Are you a pasta lover looking to spice things up? This Easy Spicy Fusilli Pasta is a delicious Italian dish you’re sure to love!
Spicy Fusilli Pasta is a popular dish from the Italian region of Calabria. It is made with fusilli, a type of spiral-shaped pasta, and a spicy sauce made with tomatoes, garlic, and chili peppers.
The dish is typically served with a side of bread and a glass of red wine. Spicy Fusilli Pasta is a simple yet flavorful dish that is sure to please any pasta lover and one that the whole family will enjoy.
WHY WE LOVE THIS EASY FUSILLI PASTA
- It's the perfect weeknight meal-Fusilli pasta easy to make and can be on the table in just 45 minutes.
- It's versatile- We love the versatility of this dish-use your favorite pasta sauce or try one of our suggested variations. Our family enjoys this dish with a simple red sauce, but feel free to get creative!
- It's a great way to use up leftover vegetables- This dish is a great way to use up any vegetables you have in the fridge. Simply saute the vegetables and add them to the pasta. Small carrots chopped up make a wonderful addition too.
- Awesome dinner party meal- This recipe is packed with great flavor and perfect for feeding a crowd. Enjoy a glass of wine with your friends while your sauce and pasta are cooking. Elevate the meal by grated fresh parmesan cheese straight onto their plates and a big slice of garlic bread!
- Fusilli pasta- although any type of pasta would work.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Medium Yellow onion-diced
- Red chili peppers-diced
- Crushed tomatoes, or my favorite- San Marzano Tomatoes (but they will need to be crushed or blended)
- Garlic cloves-minced
- Sundried tomato paste
- Red wine
- Heavy cream
- Dried basil
- Dried oregano
- Dried parsley
- Coarse black pepper
- Red pepper flakes
- Fresh chopped parsley
- Shredded Parmesan
SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS
- Heavy cream: If you don’t have heavy cream, you can use milk and butter. To make 1 cup of heavy cream, mix ⅔ cup of whole milk with ⅓ cup melted butter. To make a vegan version, use unsweetened almond milk or brand coconut milk.
- Garnishments: This recipe recommends fresh parsley, red pepper flakes, and parmesan as a garnish, but you can use any combination or none at all.
- Red wine: Red wine adds a rich robust flavor and removes anything that has stuck to the bottom of the pan. We suggest using Cabernet, but merlot will work just as fine as well. You could use White Wine Vinegar as well.
- Add a protein: Try adding some mild Italian sausage or spicy sausage, ground beef, or even cooked and sliced chicken breast to the delicious recipe.
RECOMMENDED TOOLS TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
- Measuring spoons and cups
HOW TO MAKE THIS EASY SPICY FUSILLI PASTA
Spicy Fusilli Pasta is the perfect weeknight meal - it's easy to make, and can be on the table in under 30 minutes. Plus, it's packed with flavor thanks to the addition of delicious spices. Follow the steps below for a delicious dinner!
- First, bring 4 cups of salted water to a boil. Then cook the fusilli pasta al dente.
- Next, heat a saucepan over medium-high heat. Then, add olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom.
- Add the diced onion and chili pepper to the saucepan and cook for about 5-minutes or until softened.
- Reserve ½ cup of pasta water. Drain the pasta and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
- Once the onions are soft, stir in minced garlic and tomato paste. Cook for 3-minutes.
- Deglaze the bottom of the saucepan with the red wine. Then, let the liquid sizzle for 2 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the reserved pasta water, canned tomatoes, heavy cream, basil, oregano, parsley, black pepper, and salt to the saucepan. Cook until it begins to bubble.
- Then, lower the heat to a simmer. Cover the sauce and cook for 10-minutes, stirring every 3-4 minutes.
- Finally, add the pasta to the sauce and toss to coat. Keep it over heat for 1-2 minutes to allow the pasta to absorb some of the liquid.
- Garnish with chopped parsley, freshly grated parmesan, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Enjoy!
- Season the water with salt before adding the pasta. When the starch molecules in the pasta hit the heat they expand. Adding salt infuses the pasta with flavor during this process.
- Rinse pasta under cold water after draining to halt cooking and prevent sticking.
- Be sure to stir constantly during while cooking the garlic to prevent burning
- For less heat, seed the chile peppers. I suggest seeding only 1 of the peppers.
- Make it gluten-free by using a gluten-free fusilli or a brown rice fusilli pasta.
- To store Spicy Fusilli Pasta, place it in an airtight container in the fridge.
- The pasta will last for up to four days in the fridge.
- When you are ready to eat the Spicy Fusilli Pasta, simply reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop
- Try frying leftover pasta! My grandfather would always sauté leftover pasta in some olive oil the next day. He would get it nice and crispy and it was always delicious! The cooked pasta absorbs the pasta sauce making it extra delicious when fried.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How long does this recipe take to make?
This recipe only takes about 15-minutes to prep and 30-minutes to cook. So, you can have dinner on the table in about 45-minutes.
Is Spicy Fusilli Pasta hot?
The level of spiciness can vary depending on the recipe, but this recipe is mild to medium. If you are concerned about the spiciness, you can always adjust the amount of chili peppers used.
Is Spicy Fusilli Pasta healthy?
Spicy Fusilli Pasta can be part of a healthy diet as long as it is not overcooked. When cooked properly, it has a lower calorie and fat content than many other pasta dishes. Keep in mind that carbs can be unhealthy when not eaten in moderation.
Can I make Spicy Fusilli Pasta ahead of time?
Yes, Spicy Fusilli Pasta can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to four days.
OTHER PASTA RECIPES YOU MAY ENJOY
- Easy Sage Brown Butter Pasta
- Instant Pot Pasta-Five Cheese Ziti
- Creamy Pasta Casserole
- Summer Shrimp Pasta
- 1 lb fusilli pasta
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 red chili peppers diced
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 3 tablespoon sundried tomato paste
- ¼ cup red wine
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Fresh chopped parsley
- Shredded Parmesan
Bring 4 cups of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta Al dente per package instructions.
Season the water before adding the pasta. When the starch molecules in the pasta hit the heat they expand. Adding salt infuses the pasta with flavor during this process. Rinse pasta under cold water after draining to halt cooking and prevent sticking.
Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. This is done to prevent anything burning or sticking to the pan.
Next, add the diced onion and chili pepper. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Stir often while the onions and pepper soften. Softening the onions and peppers sweetens the flavor and provides a more mild taste. This will also reduce the heat of the peppers to a more palatable slice while maintaining the smokey flavor. For less heat, seed the chile peppers. We suggest seeding only 1 of the peppers.
Reserve ½ cup pasta water. Drain the pasta and rinse under cold water. Set aside. The starch in the pasta water helps thicken the pasta sauce.
Once the onions are softened, stir in the minced garlic and tomato paste. Cook for 3 minutes, then deglaze with red wine. Let the liquid sizzle for 2 minutes and stir often.
Heating minced garlic releases the aromatics and tones down the bitterness of raw garlic. Heating the tomato paste caramelizes the sugars and increases the flavor. Be sure to stir constantly during this step to prevent burning. After 3 minutes deglaze the pan with red wine. Red wine adds a rich robust flavor and removes anything that has stuck to the bottom of the pan. We suggest using Cabernet, but merlot will work just as fine.
Add the reserved pasta sauce, canned tomatoes, heavy cream, basil, oregano, parsley, black pepper, and salt to the saucepan. Cook until mixture starts to bubble.
Stir and lower heat to a simmer. Cover. Cook for 10 minutes. Only remove the lid to stir every 3-4 minutes.
Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to coat. Keep over heat for 1-2 minutes to allow the pasta to absorb some of the liquid.
Garnish with chopped parsley, freshly grated parmesan, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Enjoy!