I am an avowed lover of markets and can happily wander through them for hours on end but here in Italy, the markets are so good I have to fight the urge to buy everything in sight. I am constantly having to remind myself that I don't have to buy it all now - it's taken me a week but I am getting better. I even managed to indulge in a sensible quantity of these lovely peperoncini - a spicy, little round red capsicum.
Most often you'll see these stuffed with a tuna based mixture and preserved in oil but just this week I enjoyed a simpler version, filled only with anchovy and caper. In fact I liked them so much, I decided to try and make my own.
The anchovies come from the larger Saturday market
On tasting, they have proved to be every bit as good as they look - they aren't overly strong and one dimensional and it's a pleasure just to enjoy them as they are.
The capers I've chosen are those kept under salt
In traditional peperoncini farciti - you would first boil the peppers in an acidic liquid but as these are being made to enjoy fresh, I've decided to oven roast the peppers until they have softened.
salted capers, rinsed and soaked
Whether you make 1 or 100 the procedure is the same.
Prepare the peperoncini:
Using a paring knife, carefully cut around the stem and remove - you should be left with a triangular divot at the top of the pepper.
You now need to remove all the seeds - I use the handle of a small spoon and push it through the divot I've made and run it around the rim - the seeds and its connecting white flesh comes out very easily. Once you've finished, give the peppers a rinse.
Depending on the size of the pepper, I will place one anchovy and 1 or 2 capers into each. Arrange the peppers, cut side down, on a baking paper lined oven tray. Bake for 10 minutes at 160°C, then turn them over and cook for another 5 minutes or until softened.
Let them cool slightly on the tray before serving.
When serving, drizzle over with any of the collected cooking juices.