Time to Turn Up the Heat

Greetings from the Barilla Test Kitchen! This month we are turning up the heat with our favorite spicy pasta dishes. There’s more on the spicy trends here, and also this quick video from Chef Lorenzo with his tips for pairing different chilies and spicy ingredients in pastas.

Chef Yury’s Red Lentil Penne with Middle Eastern Vegetable Ragu and Spicy Schug

Schug (or Zhug) is one of those bright, acidic, flavorful spicy condiments similar to salsa verde or chimichurri. Originally from Yemen, it’s popular all over the middle east including Israel and Lebanon. It’s most often used on falafel or grilled meats and veggies, and is fantastic folded into this vegetarian ragu over red lentil pasta.

Chef Lorenzo’s Ditalini with N’duja and Octopus

We love n’duja (en-DOO-ya) and it’s earthy, Calabrian-chile heat on just about anything, but it happens to be amazing with octopus. Because the n’duja is so soft and spreadable, it melts into sauces really well, and you can even use the rendered fat in a dressing. Here it just makes for a quick pick-up on the line, tossing the sausage with cooked octopus and then the pasta.

Chef Tim’s Spicy Casarecce with cherry tomatoes, olives and nasturtium

This dish from chef Tim is a riff on puttanesca, a spicy regional Italian dish with olives (and typically capers) from Campania. In his version, the floral pepperiness of nasturtium add another layer of flavor – and a gorgeous presentation. 

Finally, for an authentic regional Italian dish with a kick, we have to point to pasta Arrabbiata  – literally “angry” pasta. It hails from Lazio, and though it’s super simple – just crushed tomatoes, garlic, peperoncino, and pecorino – it’s one of those dishes that’s classic for a reason. 

Don’t forget to check out the video with Chef Lorenzo!