Mid Sunday morning, what do I stumble upon in my Nonna’s backyard? Red peppers. 2 bushels to be exact, paired with 2 barbecues (one charcoal, one gas) and four family members, working hard at roasting – peeling – cleaning – cutting – packaging.
Having participated in boiling, jarring, and preserving fresh tomato sauce my ENTIRE life, this was new to me. (Click her for a “How To” Tomato Sauce Post). I had yet to witness the pepper process. It’s so easy, you can do it yourself!
Here, a look at how it’s done Napoli Style:
1. Buy bushels of Red Peppers, or a couple of peppers is fine too, we go a little overboard.
2. Roast peppers until the skin is blackened. You can do this on a charcoal rack barbecue or a regular gas barbecue. The difference is the infused flavour, but my Nonnies were using both, doing it double time.
3. After the skin is blackened, set aside the peppers, so that they can cool down in temperature. Once cooled, you need to peel off all the black skin. Literally, just stand there and pick that blackened, charred layer off the pepper.
(b) Nonno’s Technique (More Rough): He pulls the top of the red pepper or it’s root – for lack of a better word – right out by twisting it. This method causes the seeds to go everywhere, but he preserves more of the pepper. Then, you slice the pepper open, so that it lays flat on the table. Leaving the pepper whole, but flat. Lightly scrape the seeds out.
5. Bag these pieces, or peppers left whole, into zip lock bags. You can store them in the freezer until you take them out for when you make fresh pizza! Yum.
This is WAY easier than our production of tomato sauce (for that recipe click here), and the process is a LOT shorter, with less man power needed. It was awesome to help, and peel off all the blackened, charred-roasted skin. It was therapeutic in a way, plus I look forward to eating them on my Nonna’s homemade pizza.