Pierogi (pih-ROH-ghee) is a dumpling made of unleavened dough which can be stuffed with a variety of different fillings. It originated in Central Europe and is considered Poland’s national dish. Pierogi was brought to America in the early 1900’s, and now Americans consume over 31 million pierogi yearly. That’s a lot of pierogi. If you haven’t already tried it, then maybe you should now! It is really easy to prepare and makes a great appetizer or main dish.
I have never made pierogi from scratch because the frozen version is already fabulous and so easy. I’ve tried several brands, and they have all been really good, but Mrs. T’s Four Cheese Medley is my fave. Pancetta is a peppery Italian version of bacon that gives a wonderful flavor contrast to the pierogi. The Boar’s Head brand is great, but the pancetta at Trader Joe’s costs about half as much and is just as good. The cheese is optional. Here I used a smoked cheddar, but Parmesan works, too. I also like to use fresh tomatoes, basil, and bell pepper.
I know it says “Pierogies” on the Mrs. T’s package, but the word pierogi is actually plural. So saying, “we are having pierogies tonight” would be like saying, “we are having spaghettis tonight.” And that would be weird.
Saute the bell pepper and pancetta in a small amount of olive oil and butter until lightly browned. You won’t need much oil because the pancetta has a lot of fat in it. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.
Sauté the pierogi in the oil/butter/pancetta drippings until it is golden brown. A large, nonstick pan works best if you have one. If you are in a hurry and want to get it cooked faster, you can brown the pierogi simultaneously in a separate pan, which is what I did here.
Then add the rest of the ingredients.
Top with cheese if desired.
These are also great as an appetizer and would be delicious dipped in marinara sauce.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 - 4 ounce package pancetta
- ½ bell pepper, chopped
- 1 package frozen pierogi
- 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
- 10 basil leaves, thinly sliced
- Grated cheese of choice
- Heat olive oil and butter in a large saucepan, preferably nonstick.
- Sauté until pepper is tender and pancetta is lightly browned.
- Transfer cooked pancetta and peppers with a slotted spoon to paper toweling to drain.
- In remaining pan drippings, sauté pierogi on medium high heat, about 4 minutes on each side,or until golden brown.
- Add tomatoes and basil.
- Top with cheese.