IBERICO HAM PIPERADE

Preparation, 15 minutes; cooking, about 1 hour; to finish, 5 minutes

3 tablespoons fruity olive oil

3 Spanish onions, chopped

6 red peppers, seeded, white membranes removed, cut into strips

4 yellow peppers, seeded, white membranes removed, cut into strips

2 or 3 mild chilli peppers

1.5kg tomatoes, halved, roughly seeded and chopped

1 teaspoon sugar

3 large, fresh eggs

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper About 18 thin slices iberico ham

To serve

Good, fresh bread

1 In a large saute pan or casserole, heat the olive oil over a moderate heat. Spread in the chopped onion and saute for 5 minutes, stirring, then tip in the red and yellow peppers and continue cooking for 3-5 minutes.

2 Meanwhile, wearing thin rubber gloves, carefully remove seeds and membranes from the chilli peppers. Chop finely and stir into the pan (rinse your knife and chopping board). Tip in the tomatoes, turn up the heat, add the sugar and season. Cook over a high heat for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently, while most of the moisture evaporates. Turn the heat to low, cover loosely to allow steam to escape and cook for 45-50 minutes, stirring from time to time, until tender.

3 Set aside until readyto finish. (Refrigerate once it is cold if leaving overnight.) To finish, gently reheat over a moderate heat. In a jug or bowl, lightly beat the eggs as for an omelette, then season. Pour into the dish and stir rapidly until just cooked. Take off the heat and adjustthe seasoning-the mixture should be slightly sweet. Leave to cool a little and serve warm rather than piping hot in the centre of a large, round platter, surrounded by the iberico ham. Have plenty of good, fresh bread on the table.

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