Pomodori Secchi Piccanti (Spicy Sundried Tomatoes)

Spicy sundried tomatoes are a favorite of mine, and a fun item to make. We buy the sundried tomatoes from the market in Turin (the Italian and I bought a new pack on our last visit in November) and bring them back to London to assemble into jars of extra virgin olive oil and spices. The assembling process is fairly simple, but does take a bit of time. It also requires a special Italian spice mixture called “agliata”, which is essentially mixed dried peppers and garlic. For a less spicy version of the tomatoes, you can leave out the agliata.

1. The first step is to soak the sundried tomatoes, which will be very salty as part of the drying process, in water to get rid of the excess salt. Leave them soaking for several hours.

2. Next, boil a pot of water with vinegar. Add the tomatoes and boil for a couple minutes.

3. Drain the tomatoes. Place them with the inner side down on sheets of paper towels. Press them to ensure they maintain their shape while trying.

4. Blot the tomatoes with more paper towels. Leave them to dry in the open air for 8 hours or overnight.

5. Place tomatoes in glass jars with olive oil and agliata. Start first with a layer of olive oil, then add tomatoes and sprinkle agliata. Repeat until the jar is full. Ensure all the tomatoes are covered with oil, with no air pockets. You can push the tomatoes down with a fork to get the bubbles of air out. Cover the jar, and let them sit for 3-4 months.

6. Enjoy!

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