Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields Serves 4 to 6

Warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it softens, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bell peppers and cook briefly. Add the red wine and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Remove the lid and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, another 10 to 15 minutes. Check frequently toward the end, as the peppers will want to stick to the bottom of the pan.


Meanwhile, pound the jalapeno and garlic into a paste in a mortar with another 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the basil and parsley; pound to a paste. Add 3 tablespoons of the oil and stir, grinding more with the pestle. The sauce should have a rather loose consistency, somewhat more liquid than pesto.


Stir the sauce into the peppers, taste for salt and heat through, 2 minutes. This is good hot, cold or anywhere in between.

Peperonata, a basic stew of tomatoes, onions and peppers, is found all over the Mediterranean. There are as many recipes for it as there are cooks. Here, the final fillip of the chile, garlic and herb sauce is inspired by a recipe in Patience Gray’s “Honey From a Weed.”.

Russ Parsons is a former food writer and columnist at the Los Angeles Times.
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