STUFFED PEPPERS PALERMO – a recipe lost and found

“Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.” J.K. Rowling

Hi there,

Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it seems like a good time to talk about this recipe. You may remember my writing about my friend Joanne who died when she was 45. Joanne died from Breast Cancer. I remember when Joanne first found the lump in her breast. She was sent for a brand new test called a Mammogram. Back in the early 1980’s, there was very little hope of surviving Breast Cancer. Today, thank God, it is a very different story.

This pepper recipe was one of Joanne’s signature dishes. Dom and I were always happy when these peppers appeared on her table. I never got around to getting her recipe and I thought it was lost to me forever.

About 20 years ago I became friends with Frank. Frank is a superb cook and it is always a treat to be invited to a dinner he has prepared. One Sunday, we were invited for Sunday Gravy and this stuffed pepper dish was the starter. I almost fell off my chair. Here was the taste I never thought I would find again. Frank explained it came from an Italian magazine called Attenzione. I remembered Joanne being a fan of that magazine too. The recipe was printed in 1982, so both friends were reading the same magazine back in ’82. Talk about Karma.

The above quote completely illustrates the serendipity of this situation. Lose a friend; gain a friend. Lose the recipe and unexpectedly find the recipe.

Well this time I made sure I got the recipe and now I am going to share it with you my friends, so that it will never be lost again.



  • 8 small cubanelle peppers
  • 6 tablespoons fruity olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of finely minced fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons of garlic paste
  • 10 ounces of tuna packed in olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of anchovy paste
  • 1 cup of chopped tomatoes, San Marzano if you can find them
  • 1/2 cup of unflavored bread crumbs
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup of well drained capers
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • black pepper to taste. I don’t use salt because the fish provides an ample amount of salt


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Core the peppers and rinse and set aside
  • In a large skillet heat 3 tablespoons of oil
  • Add the parsley and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes
  • Add the tuna, anchovies and tomatoes
  • Stir the mixture breaking up the tuna for approximately 5 minutes
  • Add the bread crumbs, hard boiled eggs, caper, pepper, and oregano
  • Cook for another 5 minutes. Mixture should be thick
  • Stuff the pepper with the mixture
  • Place them in a well oiled heavy baking dish and drizzle with remaining olive oil
  • Bake for 1 hours, spooning the oil over the peppers every 15 minutes.
  • Remove and serve at room temperature

I hope you enjoy these peppers and don’t neglect getting your mammography.

Talk soon, πŸ’•πŸŽ€Bernadette

36 responses to “STUFFED PEPPERS PALERMO – a recipe lost and found”

      • This is the only way I make stuffed peppers…learned from my mom many years ago. I prefer them to their counterpart, with ground beef. With very little exceptions, I use most of these ingredients. I will keep this recipe handy and make these peppers very soon. Thanks for the story and the recipe

  1. I love stuffed peppers and have a couple of great recipes. But I have never thought of including tuna. That would be wonderful. I must try this. A nice memory of your friend as well. Love the quote, and oh so true.

    • I thought it was a little strange stuffing with tuna, myself. But, the taste is wonderful and best served at room temperture which makes it a great starter for a dinner party. Thanks for your kind words Darlene.

  2. A pepper sweet story. I’m sending warm hugs surrounding you and your friend who died too soon. What a gift, to have found the new friend Frank, and your friend’s recipe. It looks so delish.

  3. πŸ’œ What an awesome recipe EveryOne, I AM Drooling like Homer EveryOne; as for “Cancer” there is No Cure…so I Suggest Take No Treatment and Let Nature Take Its Course as SHE!!! inevitably does; as SHE!!! does Sooner or Later, often with “Miracle Cures” EveryBody


  4. I am not a stuffed Pepper fan but was amazed at the coincidence of life. It is amazing how much science has advanced our health. Now if they just figure out how to make it affordable for everyone, it will be truly wonderful.

  5. I’m sorry for your friend! Definitely don’t neglect doing a checkup or a mammography if needed πŸŽ€πŸŽ€
    I love stuffed peppers and this sound delicious! What a great magazine πŸ˜‰

  6. This is similar, yet different from my moms and grandmother’s stuffed peppers. Grandma stuffed her peppers with whatever was left over, yet never fish and anchivos paste. I will have to try that. I am so sorry about your young friend. Know that her journey paved a path for those who came after her, striving for a long life with family and friends. I am a testament to that. This upcoming January will mark my 10th year living with Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. As scary as it is, It doesn’t define me. I’m fine thanks to medical research and the sisters who came before me.

  7. What a lovely story and a wonderful sounding recipe. I make an Italian stuffed pepper appetizer but without tuna. Can’t wait to give this version a try.

Any comments or suggestions are appreciated. If you like this recipe, please give it to your friends.

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