Pepperonata – an easy low carb side dish

I have a very old notepad in which I used to use to write down my favourite recipes that I picked up here and there. I started using it I think in 2006? So it’s older than my relationship with my husband by a few years. It’s actually got a recipe in it of the meal I made him for his first birthday we spent together eight years ago (it’s here on the blog¬†too now, funnily enough) I was flicking through it over the weekend pondering this weeks dinners when I came across a scrawled entry for something called pepperonata – or my own version of it anyway.

This is perfect for anyone low-carbing or on slimming world (except the oil – sorry but you’ll want to syn that!) It’s a great one when you’ve got those odds and ends of veg left because you can probably chuck extra bits in later. I made this last night and then added in pork meatballs and a side of flash fried cherry tomatoes and artichoke hearts (from a jar, sorry not sorry) and it was bloody delicious. Oh, and it’s vegan too!

For my basic (and not at all traditional, apologies Italian people) pepperonata to serve two, you’ll need the following:

  • three small peppers, sliced (I used a red and two orange from one of those ‘less than perfect’ bags)
  • one onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • most of a punnet of cherry tomatoes cut in half (you could use a tin though, or some bigger ones – pepperonata won’t mind)
  • pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp of good olive oil

The method couldn’t be easier really. Fry the onion in the oil until it’s soft, then chuck in the garlic and chilli for a minute (you can add a pinch of saffron too if you like, but I didn’t have any) then add in the peppers until they soften as well. Then chuck in your tomatoes and give it all a stir, before leaving it to simmer away on a low heat for about 40 minutes. If you want to make it a relish, leave it for longer until it breaks down further.

You can do so much with this, it’s great as a side dish, or as lunch with a fried egg or two on top. You could use it as the sauce for pasta, or add in extra veggies like aubergine or mushrooms. Traditionally it’ll have olives in it, but I don’t like olives. I do like to add a little slosh of balsamic vinegar in it to balance out the sweetness somewhat.

Any way – make it, you won’t regret it. Enjoy!

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Pepperonata - a really easy low carb side dish. It's vegan too!


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