The sweet bell pepper is actually a fruit posing as a vegetable. Grilling or oven-roasting bell peppers caramelizes them, turning them sweet, soft and versatile. This recipe was adapted from a recipe in Marcella Cucina by Marcella Hazan (HarperCollins, 1997).
2 small globe eggplants, trimmed and cut
into 1⁄2" cubes
4 red bell peppers
1 cup vegetable oil
1 ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
6 anchovy filets, finely chopped
6 sprigs parsley, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 tbsp. capers, chopped
1⁄8 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
4 tbsp. fresh bread crumbs
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1. Put eggplant in a colander set over a bowl. Sprinkle generously with salt, then set aside until bitter juices have drained, 30–60 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, char skin of peppers over an open flame or under a broiler, transfer to a bowl, and cover until cool. Peel peppers without tearing flesh, then pull off stem and scoop out seeds with your finger, keeping pepper intact for stuffing.
3. Preheat oven to 400°. Heat vegetable oil until hot in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Pat eggplant dry with paper towels, then fry in batches until deep golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon.
4. Add tomatoes, anchovies, parsley, garlic, capers, oregano, 3 tbsp. of the bread crumbs, and 1 tbsp. of the olive oil to bowl; mix well. Stuff peppers, arrange in a baking dish, sprinkle with remaining 1 tbsp. bread crumbs, and drizzle with remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Serve at room temperature.