Tomato and Chili Sauce

Recipes using dried red chile are more popular and appear more frequently the further south of home you travel. Basilicata, the region in the instep of the “boot” definitely has the hottest recipes in chili terms anywhere in the country. The literal translation of this recipe is “angry” meaning fiery, and you can add as much chile as you want, so increasing the rage level you can call your sauce furiosa (furious) or allo strillo (at screaming pitch), and so on!


  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped fine
  • 1 to 4 dried red chiles (depending upon how hot you want the sauce)
  • cups canned chopped tomatoes, drained if necessary
  • 14 oz penne
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
  • sea salt


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and chile and fry briefly until the garlic and chile are blackened. Remove and discard them and add the tomatoes to the pan. Season with salt and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  2. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the penne, stir, then cover. Return to a boil, and cook until al dente. Remove or adjust the lid once the water is boiling again.
  3. Drain the pasta and return to the pan. Pour over the sauce and mix together.
  4. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and sprinkle with the parsley before serving. Cheese is not normally served with this recipe, however if you or your guests insist on having cheese choose aged, peppery pecorino.