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Torrisi's Spicy Sauce

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“This sauce is the invention of Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone, of Torrisi Italian Specialties in NYC, and is all over the food blogs (Pinterest, Food52 just to name a few). What drew my attention is that Food52 mentioned jarring it and giving as gifts... What a fab idea! I didn't realize I'd fall in love myself and have to triple the recipe! It's a creamy, spicy, heavenly spread that lends itself to a million things - roasted meats and chicken, eggs in any form (fried, scrambled, fritatta), tossed with grilled shrimp to top a salad (or for an appetizer), stirred into cooked greens or a soups - stews - beans. Serve as a dip with toasted pita or a rustic corn chip, or even use as a sandwich spread. The uses are endless, and delicious. This sauce will keep up to 6 months in the fridge, if it lasts that long.... Enjoy!”
2 cups

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 4 ounces pickled peppers
  • 2 ounces roasted red peppers
  • 1 ounce tomato paste (or 2 oz. crushed tomato for a looser, thinner version of the sauce)
  • 14 cup olive oil (extra-virgin is always best)
  • 14 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • 14 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 14 teaspoon sugar (I prefer brown, but white is fine too)
  • salt (please taste the sauce first, many pickled peppers are plenty salty!)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced (not in the original recipe, but I love the extra dimension it adds)


  1. When it comes to the pickled peppers, B and G hot cherry peppers are suggested by Torrisi, although the pickled jalapenos from the grocery store would be great too. Throw in a chipotle pepper for a smoky version of the sauce. Play with it!
  2. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender, and mix until desired texture is reached. Torrisi's makes it "slightly smooth" -- I like mine pureed quite finely.
  3. If jarring for edible gifts, I like to use the jam jars that allow you to insert a small square of fabric (I like using red-checked gingham, since it looks so Italian) and a tag with the recipe or a list of sauce uses.

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