Tag Archives: breadcrumbs

Sicilian Culinary Delight: Roasted Peppers with Breadcrumbs Recipe

Roasted Peppers
Whenever I visit my Sicilian brother-in-law, I’m treated to a culinary masterpiece that rarely graces Italian restaurant menus—Roasted Peppers with Breadcrumbs. This delectable dish holds a special place in his heart as it’s his mother’s cherished recipe, bringing a taste of Sicily to our lunch gatherings. Today, I’m excited to share this authentic Sicilian delight with you, complete with the tantalizing aroma of roasted peppers, the richness of breadcrumbs, and a symphony of flavors that make it the perfect side dish.


To recreate this Sicilian gem in your own kitchen, gather the following ingredients:

  • 4 or 5 red or yellow bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 thinly sliced onion
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of yellow raisins
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped pistachios or walnuts
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup Parmesan grated cheese

Cooking Instructions

Now, let’s dive into the culinary journey of crafting Roasted Peppers with Breadcrumbs.


Begin by preheating to 400°F. This ensures the peppers achieve that perfect roasted tenderness

Begin by preheating to 400°F. This ensures the peppers achieve that perfect roasted tenderness.

Roasted Peppers with Breadcrumbs
Roasted Peppers with Breadcrumbs

Roast, Peel, and Slice the Peppers

Roast the red or yellow bell peppers until their skins char and blister. Once roasted, carefully peel and slice them, revealing their smoky-sweet flavor that forms the foundation of this dish.

Sauté the Onion

In a pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the thinly sliced onion with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Cook until the onions become soft and translucent, infusing the kitchen with enticing aromas.

Combine Peppers and Onions

Add the roasted peppers to the sautéed onions, creating a harmonious blend of flavors. Allow them to mingle and cook together for approximately 10 minutes, letting the sweetness of the peppers complement the savory undertones of the onions.

Add Raisins and Nuts

Introduce 2 tablespoons of yellow raisins and 2 tablespoons of chopped pistachios or walnuts to the pan. This addition brings a delightful contrast of textures and flavors, elevating the dish to new heights.

Sprinkle Breadcrumbs and Parmesan

As the aroma intensifies, sprinkle ¼ cup of breadcrumbs over the mixture, ensuring they absorb the savory juices. Follow this with a generous ¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese, enriching the dish with a cheesy goodness that ties everything together.

There you have it—Roasted Peppers with Breadcrumbs, a Sicilian culinary delight that captures the essence of family, tradition, and the rich flavors of Italy. Whether served as a side dish or the star of the meal, this recipe is a testament to the artistry of Sicilian cuisine. Try it in your kitchen, and let the vibrant flavors transport you to the sun-kissed landscapes of Sicily. Buon Appetito! Craving Sicilian flavors? Contact us now to embark on your culinary journey with the Roasted Peppers with Breadcrumbs Recipe!Roasted Peppers with Breadcrumbs

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Pasta with Eggplant and Breadcrumbs

Pasta with Eggplant and Breadcrumbs

Here’s another recipe adapted from Melissa Clark at the New York Times, Pasta with Eggplant and Breadcrumbs. She never lets me down. I used Progresso Plain Breadcrumbs for this dish and Melissa made her own. Make them is you have time.
  • 2 large eggplants, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
  • Salt, black, and red pepper
  • ½ pound short pasta, such as shells or orecchiette
  • ½ cup olive oil plus as much as needed to fry the eggplant, plus more for drizzling
  • 12 anchovies, coarsely chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, 3 grated or finely minced, 5 thinly sliced
  • 1 cup plain Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1 cup torn parsley
  • Juice of ½ lemon

Pasta with Eggplant and Breadcrumbs

Place the cut eggplant on some paper towels and sprinkle all over with salt. Wait 15 minutes and blot the moisture.
Start a pot of salted water for the pasta.
Heat ¼ cup of oil in a large pan. Add about a quarter of the chopped anchovies and all of the grated garlic. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Stir in breadcrumbs and sauté until well blended, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with black pepper and salt. Scrape into a small bowl and set aside.
Wipe out skillet and add ¼ cup olive oil and put it back over medium-high heat until oil thins out in the pan. Add enough eggplant to fit in one layer without overlapping. Without moving them around too much, cook eggplant until brown on one side, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir and let them cook on the other side until browned and thoroughly soft, 3 to 7 minutes more. Use a slotted spoon to transfer eggplant to a large bowl. Repeat with remaining eggplant, adding more oil to the pan as needed.Pasta with Eggplant and Breadcrumbs
Add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet and stir in remaining anchovies, the sliced garlic and red-pepper flakes. Cook over medium heat and don’t let the garlic turn brown.
Stir in tomatoes and capers. Cook until tomatoes just begin to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Add eggplant, pasta and ¼ cup pasta water. Toss well, adding more pasta water if it looks dry.
Stir in the parsley. Squeeze half a lemon all over the pasta and toss. Taste and add more red-pepper flakes, salt or lemon juice to taste. Generously sprinkle breadcrumbs on top of pasta and serve.

Pasta with Eggplant and Breadcrumbs

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Cervello dei vitelli (Calf Brains)

brains 2

Cervello dei vitelli (Calf Brains)

More serious cucina povera.  This isn’t for everyone. When my daughter Kristina was about 10 years old, I gave her $5.00 to try it. She took one bite, took the money and never touched brains again. But some people love them. The worst part is the preparation. My wife leaves the kitchen until I’m finished (she won’t eat them either). Another hard part if finding calf brains in a market. I live in New York City and any butcher on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx carries them. If you want to try this, ask your butcher to make a special order. Baked Calf Brains Ingredients


Clean the brains – Remove any of the really ugly parts, i.e. brain stem, membrane, etc. Rinse them in cold water for 10 minutes. Bring some water to a boil and put the brains in it for 5 minutes. Change the water and do it again. Now they’re ready to prepare for cooking.

Pat them dry and season with salt & pepper. Coat them with oil and roll them in plain breadcrumbs. Pack them snuggly in an oiled baking pan or cast iron frying pan. Cover the top of them with the following mix: breadcrumbs mixed with finely chopped garlic and salt and pepper. Drizzle, or better yet, spray oil over the top until the breadcrumbs are well saturated then sprinkle the capers over it. Bake them at 350o until the breadcrumbs brown. Serve with lemon, Italian bread and salad.

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