The warm spice of Pisto Napoletano is Italy’s classic version of the beloved holiday blend.
Pumpkin spice is so pervasive in the United States, to the point that the famed Pumpkin Spice Latte is essentially a harbinger for fall (which seems to pop up on menus earlier every year!). The driving force behind autumnal memes that poke fun at pumpkin-spice everything, it is everywhere as soon as summer begins to fade… whether you love it or hate it.
This blend of warm spices - cinnamon, nutmeg and the like - isn’t just part of US culture. In Italy, this spice mix is a classic addition to holiday cookies, and it’s called Pisto Napoletano. Per the name, the blend originated in Naples, and it’s a quintessential addition to cookies like Rococco, Mostaccioli, Sussumella, several other holiday sweets.
In Naples, particularly around the holidays, you can buy ready-made mixtures of the spice in stores - but it’s not so readily available in the US. However, it’s incredibly easy to make at home, and the amounts of each spice vary from recipe to recipe - meaning you can really tailor it to your own tastes. The star ingredients are as follows: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, star anise and coriander. Some recipes also feature black or white pepper for a touch of heat.
It’s divine in classic cookies like Rococco, and fills the house with the dreamiest holiday aroma - so bookmark Giada’s recipe here when you’re ready to get your Italian fall baking on. Our guess? It’s probably pretty great in a latte, too.