We went to a ‘favoloso’ lunch the other Sunday at the home of my sister’s parter’s parents, Angela and Ralph.
They welcomed us into their elegant Tuscan–style villa with typical Italian grace and hospitality. It was a hot Brisbane day and we sat at a long table, in an airy flagstone courtyard, overlooking the pool. We chowed into huge bowls of delicious warm pasta served with large glasses of chilled chardonnay. Mmmmmmm!
A standout accompaniment to the dish was a gorgeous, searing, rose-coloured chilli oil. Home-made with home-grown habanero chillis. Somehow it perfectly complemented the hot day. I know, it seems odd but it’s true.
Angela kindly shared her recipe with me and I thought you all deserved to know how to do this. It’s so simple and a wonderful addition to your condiment collection!
Harvest yourself a big basket of chillis, or buy a large bag of them.
Chop them roughly, I used scissors so I didn’t have to deal with burnt hands and a chilli-infused chopping board. Shove them into a saucepan. Really pack them in, you need loads of chillis.
Cover with a generous amount of very good quality olive oil. I probably used three cups or so. The chillis need to be well and truly immersed in the oil.
Bring to the boil and turn off. Cover with a lid and leave to steep for 24 hours. You don’t need to refrigerate, on the bench is fine.
The next day, bring to the boil again and turn off. Cover with lid and leave again.
Repeat the process again on the third day. Leave for a final 24 hours to really release all their fiery fabulousness into the oil. Strain off into a glass jar and you can keep it forever. You might prefer to sterilize the jar, I didn’t.
Buonissimo! (Translation: better than good.)