Sweet Frying Peppers and Tomato Sauce: Seasonal Chef Recipe


The farmers markets are teeming with big beautiful peppers and tomato piles everywhere. Look for the sweet frying pepper variety called Jimmy Nardello or cubanelle. They are full of flavor and fry up in a snap. This is a very quick sauce, because lets face it: who wants to be slaving over a hot stove in the summer? Click here to see my recipe for: Maria’s Favorite Meatballs to go along with this tasty sauce. To read about my meatball and sauce inspiration click this link for: Seasonal Chef’s Sweet Frying Peppers.

Seasonal Chef Recipe: Sweet Frying Pepper and Tomato Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

You can use this simple sauce with meatballs, pasta, or even on it's own with a nice piece of crusty bread to soak it up.


  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2½ cups of sweet frying pepper, seeded and cut in 1” pieces, about ½ lb
  • 1 cup red onion, ½“ dice, 1 medium
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 4 cups fresh ripe tomato, seeded and chopped in 1” pieces, about 1½ lb
  • Pinch of red hot chili flakes, optional
  • ¼ cup fresh basil roughly chopped


  1. Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan along and gently sauté the peppers, onions and minced garlic over medium high heat. Season them with a ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add in the tomatoes and another ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper and the chili flakes if using. Turn the heat down slightly and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes get soft and start falling apart, about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the basil. Taste for seasoning and serve.


After Step 2 you can add in your favorite meatballs and warm them through for a really hearty meal.




About Author

Seasonal Chef blogger Maria Reina comes to the world of food as a third career, spending a great portion of her adult life in the field of Human Resources. With her private company Bella Cucina Maria she is a personal chef, caterer and recreational cooking class teacher in Westchester. She's an avid food television watcher and cookbook collector, always looking for a new take on a traditional dish. In her free time she loves hanging out at local farmer's markets, chatting it up with the farmers and doing cooking demos with their seasonal ingredients. In addition to her blog, which is loaded with easy recipes, you can follow her on Facebook (Bella Cucina Maria), Twitter (Bellacucinam), Instagram (Bellacucinam) and Pinterest (Bellacucinam).

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