Termed to be as angry as Mount Vesuvius, spaghetti alla vesuviana is a spicy pasta recipe containing fresh red chili pepper, olives, and capers. This flavor packed tomato sauce is definitely one of my favorites for spaghetti. It's fast and easy and will on the table in no time at all!
This is a southern Italian pasta from Naples created in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. I imagine it was inspired by the volcano's heat, although I believe my recipe won't have quite the same amount of heat.
Similar to pasta alla puttanesca, which uses an olive based tomato sauce, this recipe has a spicer kick with the additional of red chili pepper and capers. I don't find it to be overwhelming spicy, but if you are more sensitive to spicy pasta you can remove the seeds from the red chili pepper.
This is typically served as a first course in a traditional Italian dinner after an anti-pasta dish, such as artichoke carpaccio. And could be proceeded with a meat or seafood option like mediterranean halibut or za'atar roast chicken.
- Red Fresno Pepper
- Olive Oil
- Parmesan Cheese
Full ingredient list in recipe below.
Puttanesca sauce is a similar version of this recipe, just swap the chili and capers for anchovies and double the olives. Some other pasta shapes work too, such as bucatini or cappelini (pasta alla vesuviana).
When the tomato sauce is cooking, smash the olives a bit to release their flavor into the sauce.
More pasta dishes
Looking for other pasta dishes to try? Check these out,
Spaghetti alla Vesuviana
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small white onion, (diced)
- 4 cloves garlic, (minced)
- 1 red fresno pepper, (diced)
- 14 oz can of crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup kalamata olives, (or other black olives)
- 2 tablespoon capers
- 8 oz spaghetti
- 1 teaspoon salt, (plus more for the pasta water)
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, (freshly grated)
- basil, (for serving)
- Bring a large sauté pan or fry pan to medium heat and add the olive oil, onion, garlic, salt, and red fresno pepper. Sauté for about 7 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
- Add the tomatoes, kalamata olives, and capers and cook for additional 15 minutes.
- While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook your spaghetti according to the package directions. Save 1 cup of pasta water and drain the pasta.
- Add the pasta water, spaghetti, and parmesan cheese to the sauce and stir until the sauce thickens and starts to stick to the pasta, about 2-3 minutes.
- Serve with some chiffonade basil, olive oil, and cracked pepper.
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