September 2020

Spicy Tomato and Red Pepper Matbucha


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 red bell peppers, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 heaping teaspoons aleppo pepper or red chile flakes, plus more (optional) for serving
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced  
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
6 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon sugar


In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the bell peppers, onion, aleppo pepper, sweet paprika, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper. Cook until the vegetables are tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the vinegar and use your spoon to scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Stir in the tomatoes and sugar and check for seasoning. Add a pinch more salt if it needs it—it should be tangy and sweet. Let the mixture reduce over medium-low heat until it’s a thick, sweet, sticky sauce and the tomatoes have completely broken down, about 40 minutes. Let the mixture cool slightly before serving with a sprinkle of aleppo (if desired), or let it cool completely and store in a jar in the fridge for up to 1 week.

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