Peperonata with Pasta Lent Recipe for Cancer and Chemotherapy


















Peperonata with Pasta Lent Recipe for Cancer and Chemotherapy

A classic southern Italian dish. Peperonata is a stew made with peppers, onions, and tomatoes. But it can be used as a perfectly savory, spicy, and sweet pasta sauce. When served over pasta, Peperonata becomes your new favorite dish!

Tasting Guidelines
Taste is savory, spicy, and sweet.
Recipe is light but can be balanced with red wine and sugar.
Texture is soft.
Good for people with low to moderate treatment side effects.
Best categorized as Italian.

4 bell peppers (red, green, or yellow) sliced into thin long strips, think fettuccine noodle
1 lb Farfalle pasta
1 large can tomatoes, diced
2 medium red onions, sliced long and thin
2 tbsp. olive oil

Flavor Balancers
Kosher salt to taste
1–2 c. red wine (any kind will do)
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1–2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. sugar

2 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 tbsp. dried oregano

Recipe Directions
In a 2 qt. sauce 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-low 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 saltiness. Add 1/4 c. of sugar and stir well. Allow to simmer 5 minutes. Taste sauce again. Take note of acidity and saltiness. 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. After this, season with black pepper to taste.

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, and taste method.

Reduce heat on Peperonata to lowest setting. Fill a spaghetti pot with salted water and bring to a boil. After water begins to boil, add pasta and follow the directions on the pasta box. Strain the cooked pasta, and serve with Peperonata and Parmesan cheese.

Chef Tips
Just like good marinara or chili, the longer the Peperonata cooks the more integrated the flavors become.

Farfalle pasta is a fun accompaniment for Peperonata, but linguine or fettuccine are also fantastic choices.

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 regimen. 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.

For more cooking for chemotherapy recipes like this, you can pick up a copy of Cooking for Chemo …and After! by Chef Ryan Callahan on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Have specific questions? Email us at

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.