Potatoes and Bell Peppers

Potatoes and bell peppers

If for some strange reason you happened to be catapulted in any street in Calabria at the lunch time, in high summer and had no idea where you were or what season it was, you could count on the aroma of peppers and fried potatoes ti tell you. This is a dish that depends wholly on the hands of whoever makes it: the cook's skill is all-important. The fragrance of potatoes and peppers at lunchtime seems to be part of the very air of Calabria in summers. The atmosphere is impregnated with the scents of cooking, when the younger generation who have traveled far away return to those who have stayed behind, like ancient columns, keeping up their homes. Once noisy and full of life, those homes now creep through the slow winter with the dim glow of the small flames that flicker as if dying. In summer the hob sparkles again.. and nature itself is already festive. Summer rightly brings back the convivial season, the high point of the year, which passes amid a riot of delicious food. Huge numbers sit down around the tables when it's summer in my parts. Big extensible tables, opened out for a few weeks every year. The children who once sat around the family table are now citizens of a different, faraway world, and they have children who are themselves half strangers, yet they all get together and the full summer days slip away filled with the dishes of memory. A thread of secret taste that links them to distant childhoods, to worlds transfigured and nostalgic. 

The potatoes should be peeled, washed and sliced into half-moons. Put a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and start frying the potatoes with 2 good tablespoons of extravergine olive oil. Add salt and cover with the lid. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the remaining ingredients: the peppers, washed and cur into thick segments; the eggplant and tomatoes, washed and cut into chunks; the onion sliced, not too finely; a garlic clove, some basil leaves and fresh chili. Once the potatoes are cooked remove them from the heat and set them aside, taking care to leave the oil in the skillet and adding the rest of the ingredients in it, salt them and cover with a lid.  When they are all cooked, add the potatoes and leave them a few minutes so all the flavors blend.


500 grammi Calabria potatoes 

2 large bell peppers

1 small eggplant

2 firm tomatoes

1 small Tropea onion

1 clove garlic

a few basil leaves


calabrese chili

5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


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