How to CookItalian

The Ingredient Giada De Laurentiis Wants You to Add to Your Pantry

4 Save

If you like it, save it!

Save and organize all of the stuff you love in one place.

Got it!

If you like something…

Click the heart, it's called favoriting. Favorite the stuff you like.

Got it!

I’m a big fan of substitutions. Don’t have buttermilk? Squeeze a lemon in whole milk. Missing shallots? Grab an onion. Only have olive oil? Don’t worry about using avocado or walnut. But sometimes—despite the fact that your pantry shelves are bursting—that specialty ingredient is the only way to get the authentic flavor of a dish.

In her latest cookbook, Giada’s Italy: My Recipes for La Dolce Vita, Giada De Laurentiis does her best to keep those hard-to-find ingredients to a minimum. But there’s one ingredient she insists you add to your collection: Calabrian chile paste.

Advertisement

If you pick only one thing to buy from this list, make it this one. I throw this blend of crushed dried chiles and extra-virgin olive oil into everything, from pasta sauces and stews to salad dressings for a bit of mellow heat. It’s usually found online or in a specialty store, but it’s well worth seeking out; one jar will last you a long time.

Made with dried hot chile peppers from the the Italian region of Calabria, this spicy paste is the perfect flavor-booster for eggs, vegetables, pasta, and more. Here are 6 ways we’d like to spice dinner up:

Bucatini Pasta with Pork Ragu

Bucatini Pasta with Pork Ragu by Jenya | BlueGalley

Slow-Cooked Tuscan Kale with Pancetta, Bread Crumbs, and a Poached Egg

Slow-Cooked Tuscan Kale with Pancetta, Bread Crumbs, and ... by Alexandra Stafford

Nonna's Piadina

Nonna's Piadina by mrslarkin

Make Deep-Fried, Cheese-Stuffed Rice Balls Over and Over Again—No Recipe Needed

Make Deep-Fried, Cheese-Stuffed Rice Balls Over and Over ... by Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm

+
Carciofi Ritti (Braised Artichokes)

Carciofi Ritti (Braised Artichokes) by Emiko

Jamie Oliver's Italian Bread and Cabbage Soup

Jamie Oliver's Italian Bread and Cabbage Soup by Genius Recipes

What’s your favorite specialty ingredient? Share that one you can’t live without below!

Tags: Ingredients, Italian, Spice