Calabrian Chili Pepper Pasta

I kept seeing Calabrian chili peppers popping up in a variety of recipes across the internet the past few months, and being curious I had to order some. Nduja, the spicy Calabrian soft salami has been around for a few years, and I always have some in my refrigerator, but Calabrian peppers? There are a few different brands available, but I decided I wanted mine from the source, so I bought Tutto Calabria brand of whole and pureed peppers from

You can buy the spread, whole peppers, or crushed peppers. They are packed in oil and are spicy, but not too spicy. Although I love hot food, my body does not like me when I eat hot spices anymore, but I was fine with these peppers. These peppers are delicious in just about everything you can imagine from using it as a pizza topping, stirred into soups and stews, or using it in a sauce for pasta as I have here.

I made this sauce last week, and then made it twice more since then as I wanted to perfect the exact amount of ingredients to create a delicious pasta dish. This is one of those pasta sauces that you can quickly throw together while the pasta cooks, and uses just a few available pantry items. Once you have bought a couple of jars of peppers, you will be able to create this pasta dish whenever you crave it, and after you have made it once, you will want it often, I promise you!

Do not add salt until the end after you have tasted the sauce, because anchovies tend to be salty, and the briny olives also add a salty flavor. This dish can easily be adapted to your own personal heat preference. If you only like a little heat, use less crushed peppers, and more crushed tomatoes. Like your food sizzling hot? Feel free to add more peppers to suit your taste.

I use only Mutti or Pomi brand tomatoes in my kitchen as I find that they have the best flavor, and for the anchovies, if you do not care for them, try using anchovy paste as it has a milder flavor. You do not taste the anchovies at all in this sauce, but they do work well in this sauce. 

As a general rule, grated cheese is not usually used on pasta dishes that contain seafood, or hot spices as cheese tends to mellow out the heat, but I do enjoy the sharp flavor of Pecorino Romano on this pasta dish. 

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 

Calabrian Chili Pepper Pasta

Calabrian Chili Pepper Pasta

Yield: Serves 4-6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Crushed Calabrian chili peppers in oil add a ton of flavor to this easy pasta sauce.


  • 1 Pound Spaghetti, Or Pasta Of Choice
  • 1/3 Cup Extra-virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 Large Garlic Cloves, Finely Chopped
  • 2 Anchovies In Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Calabrian Hot Crushed Peppers
  • 1 Cup Finely Chopped Canned Tomatoes
  • 1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Parsley
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped, Pitted, Kalamata Olives
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste (See Note Above)

To Serve:

  • 1 Cup Freshly Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
  2. While the water is heating, heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
  3. Add the garlic and anchovies, and stir vigorously to break the anchovies up into a paste.
  4. Add the chili paste, tomatoes and parsley, and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the olives and stir to mix.
  7. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  8. Cook the pasta until it is "al dente", then drain and return to the pot.
  9. Add a scoop of sauce to the pasta and toss to coat the pasta well.
  10. Serve the pasta in individual bowls, with a spoonful of sauce on top.
  11. Pass the cheese at the table for those who desire it.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1/4 cup sauce
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 361Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 410mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 10g

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  1. I made this last night and all four of us loved it!.  This recipe makes exactly enough for four.  As we were all spicy food lovers, I added an additional heaping teaspoon of the calabrian peppers and it was perfect.  This will definitely go into my rotation!

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