La Vera Cucina

La Vera Cucina

Claudio Montrosse says that Peperonata alla Siciliana is extremely popular at Roma III, his Princeton, WV, restaurant. It’s an especially versatile dish that features a flavorful assortment of colorful sweet peppers served, as described by Claudio’s menu, “with your choice of chicken, shrimp, steak, sausage, or vegetarian style,” depending on the tastes of each guest.

As Italian restaurant customers have developed a more sophisticated palate, many restaurateurs are offering a wider variety of authentic dishes. However, many dishes (like Peperonata alla Siciliana in its many variations) would take too long to “cook to order” if each serving were made from a complete scratch start. Roma III overcomes this bottleneck by using a component cooking process, also known as speed scratch cooking.

Speed Scratch Cooking Explained

The concept of speed scratch cooking is simple, yet powerful. The cook quickly creates one of a wide variety of dishes by combining a semi finished base (in this case, the previously cooked sweet pepper and onion mixture) with a few additional components. As a result, the kitchen can rapidly provide customers a broader range of menu options while still delivering superior from scratch flavor!


Peperonata alla Siciliana

Step #1: Cook Pepper and Onion Base (enough for 6 servings)

2 green bell peppers

1 red bell pepper

1 yellow bell pepper

1 white onion

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

In advance of meal time, slice each pepper into 6 wedges, remove core and seeds. Slice onion into 6 to 8 wedges. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add red pepper and onion and cook 3 minutes. Add green and yellow peppers; cook until al dente. Remove from heat; set aside.


Step #2: Select Speed Scratch Components (one per serving)

A. 8 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast

B. 1/4 pound raw shrimp, shelled and deveined

C. 8 ounces sandwich steak, thinly sliced

D. 8 ounces Italian sausage, boiled and sliced diagonally

E. 1/2 cup each crushed tomatoes/sliced fresh mushrooms

Salt and pepper

Freshly cooked angel hair pasta

To prepare an individual portion at meal time, place 1 cup pepper and onion base into medium skillet with one selected speed scratch component. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with lid and cook briefly over medium low heat until speed scratch component is cooked through. Serve over bed of hot, cooked angel hair pasta!