Calabrian Chile Pasta — The Weekender

Need a quick, reliable dinner? Try Giada's Calabrian Chile Pasta. It cooks in a single pan, it's done in less than 30 minutes, and it's endlessly adaptable.
By: Marisa McClellan
Related To:
Calabrian Chile Pasta

I believe that everyone should know how to make a simple but delicious one-pot pasta dish. It needs to taste good, use only pantry and fridge basics, and dirty a minimal number of tools and utensils. Think boxed mac and cheese, only without the lurid orange powdered cheese.

The beauty of these one-pot pasta dishes is that that you use a minimal amount of water when cooking the pasta. You retain all the starch from the pasta in the pan, which makes for a luscious sauce, and you don’t have to wait 45 minutes for a gallon of water to come to a boil. Once the pasta is cooked, you add just a few ingredients, give it a good stir, and serve.

Currently, I’m most fond of Giada De Laurentiis’ approach to the one-pot pasta meal. Her Calabrian Chile Pasta cooks in no time and tastes amazing. You start with an inch of water in a high-sided saute pan. Once it boils, you add a pound of pasta and cook until it’s al dente (stirring regularly to determine whether it needs an additional splash of water).

Calabrian Chile Pasta with Spinach

Then it’s a matter of dumping and stirring. She has you add grated Pecorino, quartered cherry tomatoes, chopped chives, a little lemon juice and zest, a drizzle of olive oil and a few spoonfuls of Calabrian chile paste. I also like to wilt in some baby spinach for extra veg and will often add some leftover roast chicken if I have any (cold salmon would also be good).

I do have a warning about this recipe: The Calabrian chile paste is a specialty item, sold mostly at Italian markets. If you can’t lay your hands on a bottle, don’t write off this dish. Instead, use a little pesto, romesco, tapenade or even sambal oelek (which is an Asian chile-and-garlic paste). Heck, you could even make yourself a little slurry of tomato paste, crushed red chile flakes, and olive oil and call it a day .

Start planning your Weekender now! Instead of calling for takeout after a day of holiday shopping and prep, lay in a few supplies and practice your one-pot pasta skills!

Next Up

Tuna and White Bean Pasta With Gremolata Bread Crumbs — The Weekender

Rachael Ray's recipe for Tuna and White Bean Pasta With Gremolata Bread Crumbs almost entirely relies on pantry staples.

Pappardelle With Corn — Recipe of the Day

Pair pasta with the best of end-of-summer produce including tomatoes and corn for a meal that's ready in just 20 minutes.

Dressed-Up Pastas for a Meatless Monday Dinner

Cook up a few of Food Network's favorite dressed-up pasta recipes, each meatless and ready to eat in less than 40 minutes.

Basic Parmesan Pomodoro—Most Popular Pin of the Week

Don't let of the name of this recipe fool you: The flavor in Food Network's Most Popular Pin of the Week is anything but "basic."

Ina’s Linguine with Shrimp Scampi — Most Popular Pin of the Week

With summer just around the corner, it’s time to say goodbye to the heavy, creamy sauces that are a staple in winter comfort food.

Related Pages