Today is the shortest day of the year. We are all missing the sunshine and warmer weather, but if you can’t escape to the southern hemisphere, maybe you could get by with a meal reminiscent of the summer bounty. This red pepper stew, called peperonata, is just what the doctor ordered.

The recipe below is adapted from Food52’s iteration.


Serves 2-3; active cooking time 25 minutes, total cooking time 1 hour and 25 minutes

  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 large red bell peppers, stems and seeds removed, julienned
  • Handful of basil, torn
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional: poached eggs (4), toast for serving


  1. In a deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over low heat and add the onion, the peppers, and tomatoes with a good pinch of salt and some black pepper.
  2. Cover and let cook, stirring and checking occasionally, until the peppers have melted down into very soft, silky stew and the tomatoes have broken down into a thick sauce, about 1 hour. If needed, splash with water every now and then.
  3. About ten minutes before the stew is done cooking, poach 4 eggs according to this method.
  4. In the final few minutes of preparing the stew, add the hot sauce. Remove from heat, scattering with basil, and serve at room temperature.

The dish makes an ideal brunch or an easy dinner, and the level of spiciness can easily be adjusted by adding or reducing the amount of hot sauce. With a couple poached eggs and a side of toast, it’s filling meal that will keep you warm on these chillier nights. On the winter solstice, we begin to think summer can’t come soon enough, but hopefully a big bowl of peperonata will tide you over!

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