Funghi e Peperoncino

One of my favorite places for a satisfying meal used to be Cesare’s Cafe in the Chambersburg section of town. The Pingitore family always made guests feel welcome and no one ever left there hungry or dissatisfied. At least not that I know of.

At this time of the year, Cesare’s garden would be overrun with peppers and he would share the bounty. Guests would be treated to a free starter of hot peppers sautéed with mushrooms.

Funghi e peperoncino

Ann was at the Trenton Farmers’ Market Sunday and picked up a few hot peppers. That got me thinking about Cesare’s little treat.

Since we had a large and later than usual lunch this afternoon, I decided to pick up some mushrooms and make my own version. Accompanied with a glass of wine and a slice (or two) of crusty bread for sopping up the juices, I had a light, savory and satisfying summer supper.

Funghi e peperoncino

  • Olive oil
  • ½ to ¾ pounds of fresh mushrooms coarsely chopped*
  • 2 hot peppers (I used long, banana type peppers), cored and seeded, sliced into ¼ inch rings
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 – 3 Tbs dry white wine
  • 3 Tbs of minced fresh herbs (basil, oregano, thyme in this case)

Pour just enough oil in a large skillet to film the bottom and heat over medium high heat until it shimmers. Add mushrooms, sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and a few turns of the pepper mill. Toss or stir frequently until they mushrooms give up their water and start to brown.

Add the cut up peppers and toss.

Add garlic and toss again. Make sure to NOT burn the garlic.

After 2 or 3 minutes, add the white wine.

Toss frequently until wine has reduced. Add fresh herbs, toss and serve.

*brown button mushrooms are fine, but tonight I used a mixture of brown, oyster and shiitake mushrooms.

This makes a great light meal, a good starter, or an accompaniment to grilled meats. It would also make a good topping for a pizza or flat bread.


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