includes Gabriella’s interpretations of the quantities and specific steps of the preparation – the original recipe has less than half as much guidance!).  It’s quick and simple to make, and above all, delicious!  Thank you, Luisa!

(Makes approximately one cup)

2 large red peppers, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of minced fresh ginger
1 cube of vegetable broth mixed with about ½ cup hot water
Salt to taste (be careful not to add too much – or any! - salt if the broth you’re using is salty)
1 teaspoon mayonnaise (optional)

Slices of marvelous fresh bread, lightly toasted

Heat the olive oil over moderate heat in a skillet.  Add the chopped onion and sauté for 1-2 minutes.  Add the red pepper and ginger and sauté for another 5-10 minutes.  Add the broth, lower the heat somewhat, and continue cooking for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Once the peppers are very soft, remove the pan from the heat.  Allow the mixture to cool slightly, and then puree.  Add salt to taste, if necessary.  Add mayonnaise, if desired.  Spread over lightly toasted slices of bread and enjoy!

Though we haven’t tried it yet, this topping seems perfect for fresh pasta or gnocchi – yum!  Buon appetito!

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