madonna del piatto

Italian family cooking

olio piccante


beautiful chilies on Taitu porcelain from my kitchen collection

beautiful chilies on Taitu porcelain from my kitchen collection

SPICY  OLIVE OIL. We call this “the democratic spicy oil” or “the family solution”. My daughter cannot stand spicy food, I adore everything “piccante”, that is seriously hot, my husband somewhere in between. So I always have a jar filled with very dry and hot chili peppers covered in olive oil. I keep it in a dark cool cabinet. After about a month the oil is very spicy, you can remove the chilies and use it by the drop on any food you like. It is not only spicy but it does taste very nice and authentically Mediterranean.

the "permanent" jar of dry chilies in olive oil

the "permanent" jar of dry chilies in olive oil

Author: madonnadelpiatto

Former scientist, I now run B&B and cooking school Alla Madonna del Piatto in Assisi, Umbria, central Italy, together with my husband Ruurd, daughter Tea and truffle dog Google. We love good food and wine, travel, beautiful handicrafts like textiles and pottery. We feel fortunate to be able to share our magical mountain with many friends from all over the world.

13 thoughts on “olio piccante

  1. this is beautiful. Last year I tried by putting a whole pepper in the oil in a bottle. But the top of the pepper came to the top and got mouldy. I will do your system this coming season. You are my mentor!!


  2. and so you are my dear!

    PS. you can by those cannamela chili peppers in any supermarket, so you can start whenever you want. It’s important that they are very dry


  3. What a great idea — I love spicy, and this oil sounds wonderful.

    I guess the chilis must be very dry when they enter the oil to avoid contamination? Or to ensure there is no water messing up the oil and helping the chilis float up out of the oil?


  4. Hi Sandra, yes indeed, moist foods like vegetables cannot safely be preserved in olive oil but they need to be acidified with vinegar. Dry foods like chili peppers are safe.
    See e.g.

    The chili peppers I use are so dry that they do not float but stay cozy under the oil.


  5. That article is very interesting, and makes it pretty clear why the chilis (or tomatoes or other veg) have to be bone dry before submersion in oil.

    I’m going to try this, but I’ll be certain to get very, very dry chilis.

    Brilliant — thanks!


  6. I’ve got very dry chillies, I’ve also got olio nuovo. Do you think that’s too good to use for this? I loved it today! Soooo HOT! :-p


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  8. Really enthused – must give this a try !


  9. Do you mean dried peppers, as in preserved by drying, or do you mean fresh peppers well dried with a towel after washing….?


    • Hi Phyllis you need dried peppers, as in preserved dried and if you wash them, make sure to let them dry again for at least a week. You don’t want to introduce any moisture to prevent development of nasty bugs!


  10. Pingback: how to make pickled squash and other holiday edible gifts | madonna del piatto

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