Citizens, the Generalissimo is fighting off a particularly virulent flu virus, so my thoughts have turned to something spicy to send the devil in my system back to the 6th Circle of Hell where it belongs.
Olio Santo or “Holy Oil” is a southern Italian specialty, found in the best pizzerias to add a heavenly spiciness to your slice or pie after ordering.
It is not at all difficult to make, keeps well and has culinary uses far beyond pizza. There are many recipes, this is mine – substitute, add or remove as you see fit.
Try Santo on pasta, as a dip for breadsticks, mixed in with some mayo for a spicy sandwich spread – anywhere you want some of that blessed spice in your life. As to my flu – it doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell against this culinary sanctified oil! 🙂
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
- Destem and chop up a dozen or so Calabrian chilies, I prefer the long ones from Tutto Calabria, and add them to ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil and place over a high heat. Once it is bubbling heavily, turn the heat down low and let it simmer for about four or five minutes then turn the heat off and let it cool. After heat is turned off, add 7 smashed garlic cloves, 9 black peppercorns, 1 Ortiz brand anchovy fillet and 1 tablespoon minced fresh Oregano (or a small sprig of fresh rosemary), all in a cheesecloth bag. Remove the bag when the oil is totally cool (and eat the contents!).
- After it is cool, taste and add a little more oil if it is too spicy for you, then pour it all into a container and put it in the fridge. It will keep for a long time. I love it on most any tomato-based pizza (add post bake);
- The best way to eat the garlic, anchovy and oregano from the cheesecloth bag? Whiz briefly in a food processor or blender with a few pitted green and black olives, some capers, 1 part chili oil and 1 part olive oil to form a rough paste and serve over pasta with a light dusting of sheep’s milk Fiore Sardo cheese for a Puttanesca-style feast! I recommend bucatini for the pasta.
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