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For the some who like it hot

The Abruzzese palate has a high tolerance for heat. At local restaurants, meals often are served with a dish of hot pepper on the side so diners can up the fire. Most typical is a small whole pepper served with a little scissors.

At a terrific family-run restaurant called Casa Mia in nearby Lanciano, however, they serve it my favorite way: crispy cuts of hot reds under oil.

Ristorante Casa Mia is in an industrial zone outside the centro storico and caters to working people. It’s open only for lunch, and only on weekdays. With just a few dishes on offer each day, it’s the epitome of home cooking outside the home.

One of the absolutely lovely hosts told me how to prepare the peppers:

Just rinse and chop fresh or dried hot peppers (if the latter, reconstituted first in water). Fry them to crispy in olive oil and salt. Cover them in more oil.

This is a condiment that’s delicious on pasta and vegetables and in soups. I love how it just melts into a dish.

You can order the dried peppers online here I happen to have used this brand, but am sure there are many others just as good.

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