Criminelli’s Salami Sauce

As promised (or as wife says: threatened)  I did copycat recipe based on Michael Isabella’s pepperoni sauce from the season finale of Top Chef. However I’m going to use Criminelli’s Calabrese salami for mine! I Used Calabrese salami as it is a bit spicier than other but you can use milder salami as well.

This sauce turns out thick and a little bit goes a long way. That means it’s rich and spicy depending on your choice of pepperoni or salami.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion diced small
  • 5 medium cloves garlic, thin sliced
  • 3/4-1 pound pepperoni or salami, thin sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 to 12 ounces canned diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 fresh bay leaf

Get all your stuff ready. I used my home-grown and canned diced tomatoes which also have some seasoning and a little peppers chopped in them.

Toast the fennel seeds on medium heat on a dry pan until fragrant and turn darker, don’t burn them.

Heat your olive oil then brown up your diced onions and garlic, maybe 5-6 minutes.

Add the salami or pepperoni and cook for 5-7 minutes until the meat is brown and evenly coated. Add the red pepper flake and fennel seeds and cook for another minute. If you don’t have fennel seeds, don’t cry. I sometimes use dill or cumin instead but you can also use a little anise or caraway seed. If you don’t have any of those the sauce will still be good.

Add the tomatoes, broth and bay leaf and once the pan starts bubbling, cover it and let cook for about 45 minutes. I like a slightly less than medium heat. This sauce comes out thick so don’t boil all the liquids off.

Once cooked, take the mixture and blend it down into your preferred consistency. I sometimes add 8oz of tomato sauce to the mixture before blending to make it less thick. I use the dual-blade on my Cuisinart Duet Processor. Blend it longer than you think it might take as you really have to get those cooked edges of salami chopped up. this sauce is rich so I have heard of people trying a little half and half to soften it a bit but I like the rich flavor. A little goes a long way. It’s great on pasta and grilled chicken.

PS I put some of this in the fridge from a week ago, and it’s even better after a week! The flavors really round out and the spice mellows out.

Author: admin