Calabrian Chili Pasta

New favorite pasta alert!! This Calabrian Chili Pasta is 100% guaranteed to rock your world!

I’ve been obsessing over Calabrian Chilis since getting back from my last few Italy trips and I just can’t get enough! I’ve been adding them to hummus, putting them on pizza, and making pasta sauces with these beauties and I have no intention of stopping anytime soon!! They are so flavorful, a bit spicy and the color is out of this world!! In fact, they would also be an incredible addition to Garlic Sauce… just saying!

Calabrian Chili Pasta from (@whatsgabycookin)

You can find them at most grocery stores – Whole Foods for sure has them – and if not, I order them by the bucket load on Williams Sonoma or Amazon because I have a full blown addiction. If you get them whole, just pulse them in your food processor or blender until you have a paste!!

Grab the recipe below for this epic Calabrian Chili Pasta and you will NOT be disappointed! AND… if you want to add a little bit of shrimp that would be epic. Here’s how to cook perfect shrimp every single time!

Calabrian Chili Pasta from (@whatsgabycookin)

Calabrian Chili Pasta

4 from 2 votes


  • 1 pound Cassarecce Pasta
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced
  • 3 tablespoons Calabrian hot pepper paste
  • 1 cup shredded pecorino optional


  • Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Cook the Cassarecce according to the package directions. Once al dente, drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water for future use and set aside.
  • In a large sauté pan, add the olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the lemon zest (saving the lemon juice for later) and sauté for 15 seconds. Add the Calabrian hot pepper paste and stir until everything is evenly incorporated.
  • Add the cooked pasta and stir to combine. If you need to add a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta water to thin it out, go ahead. Add the lemon juice and toss to combine. Season with salt to taste.
  • Sprinkle the pecorino over the pasta if desired and toss to coat and serve immediately.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Lucia Donahower

    Gaby, I’m sure I will be making this recipe! It looks delicious!
    Thank you for sharing.

  2. Peter

    Gaby –
    I once used DRIED Calabrian pepper.
    It was really hot, spicy hot!
    Is this paste more tempered, or would you label it super hot?

  3. Debra Duplak

    Hi Gaby! I live in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico where there are, as you know several different types of peppers. But I have seen the Calabrian pepper or paste. Any suggestions for a substitute?
    Love all that you create and cook!!
    Congratulations on the new cookbook!! Can’t wait to get it!

    • Gaby

      Hey Debra!! Do you have an amazon account? I’d just order the ones I linked to if you can!! Otherwise any spicy sweet pepper paste would work! xx

  4. Amy Glessner

    I am making this Thursday or Friday night, I got the chilis from Amazon!! Yum!

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  6. Lisa

    I made this last night and loved the flavor of the chili and the lemon, although it was quite spicy. I purchased the peppers from Whole Foods and made a paste with them in my blender.
    I was confused on the ingredient list which calls for: 1 teaspoon lemon, zested and juiced. Is it supposed to call for 1 lemon, zested and juiced?
    Thanks for the recipes, I will make this one again!

  7. Lauren

    Mine came out really really spicy and I like spicy food…

  8. Glenn

    I found the Calabrian Hot Pepper Paste on Ymmy Bazaar and made this dish tonight. It was very, very, spicy and I only used 1-1/2 tablespoons of the paste., My husband asked me not to make it again. This is the first recipe I’ve made from your blog that didn’t work out. That’s a pretty good batting average. so Thank You for the ones that were delicious.

  9. Jersey Italian

    FYI …the pasta shown in the gremolata is very similar to busiate which is a Sicilian pasta ….

  10. Dave Small

    I ordered some Tutto Calabria Hot Chili Peppers Crushed from Amazon with the intention of making this recipe.

    When received, I opened a jar and tasted a tiny amount. These are fiery hot. If I were to put 3 tablespoons of this stuff into a recipe it would be painfully hot.

    Gaby can you please post the information from the label of the product you used. I’m sure it must be a much much milder version.

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  13. Joyce

    5 stars
    Omg Gaby. This was out of this world! I didn’t think the pasta looked ‘wet enough’ so I added an additional tbsp of the chili
    Paste. Wow we are on fire. But in a good way!

  14. Kat

    3 stars
    So, I used Trader Joe’s Calabrian Chili & halved the recipe. It was sooo spicy and didn’t really taste like anything. My garlic cloves were a little small so I’m thinking maybe that’s it? Or maybe the trader joe’s chili is just really spicy?