A bowl of Albanian fergese on a table with bread and a salad

Fergese: Albanian peppers, tomatoes and feta

Maysie Dee

Contributing writer

Fërgesë is a soul-satisfying signature dish from Albania. Originating in the central region of the country, this savoury mixture of summer’s best vegetables is not only delicious, but it’s easy to make!

Albanian cuisine always features fresh produce, so the perfect time to try your hand at making this one-dish meal is when brilliant red tomatoes are flooding outdoor farmer's markets. Albanians use the longer, meaty variety of sweet red pepper, rather than the bell-shaped ones, but if you can’t find them, then robust red bell peppers will work just fine. 

The fërgesë recipe is quite simple – roasted red peppers simmered on the stovetop in a base of fresh chopped ripe tomatoes, onions, garlic and olive oil, plus a bit of salt.

The local recipe features a specific type of Albanian feta cheese, so to approximate that, I use a combination of ricotta and feta. A pinch of cayenne for some bite, if you like it… Albanian recipes are often unspecific – “a bit of this or that, you choose…” so some ingredients are just “to taste.”

The dish can be made entirely on the stovetop (foregoing the roasting of the peppers), or, you can opt to roast the peppers first. While you’re roasting the peppers, you’ll fry the remaining ingredients on the stovetop, then add in the cheeses and herbs. 

Traditionally, fërgesë could also be baked in a clay pot after cooking on an open fire first, which adds even more depth to the flavours.

Fërgesë is often served as a main dish (along with salad and bread) or simply as a side dish with whatever else you’re featuring for your meal. Fresh herbs available (basil, parsley, thyme) can also be added for a summery finish.

It's usually served hot, but is also excellent when served at room temperature as a condiment.


  • 500 g red peppers
  • 3-4 large ripe tomatoes, chopped into small chunks
  • 1 onion, chopped 
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped 
  • 1 small spicy chilli pepper, or a few pinches of cayenne
  • 150 g feta cheese
  • 100 g ricotta cheese, more to taste
  • Olive oil 
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Fresh herbs (basil, parsley or thyme… as per your choice)


  1. 1
    Wash the peppers and cover with a bit of oil and salt. Roast in oven on high heat until blistered.
  2. 2
    Remove peppers from the oven and peel the charred skin, cut into medium-sized chunks.
  3. 3
    Add a few liberal tablespoons of olive oil to a heavy-bottomed pan and fry the onions and garlic. Add the tomatoes and cook until the mixture softens and forms a thick chunky sauce. If you're using a fresh chopped spicy chilli pepper, add it now.
  4. 4
    Add the roasted pepper chunks. Add the cheeses and mix thoroughly, cooking until the mixture thickens.
  5. 5
    Add salt, pepper, and cayenne (optional) to taste. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve

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Maysie Dee

Author - Maysie Dee

Maysie Dee is a freelance writer, content editor, and recipe creator. She and her husband have travelled across the world for decades as natural product consultants, collecting stories along the way.

Last Updated 14 February 2024

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