Kitchn Love Letters

I Worked at a Popular NYC Pasta Restaurant and This Is the Italian Condiment I Swear By (Bonus: it’s on Sale!)

published Mar 21, 2022
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Crab pasta with brown butter and cherry tomatoes in bowl.
Credit: Photo: Kristin Teig / Food Stylist: Catrine Kelty

When I was a line cook at Misi, guests would frequently peer into the open kitchen and ask me what my favorite dish is. Time after time, I always found myself responding with the leeks. Leeks, really? But these leeks are special. They’re roasted until tender, slathered in a spicy and bright anchovy vinaigrette, topped with Sicilian pistachios, and finished with a drizzle of a very special ingredient: Italian-imported TuttoCalabria Calabrian Chili Oil. This sumptuous condiment makes any vegetable — even one as simple as leeks — so, so tasty.

The scrumptious applications for this magical chili oil are endless. I use it to add a subtle kick to Margherita pizza, shrimp scampi, and my favorite pasta, spaghetti aglio e olio. It gives a pop of flavor and color to any plain bowl of soup (I’m dreaming of creamy butternut squash), but even an instant Cup O’ Noodles will look beautiful finished with this oil. It pairs extremely well with yogurt-based dips and dressings like tzatziki, too, and it’s a unique addition to a cheeseboard; keep it in the sleek bottle or pour it into a pretty ramekin for dipping sourdough bread or spooning over goat cheese and honey. (Getting hungry? Yeah, me too… )

What really sets this chili oil apart is that it has a kick, but it’s not too spicy. Since its made by infusing Calabrian chilies in 100 percent extra virgin olive oil, it has a nice richness to cut through the spicy notes. After all, if it were too hot, we never would have been able to get away with using it at a popular Brooklyn restaurant!

Snag a bottle (or six) on Amazon to upgrade your pantry of go-to condiments — my tastebuds and I are sure you won’t be disappointed. Even better? This delicious chili oil is on sale right now! Excuse me while I go order some more for myself.

Buy: TuttoCalabria Calabrian Chili Oil, $10.05 (normally $13.74)