Have you ever heard about Friggitelli?
Friggitelli are a variety of sweet green chili peppers, long and small that is cultivated in springtime, when the tempetaure is above 10 Celsius. They are usually cultivated in South Italy, where they take the name of Friarielli, althogh it is possible to find them also in central Italy. A Greek variatey is also available which is even sweeter, called Golden Greek.
The roots of the word Friggitelli – Frigg….- indicates that these specific small peppers are normally fried (Friggere in Italian means “to fry”). They are used as a side dish, however if you decide to stuff them, they can be a main course. In South Italy, especially around Naples, they even put them on Pizza.
I usually prepare them the way my mother thought me, which is simple and quick, very savoury and perfect when you are in a rush and need to prepare dinner for the family. I call them “Toasted Friggitelli” or, if you prefer, “Friggitelly my way”.
- 500 grams of Friggitelli
- 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 handfuls of breadcrumbs
Wash the friggitelli carefully and dry them with a kitchen towel, cut the stalk and then proceed cutting all of them into circular wheels, 1 cm thick. Friggitelli are usually not hot, however, if you want to prevent possible surprises, you may also remove the seeds.
Take a medium sized frying pot, pour 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in it, bring it to the fire and let it heat for 1 minute. When the oil is hot, pour the cut Friggitelli in the pan, mix a bit with a wooden spoon, then cover the pan. Turn down the fire at minimum level and let cook for approximately 15 minutes (covered).
When the Friggitelli are well softened and their colour turned into a dark green, remove the lid and cover them with two generous handfuls of breadcrumbs. Mix well with a wooden spoon and let toast.
It will take approximately 2/3 minutes before the bread is well toasted and turned to a dark brown colour. Your Friggitelly are ready. A preparation like this is usually considered a side dish in Italy. In this case you can pair Friggitelli with both meat and fish or you may even dress your pasta with them. Don’t forget that these specific chili peppers are also pretty aromatic thus if you drink wine you’d better pair it with a white one.