Anchovy-stuffed Peppers Basilicata (Peperoni Ripieni Basilicata)
Serves 4 as a main dish or 8 as a side dish
Anchovy-stuffed Peppers Basilicata takes mere minutes to prepare. The anchovies melt into the stuffing as the peppers cook; their flavor doesn’t stand out, but enhances the other flavors in the dish. Although this tastes fine made with green peppers, I prefer using red or yellow peppers because they are sweeter and have better flavor. For a more refined version, roast the peppers and remove the charred skin before stuffing them, bake the stuffed peppers at 400°F for 30 – 35 minutes, until the stuffing is golden brown.
4 red or yellow bell peppers
3 cups fresh bread crumbs, preferably from artisan-style bread
12 – 16 anchovy fillets, minced
2 – 3 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup minced parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil, plus 2 Tbsp. for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Make the bread crumbs in the food processor, and put them in a bowl large enough to hold all the stuffing. Add the anchovies, garlic, Parmesan, parsley, eggs, freshly ground black pepper, and 1/4 cup olive oil, and mix thoroughly, making sure the anchovies are evenly distributed in the stuffing.
Cut the peppers in half and discard the seeds. Oil a baking pan large enough to hold all the peppers. Stuff each pepper half and put it in the oiled pan. Drizzle peppers with the remaining olive oil. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes, until the peppers are soft and the stuffing is golden brown.
Serve with thin slices of pecorino or Parmigiano reggiano cheese, and toasted bread rubbed with garlic and fresh tomato.