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brining, pan-frying Italian
 Pork Chops with Peppers and Capers Recipe-4485

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 1


Cotolette alla Zingara

Zingara translates as “gypsy,” and here the name must be because of the lusty, colorful components of this fiery, festive dish.

Yield: Makes 6 servings


  • 4½ quarts water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 6 pork rib chops
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 bell peppers–1 each red, green, and yellow–cored, seeded, and cut into thin strips
  • 5 bulb onions, green tops reserved and sliced, bulbs cut into rings
  • ¼ cup black olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon capers, with their brine
  • 1 cup dry white wine


1. In a small saucepan, combine 2 cups of the water, the kosher salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, and bay leaves and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Pour into a large pot or other container and add the remaining 4 quarts cool water. Stir to mix well, add the pork chops, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

2. Drain the chops and pat dry with paper towels. Season the pork on both sides with salt and pepper, then dredge in the flour.

3. In a 12-inch sauté pan, heat the olive oil over high heat until smoking. Add 3 chops to the pan and cook until dark golden brown on the first side, about 7 minutes. Turn over and cook until browned on the second side, about 4 minutes, then transfer to a plate and repeat with the other 3 chops.

4. Add the peppers, onions, olives, red pepper flakes, and capers and stir with a wooden spoon to loosen the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, place the pork chops in the pepper mixture, and simmer for 10 minutes (the pork should be cooked to 135°F).

5. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the reserved onion tops, and serve.

© 2005 Mario Batali

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving.

461kcal (23%)
99mg (10%)
55mg (92%)
33mcg RAE (1%)
77mg (26%)
3679mg (153%)
4g (22%)
23g (35%)
2mg (11%)

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  • jlaputka

    01.09.10 Flag comment

    Wow! Thanks Chef Batali. This was better than I thought. When I read the list of ingredients I shrugged my shoulders and thought capers and black olives might work with peppers and onions....but...
    It was better than I had thought,
    Breading the chops and browning them lent a silky smoothness to the meat and thickened the sauce ever so slightly. The peppers, onions, capers & olives added wonderful flavor.


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