This crema di peperoncino immediately delights with its gorgeous bright orange-red color and incredible aroma of sweet paprika and ripe tomato. Primarily made with a local variety of sweet pepper, Peperoni di Senise (the same peppers that are used to make Cruschi and Pepper Composta), this Hot Pepper Spread’s flavor is bell pepper-forward, with a southern Italian spicy finish thanks to the small addition of super-hot Diavolicchi Peppers.
Throughout late summer and fall, the sweet and hot peppers are harvested a few days after they are perfectly ripe to ensure their flavor and complexity. Once seeded, they are lightly blanched in acidulated water for a few minutes to soften them. The peppers are then put through a food processor with the Belfiore family's own extra virgin olive oil to create this thick, yet delicate smooth paste.
This Hot Pepper Spread helps highlight the flavor of many dishes. Add a teaspoon to pasta sauce such as Arrabbiata or Puttanesca, or add to seafood soups or stews. Toss a spoonful with Fregola Sarda and poached shrimp or use in lieu of cocktail sauce for shrimp cocktail. Stir into homemade mayonnaise to accompany crab or lobster. Dollop onto tuna or salmon carpaccio. Spread onto crostini as appetizers or use as a condiment for panini. Add to barbecue sauces for pork ribs or chicken before grilling.