Penne Calabresi {Calabrian Penne}


Okay, well I thought I’d give you a little reprieve from all the chicken recipes as of late – LOL! Not that I’m abandoning my dear friend Pollo or anything. Just have a CRAVING for pasta. Plus, it’s right after Thanksgiving & I’m literally stuffed. I’m going to have to break out the “roomy” pants for about a week. Don’t act like you don’t have some *wink wink* Why do I stuff myself so every year? Dimmi…. eh? And besides, I’ve held out on the pasta recipes for awhile.


This one is definitely a keeper! Penne Calabresi – pronounced Pen-ay Cal-ah-brez-e – is simply Calabrian Penne. As in, from Calabria. It’s got a little kick to it which is good for speeding up my metabolism anyway, which hello I could so use right now. Depending on your spicy-o-meter, feel free to chuck a bigger piece of red chili pepper in there. I do take out the seeds and membranes so that’s it not so bad that the bambini can’t eat it. But hey, do what you like.

I’m trying to get better about writing down my metric conversions for you, but it’s not always easy LOL so I’m providing a handy dandy converter link in the sidebar now for those of you who like very specific measurements. (& the crowd goes W-I-L-D)


I usually stock up on the EXTRA JUMBO cans of Italian Tomatoes when I find them on sale. I believe they are 794g each or just simply honking big cans. I used half of that can for this recipe. I’m just kinda relaxed like that in the kitchen. So don’t sweat it, cooking is fun! Take your hair down. Well, okay maybe not, especially if yours is supah long like mine. A ponytail is truly mandatory in my kitchen. Else, well, you know where I’m going LOL . You know what I mean!


What you’ll need:
500g of Penne Pasta
500g or roughly 2 large Onions – chopped
400g of Crushed Italian Tomatoes
1/2 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 of a small Red Chili Pepper
100g of Ricotta Salata or Pecorino Cheese – Grated

Don’t forget about our shiny & new handy dandy converter in the sidebar (see it over there to your right) if you like more accurate measurements *wink wink*

What to do:
Into a large saute pan add your oil & chopped onions and about 1/4 cup of water (so that the onions do not brown). Cook over LOW heat for approx 20 minutes. Add the tomatoes and chili pepper. Season well with salt. Cover the pan with a lid and continue cooking for approx 30 minutes. Stirring often. Cook the pasta in heavily salted water until al dente. Remove chili pepper piece from sauce & discard. Drain pasta and add to sauce. Toss together until combined. Garnish with grated cheese. Serve immediately.

Buon Appetito!

If you liked this, you might like:
Maccheroni alla Vodka, Bucatini all’Amatriciana

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  1. 1

    this just made me crave for pasta!

    • 1.1

      Me too Mitzi! I think I’m going to make it again for lunch today ; )

  2. 2

    Love pasta…this is great!

    • 2.1

      Thanks Theresa! Yes, I could totally eat Pasta everyday & be quite okay with that LOL

  3. 3

    Thanks for the cool converter :). That’s a 14oz can of tomatoes and 3.5 oz of cheese… in case anyone else was wondering lol.

    • 3.1

      Ciao Cathy! Glad you liked the converter! I’m terrible at math so I think it’s going to come in quite handy ; )

  4. 4

    Looks fabulous. Pasta dishes are just about the best! Thanks for this post, will give it a try.

  5. 5

    oh my goodness, this looks wonderful. I absolutely love pasta and I’m so hungry right now! 🙂

    • 5.1

      Thanks a bunch Megan! Obviously I’m a little Pasta crazy myself ; )

  6. 6

    I wish I had a bowl of this right now! Love your blog!!!

  7. 7

    I want a bowl of pasta now!

  8. 8
    Lucy /

    Paula, on the panettone recipe, can it be made in loaf pan?

    • 8.1

      Ciao Lucy! I have never made it into a loaf but I don’t see why not. Just watch it carefully in the oven as I’m sure the cooking time will vary! Let me know how it turns out!

  9. 9

    Ooooh, this looks really delicious! 🙂

    • 9.1

      Thank you Sara! If you like spicy I’ve got Spaghetti alla Fiamma coming up, stay tuned!

  10. 10

    Yum! Now I’m hungry for some pasta (at 10am in the morning)… Looks de-lish! I also have to say, I always enjoy that you help the rest of us non-Italians with the pronunciation. So sweet of you! I desperately want to learn Italian, but in the meantime I always enjoy your posts. Knowing how to pronounce food is a good start, right?

  11. 11
    Jayne /

    Happened upon this site last week–I made this recipe last night and it was sensational! Couldn’t wait for lunch today for the leftovers!! I’m trying the chocolate biscotti this weekend for Christmas gifts. Paula, your site is great fun!!

    • 11.1

      Ah, thanks a bunch Jayne! That’s so sweet! Glad you loved the Penne Calabresi & I hope you <3 the Biscotti (they make fab gifts) Merry Christmas!


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