Italian XO Sauce

A Chinese classic gets an Italian twist
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Chef Chris Jaeckle of All'Onda  might be better known for his silky pasta than Chinese staples such as XO sauce. However, his slight twist on the Chinese condiment—typically made up of dried fish and shrimp, Chinese sausage, chile peppers, onions and garlic and a lot of oil—gives a new face to a classic.

Jaeckle switches out the Chinese sausage and canola oil for hot soppressata and extra-virgin olive oil. The resulting sauce can be spooned over pasta, vegetables and grilled meats.

To learn more, read "Ciao, XO."

Italian XO Sauce

Recipe adapted from Chris Jaeckle, All'Onda, New York City

Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus soaking time

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes, plus soaking time


4 ounces dried shrimp, soaked overnight

4 ounces dried scallops, soaked overnight

4 ounces hot soppressata, cut into ½-inch chunks

¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 small shallot, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 cinnamon stick

2 star anise pods


1. In a food processor, grind the shrimp, scallops and soppressata until smooth.

2. In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the shallot and garlic and cook until completely softened, about 10 minutes. Add the soppressata, shrimp, scallop, cinnamon and star anise and cook until fat has rendered, about 20 minutes. Add the soy sauce and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Transfer to an airtight container and allow to cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator. The sauce will keep for up to 1 month.

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