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  • Writer's picturePasta Grammar

Calabrian Peppers & Potatoes | "Pipi e Patati" Recipe

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

"Pipi e patati" (peppers and potatoes) is a spicy Calabrian dish which can be served in a variety of manners: as a side dish, as the filling of a sandwich, or even as a topping for spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce. It's simple, easy to make, and packed with rich flavor. If we had to choose a dish to best exemplify Calabrian cooking, it would be this one!

Calabrian Peppers & Potatoes | "Pipi e Patati" Recipe

Finding the Right Peppers

There's one big problem with making Calabrian peppers and potatoes at home, and that's finding the right peppers. In Calabria, they use a a type of round peppers which have a very distinct flavor that is difficult to substitute. The taste is spicy and smoky, but the heat mellows out when fried so that your tastebuds aren't completely destroyed. The texture is also very firm, so they hold up well to the shallow-frying process of making Pipi e Patati. There really isn't another pepper quite like it!

While it certainly isn't the same (but still quite good), we usually substitute the pipi with a mix of jalapeño and serrano peppers when we're not in Calabria but itching for the dish. Be aware that these peppers retain much more heat after being fried, so be careful if you're not one for a lot of spiciness in your food.

One potential solution is to add some bell peppers into the mix. They tend to dissolve a bit when fried so the texture isn't quite as good, but it will at least bring the level of spiciness down for those who are sensitive.

A Note on Ingredient Amounts

Because the type of peppers used is a personal choice, and they vary greatly in size, it's easier to choose the amount by eye rather than following any specific quantity. You'll want roughly the same amount of peppers, by volume, as potatoes so that the final mix is roughly half-and-half.

The peppers and potatoes need to be shallow fried, so you'll want to use enough olive oil to generously coat the bottom of your pan.

Watch the video where we made Pipi e Patati here:

Makes: 4 servings

Cook Time: 30 minutes

For this recipe, you will need:

  • 2 large russet potatoes

  • Jalapeño, serrano and/or bell peppers (see above)

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • 2-3 vine ripe tomatoes

  • Salt

Peel the potatoes, cut them into short, thick wedges and submerge them in a bowl of water. Cut the peppers into large chunks or strips. We like to keep the seeds in for maximum flavor, but you can remove them to reduce the spiciness if you prefer. Quarter the tomatoes and set aside for later.

Fill a large non-stick pan with enough olive oil to generously coat the bottom completely. Bring the oil up to medium heat, then add the peppers. Fry them, stirring frequently, until they begin to brown on the edges and become slightly tender—about 5 minutes. Sprinkle them with a pinch of salt as they cook.

Drain and pat dry the potato wedges and stir them into the peppers. Continue to fry them together for about 15 minutes, or until the peppers become golden brown. Sprinkle with a little more salt as they cook.

Add the quartered tomatoes and another pinch of salt. Let the tomatoes cook with the peppers and potatoes for 2-3 minutes, or until they release their juices and become very tender.

Allow the dish to cool completely before serving at room temperature. Buon appetito!

Want to try some other Calabrian food? Check out our recipe for Calabrian Sausages & Broccoli Rabe! Looking for more simple sides? It's hard to beat Sicilian Potato Salad!


Sep 11, 2023

I think this might work with poblano peppers. When they're mild enough in season, I love how mild they are and the taste, because most spicy peppers are way too spicy for my palate.


Aug 29, 2023

I picked up some topepo peppers today at the supermercato here in Lamezia Terme thinking they look like the pipi's Eva is using for this recipe. I haven't tried the peppers yet, but a search on line says what I have are sweet peppers. So, apparently, they are a different species. But all of the time I've been here in Calabria, the topepo is the only one I see that resembles the one Eva calls out.


Jul 01, 2023

Eva & Harper, what a fantastic dish! My nana would make this on Friday pretty much every Friday loI what is the actual name of these peppers 🫑 I would love to grow some in my garden.

Erica Q
Erica Q
Oct 08, 2023
Replying to

I'm also curious to know the exact name of the pepper Eva uses.


Debbie Adams
Debbie Adams
Jun 21, 2023

I love that you suggest bell peppers for those of us who can't take much heat. I also love that this is vegan. We need pipi peppers in America!


Beverly Teboe
Beverly Teboe
Jun 20, 2023

I want to try this recipe with a poblano pepper. It looks delicious.

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