poblano peppers stuffed with Italian eggplant, anchovy and pepitas

by Stevie on July 1, 2011

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This recipe is based upon one from Marcella Hazan’s Marcella Cucina. I really love her food. And she sounds like quite a firecracker too. I’ve read somewhere that she’s a big fan of bourbon. Anyone who can cook that well and loves bourbon is alright in my book. I’ve a copy of her autobiography, Amarcord: Marcella Remembers, somewhere around here. I really need to find it soon.

poblano peppers stuffed with Italian eggplant, anchovy and pepitas

poblano peppers stuffed with Italian eggplant, anchovy and pepitas

Her recipe uses yellow or red bell peppers and she makes a big point of having you char and remove the outer membrane. I’ve done that several times, but it is a nightmare. Though I have to agree, it makes the final dish more tender, I don’t think that the effort is worth it. Instead, I’ve steamed my peppers, like I did for the poblanos and reds stuffed with saffron rice.

As to the poblano versus the bell, I remain of the opinion that poblanos simply taste better whereas bells just taste sweet. To each cook his or her own, I suppose. I added pepitas for a bit of crunch and it seems to match the peppers well. I did have two small reds, which I also stuffed. Oddly, these two ended up being leftovers after Hegui and I gorged on the smokier Mexican peppers.

key ingredients for poblano peppers stuffed with Italian eggplant, anchovy and pepitas

key ingredients for poblano peppers stuffed with Italian eggplant, anchovy and pepitas

poblano peppers stuffed with Italian eggplant, anchovy and pepitas

4 to 6 poblano or red bell peppers
1 medium Italian eggplant (about a pound)
salt
2 tbsp pepitas
6 anchovy fillets
2 tbsp Italian parsley
1 tbsp capers
1 garlic clove, peeled
3 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
¼ tsp oregano
2 tbsp olive oil
1 Roma tomato, peeled and chopped
vegetable oil
black pepper to taste

Cut eggplant into about ½ inch dice. Toss with ample salt in a colander. Let sit for about 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. Fry in vegetable oil until translucent and soft. Remove from oil to large bowl.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Cut poblano peppers in half and remove seeds and ribs. If using bell peppers, carefully cut tops off and remove seeds and ribs. Steam for ten minutes. Remove from heat and run under cold water to cool.

Toast pepitas in dry pan until slightly browned and popping. Set aside.

Coarsely chop garlic, capers, Italian parsley, and anchovies together. Add to eggplant. Add tomato, oregano, olive oil, pepitas, black pepper, and 2 tbsp panko to eggplant. Fold together.

Using two tablespoons, stuff peppers with filling, about one tbsp each. Place in a baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining panko. Bake 15 to 20 minutes.

Allow peppers to cool to room temperature before serving.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Heavenly Housewife July 1, 2011 at 5:33 am

Delicious, I am really loving the sound of this, there are some fabulous Mediterranean flavours in there.
*kisses* HH

Anna July 1, 2011 at 10:42 am

This sounds delicious! But I have to confess… I am terrified of anchovies!! I wish I knew how to get over it!

Angie's Recipes July 1, 2011 at 11:42 am

Those stuffed poblano peppers look delish. I love the addition of anchovies in the eggplant filling.

Shelley July 2, 2011 at 9:04 am

The peppers look terrific! It does sound like Mrs. Hazan was quite the firebrand. Kim Severson’s Spoon Fed has a great story about her and it’s true to the stereotype. Have a fabulous 4th!

tasteofbeirut July 3, 2011 at 2:10 pm

I am also a fan of Marcella’s and used almost all her recipes in her Classic Italian cookbook and got my mother to buy the book as well (she needed to cook Italian for my dad who has Italian blodd); in any case, I did not know of this dish and I love it! Love poblanos, and love eggplants and the two combined sound heavenly. Why do you not like the charring part? It is not hard, just throw them in a ziploc with some water and that’s it~

OysterCulture July 4, 2011 at 5:24 am

What a delicious sounding recipe, love all the combinations.

Tall Clover Farm July 5, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Stevie, you and Heguiberto are becoming my go-to guys for great vegetarian recipes. Now that summer has decided to arrive and the garden in cooperating, I’m looking for new ways to showcase my veggies. I love the green bean and black bean sauce recipe too!

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