Olio al Peperoncino

For the story: Seeing Red



  • 170 g/ 6 oz dried peperoncino/ red hot chili pepper flakes
  • 128 g/ 4.5 oz sunflower oil
  • 100 g/ 3.5 oz extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of salt

Serving Notes: This recipe is for one 8.5 oz jar of goodness. If you decide to make additional, say for gifting, then multiply the recipe as needed. I was given 1 kilo, which equates to 35 oz . For that amount I was told to use 2 tablespoons of salt.  

Sterilizing jars:

  • Using hot water and dish soap, wash jars and lids thoroughly.
  • Place a dishcloth at the base of a large pot and place empty jars right side up.
  • Add another dishcloth in between jars to prevent breakage during boiling.
  • Fill jars with water first (this method prevents them from floating as you fill the pot with water).
  • Then slowly fill entire pot with water, completely covering jars by an inch of water.
  • Bring water to a boil over high heat.
  • Once it begins to boil, lower the flame and let boil for another 30 minutes.
  • Add lids about ten minutes before you turn off the flame.
  • Remove from flame and let cool a bit.
  • Use tongs to carefully empty and remove the jars.
  • Place them open-side up, on a clean kitchen towel for a few minutes.

Filling jars:

  • Add one teaspoon of oil to the base of your jar. Roll it around to coat the jar about half way.
  • Carefully add your peperoncino.
  • Then slowly add 3.5 oz of extra virgin olive oil. Pause occasionally to allow the peperoncino to absorb the oil.
  • Stir a bit and carefully set aside spoon
  • Then add 3.5 oz of sunflower oil. Again, slowly pour as to avoid overflow.
  • Gently stir mixture again to blend the oils.
  • Finally add 1 oz more of sunflower oil and close the lid. Within a few minutes you will notice a layer of oil floating on top.
  • Store your jar/s in a cool, dark place (the pantry is perfect.)
  • Twice a week, over the next two weeks, give your spicy oil a little stir. Close lids tightly.
  • Always be observant as to whether or not the peperoncino has absorbed the top layer of oil. If so, simply add a little more EVOO.

About your ingredients: As with all oils, use the freshest product. Keep your oils away from open heat. The darker the bottle the better. Regularly check for signs of rancidity. If it smells or tastes of crayons, putty or peanuts, then I’m afraid it’s time to bid farewell.

Flavor Note: This oil will reach full flavor potential in two weeks time. That may seem long, but trust me, it’s worth it!

WARNING: Before you even touch those red hot chili pepper flakes, consider yourself warned. Getting them into your eyes or on any other body part you consider “sacred”, could be hazardous to your health both physically and according to some, even mentally. Peperoncino is known to cause a hellish burning sensation, that only Satan could withstand. However, things happen, and like any good mother, I want you to be prepared.

You’re going to need gloves, a mask (ex: a painter’s respirator), milk and a shot glass. Should you get peperoncino in your eyes, wash out immediately using a shot glass filled with milk. Apply as carefully as possible and over a sink! It won’t be pretty, but it should ease the pain. If you get it on an opened wound or sensitive skin, gently apply milk to area as well.

Please be safe and enjoy!

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About Chef


For Founder and Food Blogger, Jo Ann Tartaglia, there is more to food than what we see on our plates. "It not only feeds the body, but nourishes the soul ...