One of the things I really miss about England is the fantastic range of chutneys, pickles and relishes. I love them so much I even add pots of piccalilli and jars of pickled onions to my Christmas list. But it’s often hard to find something spicy, tangy and tasty in Rome; Italians don’t seem to go in for those strong tastes that us Brits enjoy so much. So today I made my first batch of chilli jam which is just perfect for livening up sandwiches, crackers or cold meats. The amount of fresh chillies I used resulted in quite a kick, so maybe cut them down by a quarter if you don’t like it too ‘arrabbiato’ (literally angry!) I added a handful of rosemary to the recipe for a more Mediterranean flavour.
Arrabbiato Chilli Jam
Ingredients – fills 2 small jam jars:
75g fresh red chillies (deseeded)
75g red peppers (deseeded)
Handful of fresh rosemary
500g jam sugar
300ml cider vinegar
Sterilise the jam jars – wash the jars in soapy water and rinse in clean warm water. Preheat the oven to 140C/275F/Gas 1. Dry the jars, upside down, on a rack for 30 minutes. Leave to cool down a bit before removing them from the oven!
Either put the chillies and peppers into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped or (if you were daft enough to leave your food processor in England) chop finely by hand.
Finely chop the rosemary.
Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar in a medium pan over a low heat.
Add the chopped chillies, peppers and rosemary to the pan. Bring to a boil and gently boil for 10 minutes.
Take the pan off the heat and allow to cool. The mixture should become syrupy and thicker as it cools (it really will, even though it seems too runny at first).
Give it a stir before ladling into your jars.
When completely cool, cover the jam with a disc of baking paper and seal with a lid. Use within a month. (Don’t keep in the fridge – I put mine in overnight and it came out with the consistency of tar!)