This one is for all my spicy lovers out there. Spicy Caper Pasta is briny, spicy, and is done in mere minutes. You might be skeptical thinking, where is the sauce? Well that is the best part. There is no traditional sauce here. The pasta is coated in a garlic herb infused olive oil that takes 15 minutes to make. This dish is great for a quick lunch or a solo dinner on a crunch, however if you want to make it for more than 1 person just double or triple the recipe.
What You’ll Need For Spicy Caper Pasta
- Pasta – Players choice here, any pasta works. The pasta photographed is gemelli.
- Olive Oil – Traditional olive oil works well here. I’ve made this with EVOO in the past, but because the burn point is a lot lower you just have to make sure that heat stays on low.
- Calabrian Pepper Paste – I went into this ingredient in my Spicy Vodka Rigatoni recipe. There really isn’t a substitution here. Try the Trader Joes Italian Bomba Hot Pepper Sauce or order it from Amazon HERE.
- Cheese – I recommend using parmesan because who doesn’t love parmesan. I did however use manchego last week and it was delicious. Use whatever medium-hard cheese you have on hand. Asiago, and pecorino are also great options. Just no cheddar please!
- Dried Basil
- Dried Oregano
- Paprika – DO NOT USE hot or smoked paprika, this dish is hot enough.
- Chili Flakes – optional to add a pinch to spice mix if you like things real spicy.
A Few Extra Tips
- It’s important that the heat is on low once you add in the garlic and spices. Too high and the garlic will brown and the spices will burn.
- You control the heat. If you have a sensitive palate reduce the pepper paste to a 1/2 tbsp, or less. You can always add more. If you are like me and love the heat, add a pinch of chili flakes to the spice mix.
- This is meant to be a quick meal, maybe even lean towards a lunch. Make this a complete dish by adding grilled or roasted chicken!
Spicy Caper Pasta
- 1 serving pasta
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp capers
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp calabrian chili paste
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- chili flakes
- Cook pasta in salty water as per packaging. Drain and set aside.
- While pasta is cooking add olive oil to a pot over medium-low heat. Once olive oil has heated up add capers and fry for 3-5 minutes. Warning! the capers will splatter in the oil especially if some of the caper brine gets in the oil.
- Lower the heat and add garlic. Cook garlic for 3 minutes or until it is soft and fragrant.
- Add spices and Calabrian pepper paste and cook on low for 7 minutes, until oil has absorbed the flavor and spices have softened.
- Add cooked pasta, and cheese and give a toss. Cook in the oil for 1 minute before serving.
- Heat needs to be on low after the garlic and spices are added in. If the garlic begins to brown the heat is too high.
- 3 tbsp of oil covers one serving of pasta however if you find that you need more oil add an additional tbsp with the spices.