Basque Piperade

Piperade sauce is a very common Basque dish that is used in 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. 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. 


1 cup bacon, cut into ¼ inch pieces
1 garlic clove, minced
2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
4 mixed sweet peppers, thinly sliced
2 sprigs rosemary, stripped and chopped
2 sprigs thyme, stripped and chopped
1 bay leaf
½ cup white wine
5 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
1-2 Tbsp Piment d’Ville
Salt to taste
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 enough olive oil. Add Piment d’Ville, peppers, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf. Cook until onion is translucent. Add white wine and simmer for 5-10 minutes to cook off alcohol. Add tomatoes. Simmer until sauce has thickened to the consistency of a pasta sauce. Add bacon back to sauce and season with salt to taste.