November 3, 2021
Paccheri with Creamy Tomato-Calabrian Chili Sauce
A twist on the Italian American Vodka sauce but with the subtle tastes of Calabrian chili, colatura
and grappa in the sauce. The fresh marjoram and nepitella add some other beautiful nuances in
this bright and bold pasta dish made with Paccheri, a fun to eat dried tube pasta shape.
2 1/2 C. Pastificio G. Di Martino Paccheri (about 20 tubes)
4 TB. extra virgin olive oil
3 ea. cloves of garlic, minced
2 ea. Calabrian chilis packed in oil, minced
1 TB. tomato paste
2 oz. Grappa di Nebbiolo
4 oz. tomato pureé or crushed tomatoes
pinch of dried oregano
1 tsp. colatura (fish sauce) or pinch of salt
4 oz. of the pasta cooking water
2 oz. heavy cream
2 oz. Parmigiano Reggiano
a few sprigs of fresh marjoram and nepitella (my preference, but you can use basil or parsley if
Cook the Paccheri in boiling salted water for 12 minutes.
In a large sauté pan, turn on medium high heat and add the olive oil.
Add the minced garlic, Calabrian chili and tomato paste and stir into the oil just for about 15
seconds. Remove from the heat and add the grappa, being careful if it flames. Set back on the
heat and add the tomato pureé, dried oregano and colatura. Stir together.
Now add the pasta cooking water, the pasta and the heavy cream and let the pasta finish
cooking the pasta in the sauce for a couple of minutes.
Add a handful of the Parmigiano Reggiano and some of the leaves of marjoram and nepitella
and toss with the pasta.
Divide into two bowls topped with more Parmigiano Reggiano and the herbs.