For extra recipes, journey ideas and perception on Italian tradition, join CNN’s Unlocking Italy publication. This eight-part information to Italy could have you packing your luggage very quickly.

By Janelle Davis, CNN. Recipe from Celso Laforgia, City Bistrot

Pasta is available in all kinds of shapes, sizes and sauces. However step one to cooking pasta has sometimes been a easy, tried-and-true course of: Drop the primary ingredient right into a pot of boiling salted water.

Spaghetti all’assassina, or murderer’s pasta, although, is about to make you query all the pieces about pasta.

When Italian chef Celso Laforgia dropped uncooked pasta right into a pan with oil and aromatics, however not a drop of water, Stanley Tucci was shocked.

“Truthfully, I’ve by no means seen something like that earlier than,” Tucci mentioned throughout an episode of “Looking for Italy.” “I really like that. And I’ve been round, too.”

Laforgia is the chef and proprietor of City Bistrot in Bari, capital of Puglia in southeast Italy. He first cooks his pasta in olive oil with crushed crimson pepper flakes and garlic, then provides tomato sauce and eventually ladelfuls of water to create a spicy, partially burnt spaghetti dish.

The trick is to burn the pasta sufficient that it’s crunchy, caramelized and a little bit charred however not a lot that it’s bitter.

“When it crackles, it’s finished,” Laforgia mentioned. “The pasta is speaking to you.”

Spaghetti all’assassina acquired its title as a result of the primary one who tried the dish known as the chef a killer because it was so spicy, based on Laforgia.

“Celso’s cooking technique goes in opposition to all the pieces I find out about cooking pasta,” Tucci mentioned. He joked throughout his go to that the dish mirrors its individuals: fiery, uncompromising and rule breaking.

The dish is easy, however the method takes years to grasp. Laforgia makes 10 variations of the assassina, together with one changing the tomato with cream of broccoli rabe and topping it with creamy stracciatella, a Puglian cheese comprised of buffalo’s milk.

Spaghetti all’assassina has a cultlike following in Bari, the place it originated within the Nineteen Seventies.

Spaghetti all’Assassina

(Murderer’s Spaghetti)

This spicy dish delivers explosive warmth. Chef Laforgia suggests no less than 16 grams (or 3 tablespoons) of crushed crimson pepper flakes to steadiness the flavors, however you may regulate the warmth degree as desired.

Makes 4 servings


150 milliliters | ⅔ cup olive oil

3 entire garlic cloves, peeled

16 grams | 3 tablespoons crushed crimson pepper flakes, or to style (1 to five tablespoons)

Desk salt to style

400 grams | 1 pound dry spaghetti

150 grams | ⅔ cup tomato puree

Pinch of sugar


1. In a big sauté pan, add the olive oil, garlic cloves and crimson pepper flakes.

In a separate pan, boil about 4 liters (17 cups) of salted water.

2. Within the first pan, brown the garlic over excessive warmth for about 30 seconds after which add the uncooked spaghetti. Toast the pasta till it has reached a lightweight brown coloration, then pour and unfold the tomato puree over your entire pan with a picket spoon. Stir in a pinch of sugar to right the acidity of the tomato puree. When the spaghetti begins to stay to the underside of the pan, flip it to the highest utilizing a heat-resistant spatula.

3. Pour a medium ladleful of the new salted water into the pan with the spaghetti and proceed to stir. As quickly because the water begins to simmer, let it relaxation. While you hear the sauce sizzle, flip the spaghetti that’s caught to the underside of the pan to the highest with the spatula.

4. Rigorously flip the spaghetti, letting it stick a little bit to the underside of the pan. When the spaghetti begins to stay to the underside, flip it with a spatula to carry it to the highest. Pour one other ladleful of water and proceed, as in case you had been making ready a risotto, till the pasta begins to crackle, 8 to 9 minutes.

5. When the pasta is prepared, serve instantly from the pan to the plate.

This recipe is courtesy of chef Celso Laforgia at City Bistrot in Bari, Italy.

™ & © 2022 Cable Information Community, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Firm. All rights reserved.

For extra recipes, journey ideas and perception on Italian tradition, join CNN’s Unlocking Italy publication. This eight-part information to Italy could have you packing your luggage very quickly.

Leave a Comment