How do you make penne alla diavola?

by Orna
(Louth, Ireland)

I just would like to know how to make this dish, I had it in an Italian restaurant and am making it in school next week.

Isn't just pasta chicken and some sort of cream sauce?


Answer: Hi Orna. Firstly, I think it's useful to define specifically what dish we're talking about here, as it's very easy for it to get confusing.

There are 2 different diavola dishes (diavola means devil (female), which refers to the 'heat' or spicyness of the dish):

- 'pollo alla diavola' is a peppered chicken dish (try the great Mario Batali recipe here).

- 'penne alla diavola' is a chili sauce dish, made with a basic tomato sauce, herbs, garlic and a healthy kick of chili pepper.

I just did some online research about this second dish and here, with my wife's translation help (from Italian to English), is a good quick recipe for the second dish above.

Penne alla diavola recipe

Ingredients (serves 4)

500g/17.5oz canned tomatoes
1 hot chilli pepper
1 small sliced onion
2 whole cloves of garlic (peeled)
Parsley leaves, mint and celery
5 tablespoons of olive oil


In a saucepan add the oil to cook the tomatoes, chillis (without seeds), onion, peeled garlic cloves, and chopped herbs.

Season with salt and bring to a boil, over a high heat.

Cook for about 30 mins, stirring and breaking up the tomatoes with a fork.

When the sauce is ready remove the chilli and garlic.

Mix through with al dente penne pasta.

I hope all that's useful Orna. Do let us know how you get on!


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