Basque Piperade

Basque Piperade

Piperade sauce is a classic dish in the Basque country of France and Spain (also the home of Piment d'Espelette). Known for reflecting the green, white, and red colors of the Basque flag, it is heavily seasoned with Piment d'Espelette and, when available, is spotted with Bayonne ham. Piperade is used in many different capacities. We like to use it as a richer pasta sauce, as the base sauce on pizza, or add a big spoonful over a grilled pork chop or ham steak. Some traditional recipes incorporate eggs into the sauce to thicken it and make it even richer. It is also great with omelets and frittatas, or even spooned onto a thick slice of toast. In the Basque culture, the sauce has a way of not quite fitting into any food category as it can be a sauce, the main dish, the side dish, or an appetizer. If you aren’t a meat eater, you can omit the bacon no problem. 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup bacon, cut into ¼ inch pieces
1 garlic clove, minced
1 yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 mixed sweet peppers, thinly sliced (include one green pepper as per tradition!)
1 sprigs rosemary, stripped and chopped
1 sprigs thyme, stripped and chopped
1 bay leaf
½ cup white wine
2-3 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
1 Tbsp Piment d’Ville
Salt 
Olive oil

Heat dutch oven or large pan with taller sides over medium heat. Add bacon. Cook until fully cooked, but more on the chewy side instead of crispy. Spoon bacon out of the pan and reserve in a bowl for later. Return dutch oven/pan to heat (with rendered bacon fat still in pan). Add minced garlic and onions and cook for a few minutes. If the bacon wasn’t very fatty and you need more fat in the pan, add olive oil. Add Piment d’Ville, salt, peppers, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf. Cook until onion is translucent. Add white wine and cook for a few more minutes. Add tomatoes. Simmer until sauce has thickened to the consistency of a pasta sauce, about 10-15 minutes. Add bacon back to sauce and season with salt to taste.