A specialty of the southern Italian Basilicata region are their mild, bright red Peperoni di Senise. Once dried, they are used ground as a mild but flavorful powder, but also fried until crispy, then called “Peperoni Cruschi” (pronounced crusskee). They serve as a snack and as an ingredient in typical regional dishes like Spaghetti con Peperoni Cruschi (see our report Peperoni Cruschi | Crunchy Treat for Pepper Lovers). It gets its zest from “Peperoni Cruschi”, dried and fried mild but aromatic peppers from that region.
- Thoroughly crumble the white bread.
- Crumble the peperoni also. A plastic bag is helpful here.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan on medium heat, then flavorize it with the garlic clove for about 5 minutes.
- Add the crumbled bread and toast until golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove the toasted bread crumbs, set aside (discard the garlic). Pour some more oil into the pan if necessary.
- Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti al dente in plenty of salted water, according to the instructions. Then drain, but retain some of the pasta water.
- Add one (or two) ladles of pasta cooking water to the oil in the pan, stir well and reheat on low heat.
- Pour the drained spaghetti into the pan.
- Add the roasted bread crumbs as well as the crushed Peperoni Cruschi.
- Mix everything well, arrange on preheated plates and, if desired, sprinkle with the grated Parmigiano. Buon appetito!
Peperoni Cruschi are available online, or you can make them yourself. If you like it a little spicier, you can also heat a hot chile pepper along with the garlic clove.
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European Chilehead Editor at Large | Harald’s Chili Pepper Buch 2.0 is the bestselling chile book in German-speaking Europe. He covers European chilehead culture and his own spicy kitchen encounters for Burn Blog.
Latest posts by Harald Zoschke (see all)
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