What a truly delectable find Al Buon Gustaio is: a little shop chock full of specialty food items from the region. From the typical oven roasted black olives to olive paté; from specialty pastas to fried sweet peppers (peperoni cruschi), they're all there. yum!
I was able to make this wonderfully simple but intesely rich dish of peasant stock when I got home, only because I brought back with me a package of the "peperoni cruschi"---fried, dried sweet red peppers, typical of the area.
I'm working on finding out where I might buy some here at home. I'll let you know; stay tuned.
500g spaghetti or fusilli
1 pkg peperoni cruschi
2 cups crusty, home style bread cut in crouton size
2 garlic cloves
hot chili pepper
pecorino cheese, grated
Start by heating a large saute pan. Add olive oil and once heated through add cut up dried red peppers. In the meantime put a large pot of water to boil.
allow peppers to simmer for just 20 to 30 seconds. Drain and set aside.
Add to pan the crushed garlic cloves and a small hot chili pepper. Once the garlic turns golden remove and discard.
Add the bread and stir, allowing the cubes to colour evenly. Drain and set aside.
Once the pasta is cooked al dente, remove from water and add to hot pan, adding a ladlefull of the cooking water. Saute slightly and add the peppers and bread to the pan.
Dish the pasta and grate some pecorino cheese over it to add that last bit of zing!!
A JOURNEY OF SORTS, VARIOUS MEANDERINGS......AND A LITERARY EXPLORATION OF A LESSER KNOWN ITALY