Calabrian Chili Paste

This summer I fell in love with Calabrian Chili Peppers!  They are mildly spicy (is that a thing? In technical terms they are 1300-2500 on the Capsaicin Scoville Scale) and they become incredibly creamy when roasted and blended with garlic and EVOO.  We’ve tossed this paste with penne and copious amounts of parmesan for a spicy pasta side dish and mixed it with Raos Marinara Sauce for a spicy pizza sauce.  You could use it as a sandwich spread, blend it with ricotta or cream cheese and fresh herbs for a quick hors d’oeuvres with crackers, use it as a condiment for roasted or grilled meats… the list goes on and on.

Apparently there is a jarred brand of this paste, but I have not been able to find it, so when I discovered them at my farmers’ market, I decided to make my own.  Savoie Organic Farm grows these beautiful peppers and I bought a pound to process into the paste and then froze the paste in ice cube trays for perfectly portioned (1 Tbsp-ish) sized cubes.

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Calabrian Chili Paste

Makes about 12 Tablespoons

1 lb. Calabrian Chili Peppers

4 cloves garlic (my garlic cloves are really large (thank you Squared Roots Farm!), so plan on at least 5 Tablespoons minced)

1 1/2 cups good EVOO (like California Olive Ranch)

Roast chilies until they are charred on all sides.  Let steam in a paper bag for 5-10 minutes and then peel, remove stems and seeds and cut into smaller pieces.

peeling-calabrian-chilies1.jpg

Combine roasted chilies with garlic in a food processor or high powered blender and pulse a few times to chop and mix.  Then process while slowly streaming in the EVOO.  You may have to scrape down the sides of the processor a few times and continue to process until a creamy paste forms.  The paste will keep in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to one month.  I used some right away in my Calabrese Salami Pizza sauce and froze the rest in an ice cube tray.  Once the cubes are frozen, I stored the frozen cubes in a ziplock bag in the freezer.

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