L'Amante Hot Pepper Paste from IASA
Spicy Italian Peperoncino Paste in a Tube
Don't be fooled by the size of this tube, the hot pepper paste inside delivers big, piccante flavor with just a squeeze. The folks at IASA—one of our favorite Italian fish producers (and makers of the cult kitchen staple: Hot Pepper in Olive Oil)—craft this devilish condiment with Italian peperoncino grown in Salerno, Campania.
The peppers are coarsely chopped, mixed with olive oil and a touch of salt and left to macerate for a few months. The macerated peppers are then blended into a fine paste. IASA's L'Amante Hot Pepper Paste has a full, rounded heat with a building fire that lingers on the palate and a smooth, texture akin to tomato paste.
Fun fact: L'Amante literally translates to "the lover" in Italian. Once you start using this peperoncino paste, we're sure you'll swoon over its fiery flavor, so make sure to keep a couple extra tubes on hand in your pantry!
How to use
L'Amante Hot Pepper Paste brings the heat in both raw and cooked preparations. Use it straight from the tube in dressings and sauces for a dose of fresh, chile heat. We also love a teaspoon or two blended into homemade mayonnaise or aioli.
Or, use this Italian pepper paste, as you would tomato paste in cooking to add layers of peppery heat in your favorite stews, soups, braises and sautés. For an easy dinner, make these spicy clams with fennel:
- Thinly slice a couple shallots, a head of fennel and a few fat cloves of garlic.
- Sauté the shallots, fennel and garlic with a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil until golden brown and then add a teaspoon or two of L'Amante paste. Cook the paste with the aromatics for a few minutes until the paste starts to caramelize as well.
- Add a couple hearty glugs of white wine (one you'd drink, of course!) and cook for another couple minutes to burn off the alcohol.
- Add a two pounds of clams, cover and cook for a few minutes until they open.
- Garnish with some fresh fennel fronds (optional) and serve with lots of grilled bread to soak up all those spicy, clammy juices. Plus, don't forget the rest of that bottle of white wine!
About the producer
Because of its close proximity to the sea, nearly every family in Cetara, a village tucked away in a small cove of the Amalfi Coast, has a connection to it. One of these families is the di Mauro family. Francesco di Mauro, a retired Navy Captain, founded Ittica Alimentare Salerno (IASA) and was among the first companies to preserve the bounty of tuna and anchovies brought in by the local fishermen. Today, Francesco’s dynamic sons and daughter manage IASA. During the fishing season, April through September, the company employs a team of 50 local workers. IASA is the only company in Italy that does most of the work of packing the anchovies by hand—gutting and cleaning the fish, placing layers of anchovies in drums with sea salt, and hand packing the anchovies in jars.
- Ittica Alimentare Salerno (IASA)
- 55 grams