Peperonata Recipe for Cancer and Chemotherapy

peperonata italian sicilian mediterranean peppers tomatoes easy delicious healthy cancer cooking recipes

Chef Ryan’s Peperonata Recipe is not only flavorful but healthy and easy to make when cooking for cancer patients during and after treatment.


Peperonata Recipe for Cancer and Chemotherapy

Ease of Preparation: Intermediate Recipe

Dish Description:
A classic Italian dish. It is extremely versatile and can be used in many different ways, such as over pasta, as a condiment on a sandwich, it can be eaten by itself with some crusty bread, served with a grilled salisicca, and many other pairing options. In this book, I offer a recipe that uses the peperonata over pasta, and it is absolutely fantastic!

Tasting Guidelines:
This recipe should taste savory and peppery.
The weight of this recipe is light but can be balanced with red wine and sugar.
The texture of this recipe is soft.
This recipe is good for people with low to moderate treatment side effects.
This recipe gives an emotional response reminding you of a warm summer day.
This recipe is best categorized as Italian.

Food Ingredients:
4 bell peppers red, green, yellow, sliced into thin long strips, think fettuccine noodle
1 large can tomatoes, diced
2 medium red onions, sliced long and thin
2 tbsp. olive oil

Flavor Balancers:
kosher salt
1–2 cups red wine (any kind will do)
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1–2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar

Aromatics:
2 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 tbsp. dried oregano

Recipe Directions:
In a spaghetti pot, bring oil to medium-low heat. Add garlic, onions, green peppers, and black pepper. You want to sweat them. You want to cook everything until the onions begin to caramelize and the green peppers start breaking down. It is better to go low and slow with cooking temperature for this recipe.

Deglaze pan with red wine after onions are caramelized and peppers are broken down. Reduce wine. After wine has been reduced, add tomatoes and dried oregano and vinegar.

Cook on a medium heat, stirring often to avoid burning, until diced tomatoes break down. You will know when this happens because the tomatoes will look less like tomatoes and more like marinara. I like to use a whisk to mash the tomatoes with while cooking.

After about 45 minutes of cooking the tomatoes, taste the sauce specifically looking for acidity and saltyness. Add 1/4 c. of sugar, and stir well. Allow to simmer 5 minutes. Taste sauce again. Take note of acidity and saltyness. If sauce is still very acidic, add another 1/4 c. of sugar. Repeat this method until sauce is no longer acidic and has a mellow pleasant flavor.

The very last step you do is add salt if required. Do not add salt as you go. Add very small amounts of salt at the very end, using the same simmer, add, taste method. Do not add salt a 1/4 c. at a time. Only add salt in small measurements if needed.

Chef Recipe Tips:
Peperonata is great as a snack when served with bread. Peperonata is fantastic over pasta and is good when used as a condiment for meat or sausage sandwiches. A side thought: at home I use between 4 and 8 oz. of Italian sausage added to the beginning of this recipe when I use it as a pasta sauce. The only issue with this is, for chemo, sausage can be very heavy, and chemo patients tend to have trouble keeping down heavy foods. One way you can solve this is by buying Italian salsicca in link form and baking those off separately. Slice them like you would hot dogs for a little kid, and try a little bit at a time. Garnish over the pasta.


Cooking for Chemo focuses on teaching you how to make your food taste good again during cancer and chemotherapy treatments. The flavor and cooking techniques contained within our easy to make recipes will help improve your quality of life as you go through cancer and chemotherapy treatments. Our cooking and flavor techniques can be integrated with any diet regimine. All of our recipes can be made with organic ingredients if you choose. Our holistic approach to cooking will help you not only be able to eat but to also enjoy the taste of your food again during and after cancer and chemotherapy treatments. We have many healthy recipes, crockpot recipes, chicken recipes, dinner recipes, shrimp recipes, pasta recipes, soup recipes, vegan recipes, salad recipes, vegetarian recipes, breakfast recipes, and even a great chili recipe. Talk with your oncologist and dietitian to come up with a quality nutrition plan. This site is not to be taken as or used instead of professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor, oncologist, and dietitian before starting any new diet.

This recipe is taken from Cooking for Chemo …and After! By Chef Ryan Callahan -The Cancer Chef. For more cooking for chemotherapy recipes like this, you can pick up a copy on Amazon. Have specific questions? Email us at cookingforchemo@gmail.com

About the Author:

Chef Ryan Callahan is a classically trained chef with fifteen years of culinary experience. He is also the author of "Cooking for Chemo ...and After!" Chef Ryan acted as his mother's primary caregiver while she herself went through chemotherapy treatments.