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Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman

Calabrian Chili Pasta

This is one of those great pasta dishes that comes together so quickly on a weeknight, but it doesn't taste like a rush situation at all. This pasta is simple, but has loads of flavor from a few key ingredients. 

Calabrian chili paste is one of my favorite Italian products. It's quite spicy, but it does a lot more than bring on the heat - it has a lovely warm and slightly sweet flavor as well, and it can really wake any ordinary dish up. 

Pomodorini tomatoes, which are essentially canned peeled cherry tomatoes, are my favorite type to use in this dish. They're a lot sweeter than regular canned tomatoes, and they have a chance to really stand out here. However, San Marzano style (as long as they get cut up or crushed) or even crushed tomatoes will work as well. For all of the perfect ingredients to  make this dish, we have a Calabrian Chili Pasta Kit in our shop!

Lemon juice adds a beautiful brightness to the dish as well! It's one of my secret moves to really make a tomato sauce taste vibrant and fresh. 

Calabrian Chili Pasta

Calabrian Chili Pasta


Main Course pasta



Prep Time

5 minutes

Cook Time

20 minutes




Giada De Laurentiis

Image of Calabrian Chili Pasta



  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil to the pan and heat another 30 seconds. Add the pomodorini tomatoes to the skillet, then fill the can up with 1/4 cup of water to release the extra tomato sauce in the can, and add to the pan as well. Either crush with the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon, or gently cut them with kitchen scissors. Add the Calabrian chili paste, dried oregano, salt, lemon zest and lemon juice. Allow the sauce to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tablespoon of butter and gently stir until melted. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Season generously with salt. Cook the pasta for 1 minute less than package directions, about 10 minutes, or until not quite al dente. Using a spider, spoon the pasta directly from the water into the sauce over medium heat. Sprinkle the Parmesan directly over the pasta, and toss to coat. If needed, add pasta water a few tablespoons at a time to loosen up the sauce.
  3. Top with more cheese before serving if desired.



Nutrition Serving Size
per serving
Amount/Serving % Daily Value
63 grams
17 grams
13 grams
Saturated Fat
5 grams
20 milligrams
1407 milligrams
3 grams
6 grams
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4 reviews & comments

  • Author's avatar image
    Mark Putnam

    Woah! 2 Tbs of real Calabrian chili paste is A LOT; and I like it hot. A half teaspoon seems like enough to make this dish hot enough for 6 people. That said, this is my kind of food, and I really appreciate the fact that you're not afraid to use butter to finish your sauce.

  • Author's avatar image
    Sabrina Nachampasak McCully

    Good morning. Giada. I am your fan l have been ate at your restaurant in Nevada at my 20 th years at Aniversary .you were my model cooking .I am from Laos and Thailand. My English is second Language. I was from Royal family in Laos. My grandfather was King 1975. I love your food.everythings in cooked .I gave you 5 🌟 Love Sabrina Nachampasak. McCully

  • Author's avatar image
    Sandra Smith

    My husband really loved this recipe but it was too hot for me, I will put in less chilli paste next time

  • Author's avatar image
    Ricky Trimble

    Wow….this recipe is a soul warming food! I like heat and this does it for me, I added a bit more kick and it works. Tiara keep the recipes coming! Fan number 1, Rick. xxoo

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