Giada De Laurentiis Adds Her Favorite Spicy Condiment To Everything

Spiciness may not be the first characteristic that comes to mind when you think of Italian food. After all, Italy at large is known for anything with cheese, tomatoes, and carbs. However, chili peppers are the claim-to-fame for Southern Italy's Calabria region. They're also among celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis' go-to culinary additions.

Specifically, crushed hot chili paste from the Italian brand Tutto Calabria are "the star of Italian cooking that makes everything spicy but absolutely delicious," per De Laurentiis. She shared her enthusiasm for the product in a video posted to Giadzy's — her food and lifestyle brand's – Instagram, in which she highlighted a series of her favorite Italian products. Tutto Calabria's crushed hot calabrian chili pasta come in a glass jar. You likely won't find this condiment on your standard grocery store shelves, said De Laurentiis. However, you can easily order them online — yes, Amazon sells them — or in specialty Italian markets.

As for how to use the spicy condiment, a little always goes a long way. "It's kind of like using Tabasco or any other spicy sort of chili pepper sauce," De Laurentiis explained in the video. This means you can experiment with the power of the crushed peppers — and add your preferred level of spiciness to all kinds of Italian dishes. 

Calabrian chili paste works in a range of recipes

Whether you're a fan of ultra-spicy foods or looking for a little bit of a kick, Calabrian chili paste has you covered, working in everything from pasta to chicken. For the former, you can use the paste to throw together a spicy, Italian-style aglio e olio. Or, you can use it to boost classic condiments. All it takes is a spoonful of the paste to elevate your go-to olive oil or make homemade hot honey

From there, the possibilities are equally endless. Think hot honey pizza, a new panini spread, or a delicious marinade for fish and poultry. Oh — and just because the calabrian chili paste is Italian, it doesn't mean you only have to use it for Italian recipes. For a breakfast that packs a perfect punch, add a sprinkle to your morning eggs Benedict. You can also use the paste in your favorite spreadable cheeses for a creamy — yet spicy — output. How's that for versatility?

As for why Calabrian chili paste work so well, its Italian origin is to thank. Standard red pepper flakes seemingly parallel Calabrian chilis in spiciness, but they don't bring the same flavor. Calabrian chili peppers boast a slight smokiness and fruitiness, resulting in a nuanced and complex taste. They're spicy, but not debilitatingly so. This flavor clearly lends itself to all kinds of varied uses so we can see why De Laurentiis favors these peppers.