Peperonata and Ricotta Crostini
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, smashed
3 fresh bay leaves
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
6 bell peppers (red, yellow, and orange), cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup dry white wine
½ bunch fresh basil, torn
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 loaf ciabatta bread
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups fresh ricotta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and bay leaves and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 6 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste, red pepper flakes, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring, until the tomato paste turns brick red, about 5 minutes.
- Add the bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes.
- Add the wine and 1 cup water and increase the heat to high, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and simmer until peppers are very soft, about 30 minutes. Uncover, increase the heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, 20 to 25 more minutes.
- Remove the bay leaves. Stir in the basil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat your gas grill or broiler to medium high. Cut ½ slices in ciabatta and brush with the olive oil. Grill or broil until crisp and brown. Let cool slightly.
- Place ricotta in a bowl and stir in lots of black pepper and a pinch of salt to taste.
- Spread ricotta on grilled bread and top with the peperonata.