About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Hard-Boiled Eggs with Green Sauce | Main | Roasted Eggplant with Peppers and Cucumber »

Roasted Peppers and Anchovies


I love anchovies. I love their fishiness. I love the way they melt in a pan to become this wonderful not quite liquid flavoring for other foods. For me, anchovies are the secret behind that illusive fifth flavor - umami - in many dishes.

So, I appreciate the lesson Marcella offers on page 9.

As this project begins, I hope all of our readers will take the time to treat Fundamentals from page 7 through page 51 of Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking like a textbook. Don't start following the recipes until you've studied the Fundamentals. Even the most practiced home cook will learn much. Even those of you who have a well worn copy of Essentials can benefit from going back to the beginning and actually studying the Fundamentals.

After all of that, right out of the gate, I had to go to Marcella's plan 'b' in order to prepare my very first challenge recipe.

I couldn't find salt packed anchovies anywhere. Not even at my old reliable Global Foods. They offered to try to order them for me. But their source was Roland. No offense to Roland, but their quality isn't the top of the line in most instances, and I didn't want to risk it.

So, plan 'b' according to Marcella is glass packed (so you can see the amount of meat), imported, and probably expensive.

Thank goodness, Viviano's had something better than Roland. Agostino Recca is a great brand. And at about $8.00 a jar, not cheap. But the anchovies were beautiful.


Now on to the peppers. I am sure there are very solid production and shipping cost arguments to justify it, but I have a very hard time swollowing a price of $2.00 each for peppers. Many things I will pick up in a store and not even make note of the price. Fennel for example. But for some reason the price of peppers just gets under my skin! I digress.

I roasted my pepper. First on a tray over the burners.


I didn't like the amount of time it was taking because of those silly holes. So, I took Marcella's advice and did what I should have from the start. I put the peppers directly in the flame.

Finally, I prepped the roasted peppers and gathered all of the ingredients to layer in my serving dish.


Two hours later, we enjoyed our "appetizer" with a crostini. We enjoyed it a lot. We enjoyed it so much that the four of us polished the entire dish off as a complete meal.

Comments (8)

Deborah-Your first blog entry sounds(and looks) delicious. I agree that the Fundamentals section is full of so much valuable information. I'm sure I will be referencing it often.


Deborah, you have such a way with words! Love the pictures too.


Those look so amazing.


I loved your post too! I'm having fun imagining funny faces on the skin of your yellow pepper! Wait! I think I see the "hash" key!

this is so much fun :-) 'suppose I'd best buy the book so I can learn about the Fundamentals.

Rah! Rah!


Yum..I've been eying this recipe.


It looked great and tasted delicious!


Sounds delicious - love anchovies!

You and Marcella are correct that anchovies are absolutely essential to what I call "the king of antipasti". My wife has grilling the peppers over charcoal down to a fine art, and if there are peppers in the house while she is grilling something, she does the peppers too. Whenever we walk through the produce department we glance at the pepper prices and stock up whenever the price nears $1/lb. Since orange and yellow peppers rarely go on sale, we make do with delicious red ripe peppers.

The picture makes me hungry, but peppers are not on sale this week.

Deborah responds:
Welcome, Joseph. Thanks for finding our blog and offering such an interesting comment. This one was the third post in our odessy, which is almost finished. We are in week 58 of 62 weeks. Wheew.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 30, 2010 1:12 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Hard-Boiled Eggs with Green Sauce .

The next post in this blog is Roasted Eggplant with Peppers and Cucumber.

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