The five tricks for preparing (and digesting) peppers – Italian Cuisine


We have learned to choose peppers, which in the summer season get into our culinary preparations – from grilled vegetables – and brighten up our meals. But a dinner based on peppers is never light-hearted. Exceptions, abstinences and propitiatory rites often turn out to be only good luck exercises. Whether green or red, square or ox horn, digest the peppers it's never child's play. And yet, why give up this delight that can be declined from appetizer to dessert? In reality, to survive after dinner just know the secrets of the pepper.

To find out what are the main tricks to prepare this seasonal product, we went to Carmagnola, in the province of Turin, where we celebrate a festival dedicated to the pepper. Chiara Tomenotti, of the artisan laboratory 'Once upon a time a recipe', has enriched the list of our suggestions.

1 – A camomile flower to calm the pepper.

To make the cooked pepper in a pan with the peel more digestible, as in the classic peperonata, it is sufficient to add a pinch of chamomile. "When the water has dried, the sauce is already thickened and the pepper starts to fry. Crumble a camomile flower in the pan to remove the fat that the pepper releases naturally. – explains Chiara – Chamomile is also able to absorb the residual oil or butter and can be added in all the preparations that include the unpeeled pepper, from meat sauce to simple cooking in casserole ".


2 – Oven and paper bag to remove the skin

To have a soft pepper, at the door of all metabolisms, we light the oven. "When it is heated it is easier to remove the skin which is the cause of the bad reputation due to its poor digestibility. – continues Chiara – The skin of the pepper contains an acid that the stomach assimilates with greater effort ". In order not to turn the cleaning of the red pepper into a crystal Hell scene, you can leave it to cool for 10 minutes in a food paper bag.

3 – On the flame spreader, embers effect

A valid alternative to the oven is the flame spreader grill. In this case the pepper sits directly on the grill resting on the living flame – and high! – of a stove. The cooking is quick (while in the oven it takes half an hour): the vegetable must be turned in all its sides until the skin becomes really carbon black. At this point you can remove it as above, and you get a still tenacious pepper of consistency but with an exquisite taste of embers and devoid of its indigestible skin.

4 – The 'bones' of the pepper

In addition to the skin, the white ribs are the enemies of digestion. Above all raw, it is good to eliminate them. Not only the internal ones, but also the whole callous part around the ends of the vegetable, picciuolo and 'butt'.

1651855 – White cane sugar for oil cans

A sacrifice today for a delight in a few months. Even peppers in oil may have edges for the stomach. But everything can be smoothed, softened. In this case, with the final addition of a secret ingredient. "Whether for stuffed peppers, for example with bagna càôda, or for appetizers, – says Chiara – before closing the jar towards always a shaved teaspoon of white cane sugar that makes the preparation then easier to digest. The proportion, in this case, is one teaspoon of sugar for a kilo of peppers ".

And then here are a couple of suggestions for their preparation.

A – With honey and caramel, American cheesecake

You have eaten it in all the sauces, but perhaps you have not yet tried the cheesecake as a last demonstration of loyalty to this fruit of the colored earth. “The original recipe is that of the pepper mustard, cooked with vinegar and honey, from which a light, sugar-free cream is made. – explains Chiara – The biscuit base of the cheesecake can be replaced by a mixture of crackers and butter that has the consistency of a thick and rigid wafer on which to spread the peppers cream. With the addition of caramel it can be served as a dessert, on the contrary as an appetizer or for the aperitif ".

B – Thyme and oregano to perfume it

Does the smell of peppers clear your saliva? Can't stand its strong taste that spreads throughout the house? Even peppers can be scented. Thyme and oregano are the two spices that go best with this vegetable, while curry can be added for more exotic but always very aromatic preparations.

Fabio Marzano
September 2018
updated July 2010
by Carola Traverso Saibante


This recipe has already been read 189 times!

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