Italian Sweet Frying Peppers

September 20, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Posted in Italian | 19 Comments
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Did anyone notice this  basket of Italian Sweet Frying Peppers that appeared in my Pete Polombo slide show? This is the first time in my life I remember seeing them available for sale. When I googled “Italian Frying Peppers”, one entry indicated that these peppers are the same as Cubanella peppers.  Any experts out there? 

Italian peppers, stuffed and ready for frying

Whatever they are, I love them. Offering a sweet yet intense “pepper” flavor, something about them screams “It’s Amore”. I wish I could find these peppers year round, they’d definitely amp up my Italian recipes. From what I read about them, being medium fleshed makes them an excellent candidate for frying.   

Frying the stuffed peppers, face down in some olive oil

A sack full of these delicious sweet peppers made their way home with me and voila, the next day I opened up Food and Wine Magazine and saw this recipe for Stuffed Italian Sweet Frying Peppers. It was meant to be.  🙂 

This recipe comes together easily and is simply delicious. The peppers are so unique in flavor that I will not try this recipe with regular green bell peppers, but will wait to prepare this until when I can get my hands on some more Italian Sweet Frying Peppers.  Thank you Grace Parisi of Food and Wine for a great and savory combination. 


The only variation I made was to tear off some small chunks of fresh mozzarella and insert here and there into the stuffed peppers. I liked the addition and will alter the recipe for my database. 

Cooked and ready for some tomato sauce

Spinach-and-Sausage-Stuffed Peppers

  1. One 5-ounce bag baby spinach
  2. 2 slices of white sandwich bread, finely chopped
  3. 1/4 cup milk
  4. 1 large egg
  5. 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  6. 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  7. 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  8. 1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  9. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  10. 8 small or 4 large Italian frying peppers—halved lengthwise and cored, stems left intact
  11. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  12. 1 cup canned tomato sauce
  13. 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  14. A few chunks of fresh mozzarella cheese to poke here and there into the stuffed peppers


  1. In a very large skillet, cook the spinach over high heat just until wilted, about 1 minute. Drain and press out all of the water. Coarsely chop the spinach. Rinse out and dry the pan.
  2. In a large bowl, knead the chopped bread with the milk, egg and cheese to form a paste. Knead in the pine nuts, onion, sausage and spinach and season lightly with salt and pepper. Using lightly moistened hands, divide the mixture among the pepper halves and lightly pack it in.  Add chunks of fresh mozzarella gently pressing into the stuffed peppers.
  3. In the skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the stuffed peppers, filling side down, and cook over high heat until well-browned, about 4 minutes. Turn the peppers and cook until the skins are browned and blistered, about 4 minutes longer. Add the tomato sauce and chicken broth, cover and simmer until the sausage filling is cooked through and the peppers are tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to plates and serve right away.

Stuffed Italian Sweet Frying Peppers… 

It’s What’s For Dinner. 



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  1. Looks great! I’ll have to keep my eye out for these peppers.

    • It’s worth the search. As always thanks for stopping by Stephanie.

  2. Yes, we’ve been selling them as Cubanelle peppers every summer at Tony’s for ages – direct from our farmer Carl Musso in Pueblo. They’re big with Italians on the east coast and are usually sauteed alone or with onions and Italian sausage or any sausage – even over hot dogs. My dad, Tony, grills them on aluminum foil sheets with olive oil, salt, pepper and Italian herbs. They are very mild, thin walled and they turn red when very ripe. The season is nearing it’s end, but we have them every day at Tony’s – get them while you can!

  3. So, when are we going to buy these peppers at the Market up in Brighton together? Can’t wait. My family would love this recipe.

  4. Ask and you’ll get answers.! Whether from Food and Wine or bloggers. These look super, Lea Ann. I wonder if I can get them here? I’ll ask at Whole Foods when I go tomorrow.

    Adding cheese can’t help but improve any recipe! 🙂

    • Thank you Barbara. By the way, I’ve never ever seen them at Whole Foods. Hope you find them.

  5. Looks great. We get these every so often and roast them with onions and sweet Italian sausages. They freeze well, so stock up if you get the chance.

  6. It’s so rare that I ever find ingredients like this when I actually need them! I think Italian frying peppers are cubanelles, but I’m not sure. Whatever they’re called, this looks fantastic! Love that stuffing.

  7. These look lovely! Although I admit I have no idea what kind of pepper they are. Mmmmm… peppers 🙂

  8. I love peppers!

  9. Your stuffed peppers look super good. If you still have some give this a try. Slice longwise into three flat pieces, remove seeds and fry in olive oil until softened – add S&P. Make a sandwich of just the fried peppers (2-3 layers thick), mayo and your favorite bread. First time I tried it I couldn’t believe how good it was.

  10. Wanted you to know Lea Ann, that the yellow AND blue coffee cups were both purchased years ago at Crate and Barrel for $1 a cup! (I have a lot of coffees, teas and meetings so needed lots of them.) They continue to have really good prices on things like that.

  11. I love it when stuff like that happens!! I’ve never cooked with cubanelles…haven’t seen them around here before…but I totally want to now! This sounds delish, LeaAnn 🙂

  12. Stuffed vegetables are such a treat and these stuffed peppers look so delicious. I will have to make lots of these at our home.

  13. This is football season in my house. We are big football fans and this looks like the perfect football watching food!

  14. These are freaking awesome! You should link those up at Tailgate Time ( because I agree with Kristi.

    I love cubanelles but I’m no expert, so I don’t know if they are the same. But I’ll certainly try this with cubanelles!

  15. I’ve been out for over a week and you’ve been busy! These look delicious and I can almost taste that combintation of flavors. Plus, I love anything with peppers. I saw some of these in California at the farmer’s market – the grower said they were not as spicy as Annaheims, so I didn’t get them. If I’d seen this post, I would have marched right back and grabbed some. Great find!

  16. I’ve never had these peppers, but they sound great and I love the stuffing with the spinach and sausage!

  17. Lea Ann…you made me realize how I have abandoned these very good peppers…I should use them more often. Very appetizing recipe and pics ;o)

    Flavourful wishes,

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