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Calabrian Chili Pasta

Calabrian Chili Pasta: Fiercely spicy, creamy (without the addition of any cream), cheesy, and peppered with hidden bits of crunch and texture from tiny pine nut treasures. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword spicy pasta, calabrian chili pasta
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 474 kcal
Author Nicole


  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 9 oz jar calabrian chilis
  • 2 medium shallots, finely chopped (you'll need 1/2 cup shallots)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 lb mezze rigatoni
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt.

  2. Roughly chop enough chilis from the jar of calabrians to equal 1/4 cup.

  3. While the water comes to a boil. Add pine nuts to a large skillet with high sides. Turn the heat on medium-low. Toast the nuts until then become slightly golden and smell nutty. Watch carefully, as they burn easily. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

  4. Turn the heat up to medium. Add three tablespoons of oil from the jar of chilis. When the oil is hot, add the shallots and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sweat the shallots until they start to soften, about 3-4 minutes. If they start to brown, turn the heat down to medium-low.

  5. Drop the pasta into the boiling water and give it a good stir. Cook until just under aldente, about 2-3 minutes shy of what the box says.

  6. Once you drop the pasta in the water, add the garlic, chopped chilis, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to the shallots and chili oil. Sweat until the garlic has softened, about 1-2 minutes.

  7. Before draining the pasta, reserve 1 cup of the starchy cooking liquid. Transfer the pasta to the skillet with the shallots. Toss to coat the pasta. Add 1/2 cup of the pasta water, toss. Sprinkle the cheese on top and continue to toss until the cheese melts. If needed, add more pasta water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  8. Add the pine nuts to the pasta. Toss to combine.

Nutrition Facts
Calabrian Chili Pasta
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 474 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 17mg6%
Sodium 697mg30%
Potassium 272mg8%
Carbohydrates 66g22%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 21g42%
Vitamin A 198IU4%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 319mg32%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.