Piperrada Sauce Recipe - Basque Pepper Sauce

Piperrada - Basque Pepper Sauce with Fried Fish
Piperrada - Basque Pepper Sauce with Fried Fish. (c) 2012 Lisa Sierra Licensed to About.com Inc.
    20 mins
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This pepper sauce recipe is a traditional sauce from the northern region of Spain called the Basque Country, or el Pais Vasco. For centuries a region of humble farmers and fishermen, in the past 25 years the Basque cuisine has become famous on an international level, due to innovative creations of Spanish chefs. It has also become well known for its' pinchos (Basque for tapas), however the Basque cuisine offers much more. High quality fresh seafood, meat and game, mushrooms and wine, and refined sauces are prepared there.

The pepper sauce, or piperrada is made with onions, peppers and tomatoes, although like most traditional dishes, ingredients and proportions can vary. Common variations in the sauce include garlic and/or Serrano ham. Piperrada sauce often accompanies grilled or roast meat or fish, particularly tuna or salt cod (bacalao). In the Basque Country it is also frequently served as a first course with eggs, called . Easy to prepare and full of flavor, this sauce can be made ahead of time and will keep well for several days in the refrigerator.

What You'll Need

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper
  • 1 medium green bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • virgin olive oil
  • 2 ripe round large tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

How to Make It

First, prepare the vegetables. Peel and julienne the onion and peppers. Finely chop the garlic. Cut each tomato into six to eight pieces.

Pour a few tablespoons of olive oil into a deep skillet 9-10 inches wide. Sauté the onion for 3-4 minutes. Add the peppers and garlic, and continue to sauté, adding more oil if necessary.

When peppers are softened, add the tomato chunks and continue to cook on medium until onions are almost caramelized and pepper are cooked.

Add a small amount of tomato sauce to create a smoother sauce. (Add a small bit of water to loosen vegetables from pan as you move them with a spatula.) Salt to taste.

Serve with fish, grilled meat or eggs. Accompany with slices of rustic bread.

More Traditional Spanish Sauces

Below are more traditional sauces from the various regions of Spain.

Typical Dishes from the Basque Country

Below are some other typical main course dishes from the Basque Country: