You wouldn't believe how long we had been looking for great dried pepper flakes from Italy before we hit this jackpot. Crushed red pepper, peperoncino franto, pepper flakes... Whatever the name, it's one of our go-to spices for adding a wicked burst of heat to soups, stews, hearty braises and sautéed greens such as broccoli rabe, kale and collard greens. These fiery flakes from one of our favorite Italian importers, Ritrovo, have a steady burn and pack a powerfully spicy punch.
These devilishly hot flakes hail from the Abruzzo region of Italy, where they are used in traditional dishes like spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino and are found on almost every table alongside the salt and pepper. Make an intensely spicy Abruzzo-style condimento for your table: Fill a small jar with flakes (leaving about 1 1/2 inches of space on top), pour enough mild extra virgin oil over the top to fully cover the pepper and let steep for a couple days. Then drizzle over pasta, pizza margherita or anywhere you want some extra heat.