Controne Hot Pepper
Controne Hot Pepper is a wonderful ground chile from the town of the same name in Campania, where they like things spicy! The eponymous pepper is harvested at full maturity, when it's blazing red and plenty hot. The peppers are hung to dry near a wood-burning oven in the Ferrante family's bakery, where the moisture very slowly evaporates. When the peppers are completely dry, they're hand-ground to a fine powder and packed into jars.
Since it's finely ground, Controne pepper makes an excellent finishing seasoning. We love it sprinkled over burrata or fresh mozzarella. It's also great over slices of raw fish along with flaky salt and a drizzle of your best extra virgin olive oil. Try the same with beef carpaccio: Pound a thinly sliced piece of top round paper-thin, season with salt, extra virgin olive oil, Controne Hot Pepper and a handful of arugula.
In Campania, they love their pasta, and this ground chile is a perfect way to zip up your arrabbiata sauce or spaghetti aglio e olio. The tingly heat is also a great foil to the creaminess of stewed heirloom beans.
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