This is a recipe I watched Delia Smith cook on her 1993 British program, Delia Smith’s Summer Collection, that aired here in America on the Food Network. The TV cooking series was a companion to her book of the same name. In demonstrating the dish, Ms. Smith gave the recipe’s backstory: “It was brought from Piedmont by Elizabeth David, published in her marvelous book, Italian Food, and then an Italian chef [Franco Taruschio], cooking in Wales of all places, the famous Walnut Tree Inn, near Abergavenny, he served this on his menu there at the Walnut Tree Inn, and it was eaten by a London chef called Simon Hopkinson, who then served it on his menu at Bibendum, the famous Bibendum restaurant, where yours truly ate it and fell totally in love with it,” said Ms. Smith
Back in the day, I would record these shows on VHS tapes, and go back and study the recipes over and over again. Recently, I watched Mr. Hopkinson, in the cooking series The Good Cook, make his version of this recipe, which he calls Piedmontese Peppers, from his 1994 book, Roast Chicken and Other Stories. I make these peppers all the time, and have adapted the original recipe even further, using any color (red, yellow, orange, green) pepper I have, and stuffing them with whatever salty thing I like and think will taste good together – tuna, anchovies, olives, capers, whatever. Unlike the original recipe, I use cherry tomatoes and never peel them; and I always roast at 425 degrees (because I was born on April 25). Mr. Hopkinson also roasts his peppers at 425 degrees. I particularly love the finished peppers over thin spaghetti. I know that when I order peppers, they will keep in the bottom fridge bin for a good long while and, then, just when I think I have nothing on hand, there they are – and this is the first thing I make.
Directions: Half and seed red pepper, leaving core (to handle after cooking); place peppers face up in shallow roasting dish; season the insides with salt and pepper, to your taste; peel (if you must) and quarter tomatoes and place two (or more) quarters in each pepper; thinly slice garlic (lengthwise) and add generous portion to peppers; chop anchovies and add to peppers; add generous heaping teaspoonfuls of olive oil over each pepper; roast at 425 degrees for 30 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 degrees and continue cooking for approximately 45 minutes or until the peppers are slightly burned around the edges.