In the area of Lucania in the southern region of Basilicata, locals refer to these nutty, aromatic peppers as cruschi.
Peperone di Senise are a local, I.G.P. Basilicata sweet pepper variety, which are up to six inches in length. They are harvested throughout the sweltering summer months—from the end of July until the end of September—when they are perfectly ripe, hanging heavy on the plant, and turning a deep red color with a glossy shine.
These aromatic, crunchy peppers bring a new complexity of flavors to winter greens, braised and roasted meats. Crushed in your hands, they make the best topping for any seafood pasta dish. Cruschi are often coarsely ground with a mortar and pestle and sprinkled over eggs fried in olive oil. They also add incredible flavor to the classic spaghetti aglio, olio e pepperoncino (spaghetti with garlic, olive oil and chili peppers).