This recipe is from Piemonte in northern Italy. The spicy and elettrico salsa is not to be confused with that river of red sauce that runs through many of America’s Italian restaurants. It is piccante and rich and makes a wonderful contrast to the creamy tomini, or goat cheese.
Warm the olive oil slightly in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the red pepper flakes and let it infuse a few minutes over low heat. Taste for the heat of the red pepper. If it is not very hot, add a pinch of cayenne. Let cool to room temperature, then combine with the remaining ingredients except the cheese. This is the salsa rossa.
Arrange the goat cheese in a single layer in a dish. Pour the tomato vinaigrette over the cheese, cover the dish, and marinate in the refrigerator 2 to 4 days, basting occasionally. Let warm to room temperature before serving. Serve the goat cheese with some of the vinaigrette and croutons. A small green or arugula salad makes a fine accompaniment.
© 1998 Joyce Goldstein. All rights reserved.