Peppers,Peppers, Peppers Italians love Peppers!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Grandpa and Grandma Victoria Ferraro Colenzo and Giovanni (John) Colenzo
Where it all began my heritage..... They had all kinds of vegetable gardens and many types of peppers we would eat. Here are some of the memories I have to share with you on this wonderful vegetable.....

Roasted Peppers...often Grandma made on a gas stove and burnt under a broiler until soft and tender... just peel the skins, add olive oil and fresh garlic cloves...a little salt...crusty Italian Bread... a banquet!

Italianelles Long in shape, the Italian Sweet Pepper is a popular variety of chile pepper a common use in Italian cooking. Most often this pepper is use as a frying pepper, shown is sautéed in olive oil, with fresh garlic, salt and pepper. Many times add to foods such as pasta, eggs, sausage and various meats, pizza, and salads of all kinds. You can, grill, roast, stuff, boil, fry, bake, or even eat raw. It is a traditional pepper to use for making the Italian dishes and know for its sweetness in flavor. This pepper takes on a similar shape to the Anaheim chile pepper. When this Italian pepper is harvested it usually reaches 6 to 8 inches in length and may be still be young and green colored or it may be allowed to mature to a bright red colored pepper. Always select firm peppers, never soft.

Other terms for the Italian Sweet Pepper can also be referred to as an Italian Sweet Relleno Pepper or a Sweet Italian Frying peppers.

To prepare a bell pepper, cut around the stem, which you may want to keep to use as a cap, scoop out the seeds and discard them take out the white part of the ribs out. If the recipe you are following suggests you peel your peppers, put them under a broiler, turning them often, until they blister, then scrape away the skins (if you've already cut them into strips broil them skin side up).
By the way, Italian for bell pepper is peperone, which becomes peperoni in the plural. Hot peppers are called peperoncini (little peppers) in standard Italian.

Shown are fried Italianelle peppers. Can be added to scrambled eggs, toppings for pizza, with sausage, on salads or just plain in a sandwich, the olive oil here is full of flavor. Roasting these after you have cleaned and sliced in half are easy. Lay them down on an outdoor a grill if you have one. Put skins side down and roast until tender burnt on the outside, the skins will easilly come off. Dredge in olive oil, cloves of garlic and refrigerate. Another method is to put directly under the broiler in the oven gas or electric range.

Pepperoncini are mild with a slight heat to them, with a hint of bitterness and are commonly pickled and sold in jars.The Greek varieties are sweeter and less bitter than the Italian varieties grown in Tuscany. Mostly use in Antipasto Italian salad or even straight from the jar, many fans of this one.

Cherry Peppers, also found in jars are used in pasta dishes such as ChickenRiggie Pasta

Brother John on the left and Brother Luke

Cherry peppers: A story to share with you, as a small child my brother Johnny would watch Grandpa Giovanni eat these raw, he would pop a hot cherry pepper in his mouth and the tears would just pour out of his eyes. Little Johnny would always wonder why his grandpa was crying over peppers he ate.Grandpa would say caldo caldo,( hot, hot) just kept eating them anyway and loved them. Caution, if you touch the seeds and then you rub your eyes....ouch "fa male caldo" hurts, hot~

They are the perfect size for a garnish on a dish or pickling. They are quite tasty and great on salads or homemade salsa.
You can use either pickled or fresh peppers for this purpose. They’re also excellent on a pizza!
Another great use for the cherry peppers is to make deep-fried poppers. These are normally peppers that have been filled with cheese, coated and fried and you can simply pop them in the mouth. Filling the cherry pepper is easily accomplished if you remove the stem. Alternately, you can stuff or fill them by slicing them in half.

There are medium and sweet peppers, easilly grown because they don't take much room...if you don't like the heat remove the seeds before adding to a dish so it isn't too spicey.

Cherry peppers stuffed
2 (12 ounce) jars cherry peppers, drained
4 to 5 slices provolone cheese
4 ounces prosciutto (Italian-style ham), thinly sliced
Olive oil

Carefully remove the stems and seeds from the cherry peppers.Set aside the empty jars and lids. Take one slice of provolone with 1 or 2 slices of prosciutto on top and toll them up. Cut them into 1/4 to a 1/2 inch slices like pinwheels .Stuff 1 or 2 slices into each cherry pepper. Finish till all the rolls are gone and all peppers are stuffed.Fill the empty jars with the stuffed peppers.Fill jars with enough olive oil to cover all the peppers.Replace lids and chill for several hours to several days.Drain well before serving.


  1. I love peppers too and I'm not Italian. Although all these years living in UTica with such an Italian influence has converted me in a lot of food favorites.

    Stuffed cherry peppers - so good. Years ago, I made venison in the crockpot (BBQ flavored) then stuffed the cherry pepper with it.
    DELISH! ...back when I ate meat.

  2. I love peppers too! Stuffed peppers sound even better. Thanks, Claudia, for sharing the story and the recipe.

  3. Love this post. I adore the long frying peppers and had an abundance this year. Your cherry pepper "shooters" are a favorite of mine (and my son). Even if "famale caldo" results.

  4. You are my favorite. For serious!

    I adore peppers. And I adore you, too!

  5. Μy husband is crazy with peppers!!see my post, the grrek vergion of stuffed peppers
    best regards

  6. Pepper heaven! I think most Italians just adore a good pepper dish but I love the stuffed peppers best. Great post.

  7. Of course I love peppers! We love adding them to ours salads or chicken and to make stuffed peppers. I love yours, prosciutto it's so tasty!

  8. great info on Italian peppers - love those stuffed cherry ones... you know I cook with peppers all the time so this one I like much

  9. What a cool post! Loved the pictures and the memories!

    Too funny about your brother thinking grandpa was crying over his peppers!

    My Great Grandma used to eat the hot ones right off the stem too! (Despite health reasons that told her not to!) Funny.

    I love peppers - and your post has left me craving them like crazy! :)

  10. Peppers are a great veggie, to add to so many delicious dishes! I like your stuffed cherry peppers, they sound so yummy! My fav pepper right now is piquillo pepper, it's so very flavorful!

  11. Roasted peppers in a bbq is absolutely scrumptious with chimichurri sauce!!



  12. What a great post! I'm a pepper lover myself, in all forms. The pictures were wonderful as well.

  13. Great photo and a great post. The other day I had 2 lovely red peppers in my veggie drawer and charred them in the oven, then peeled, doused in olive oil and enjoyed as a "salad." My grandmother used to make great stuffed cubanelle peppers. I can never get them to taste quite the same.

  14. So beautiful, and especially festive for the coming season! I love red peppers and should get to stuffing some soon! Thanks for the 'push'.

  15. Whenever I see fabulous peppers like this I think of my mom with a bandanna tied across her mouth and nose. She used to jar them and man Claudia, those were so good on a sandwich. Haven't tried stuffing cherry pepper but I do love eating them! Have you ever stuffed them with bread crumbs and prosciutto? My ex-boss used to make those.

    Really enjoyed this post Claudia, thanks :)

  16. What a sweet post Claudia! I enjoy hearing your family stories - they remind me a lot of my own! Your stuffed peppers sound really good too.

  17. Thanks for the trip into your heritage and beautiful memories! Italians are pepper masters ;)

  18. thank you for sharing - a great story :)

  19. Beautiful story and beautiful peppers! Thanks for a peak into your heritage - to me, the influence of one's culture and heritage is the most interesting part of food :) Have a great weekend and congrats on the Top 9!

  20. Reminds me so much of my growing up. Red peppers are always a staple in our summer bbqs. So great in a crusty Italian bread panini. And stuffed with rice and meat and cheese and veggies...oh my


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