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January 8, 2024

Lemony Calabrian Chili Pasta

A Calabrian chili pasta dish highlighting our favorite DeLallo products from Italy, including the freshest Italian Tomato Purée, Crushed Calabrian chilis, and Shellbow noodles to scoop it all up.


a bowl of homemade lemony Calabrian chili pasta topped with parmesan cheese and fresh parsley

This sponsored post is written by TMP on behalf of DeLallo Foods. The opinions and text are all ours. Thank you for supporting the brands we love.

More saucy pastas to love.

From Italy, With Love

Picture this: you’re a little chili pepper in Calabria in Southern Italy. The soil is fairly acidic, you grow with a lot of sunshine and little rain. The mild Mediterranean breeze is helping you become a smoky, spicy chili pepper beloved for the heat you pack when added to a recipe. Life is good.

This is how all of DeLallo’s Chopped Calabrian Chilis begin, and that’s why we love them in this bright and spicy lemony Calabrian pasta recipe. DeLallo Foods is a family owned company that has imported high-quality Italian and Mediterranean food products for three generations.

a bowl of homemade lemony Calabrian chili pasta surrounded by a bag of shellbow pasta noodles and jarred calabrian chilis

What Is Calabrian Chili Paste?

Calabrian chili paste is made by crushing whole calabrian chilis and adding oil. DeLallo has been sharing their passion for high-quality Italian products, including Calabrian chilis and Italian Tomato Purée in this recipe, from their family-run marketplace since 1950. We love DeLallo’s Chopped Calabrian Chilis because the oil is liquid gold and is a flavorful ingredient on its own! Drizzle it over Soft-Scrambled Eggs or Pea and Prosciutto Pizza after you’ve made this creamy calabrian chili pasta. Calabrian chilis add a smoky and spicy element to recipes, giving this pasta recipe a touch of earthy heat.

How hot is Calabrian chili paste? Calabrian chili paste is slightly less hot than the whole Calabrian pepper from which it’s made because the oil and added spices tame the heat. Think gentle warmth versus Hot Ones face sweat.

Delallo shellbow noodles, calibrian chilis, tomato puree, olive oil, parmesan, lemon, cream, basil and salt in prep bowls

Ingredients You’ll Need To Make Lemony Calabrian Pasta

  • DeLallo Italian Tomato Purée – A solid start to any sauce! DeLallo’s Italian Tomato Purée is made from in-season plum tomatoes, capturing the essence of Italy’s finest.

  • DeLallo Chopped Calabrian Chilis – The hero ingredient of this pasta is the best Calabrian chili paste. We’re all about the perfect balance of spicy flavor for our lemony Calabrian pasta recipe.

  • DeLallo Shellbows – Shellbows, or lumache as they’re known in Italy, are great vessels for this creamy pasta sauce.

  • Heavy cream and Parm – We think these luxurious additions make every pasta dish worth writing home about.

  • Lemons – Another essential part of cooking in southern Italy, where they grow big and juicy in the warm sunshine. We use the zest (so make sure you zest your lemon before slicing it, we’ve all made that mistake before!) and the juice in our zesty pasta sauce.

garlic being cooked in olive oil in a pot
tomatoes, calabrian chilis, and salt being added to a pan with olive oil and garlic
tomatoes, calabrian chilis, salt, olive oil and garlic being stirred together in a pan wit a wooden spoon
heavy cream, parmesan, lemon juice & zest being added to a pot with tomatoes, calabrian chilis, salt, olive oil and garlic

Lemony Calabrian Pasta In Five Steps

The full details can be found in the method section of our recipe, but here’s an overview for making a big beautiful bowl of noodles.

  • Make the sauce. Cook garlic, tomatoes, and crushed calabrian chili paste with a kiss of salt. Simmer gently until thickened.

  • Boil the pasta. You’ve heard that pasta water should be salty like the Mediterranean Sea, but that’s not entirely true. The water should be salty, because your DeLallo Shellbows will absorb some of the salt from the cooking water. For our best practices, check out our How To Boil Water guide. Cook your pasta until al dente.

  • Get zesty. Add lemon zest, heavy cream, and parmesan to the tomato and chile sauce. The cheese will be melty, the sauce will be creamy, and your mouth will be watering.

  • Mix it up. Stir the perfectly al dente DeLallo Shellbows into the lemony calabrian tomato sauce. Garnish with a sprinkle of minced parsley, grated parmesan, and more chopped Calabrian chilis in their flavorful oil for a truly gorgeous dish.

cooked shellbow pasta being added to pan with homemade pasta sauce
homemade lemony calabrian chili pasta being stirred in a pot with a wooden spoon

Where To Buy Calabrian Chili Paste and DeLallo Products For Your Home Italian Pantry

Ready to make this Calabrian chili pasta sauce to stir into a big pot of DeLallo’s Shellbows? You can get DeLallo’s complete range of authentic, innovative and high-quality Italian food products from their easy-to-shop web store.

homemade lemony calabrian Chili pasta topped with parmesan and parsley in a pot
a bowl of homemade lemony calabrian chili pasta topped with parmesan and parsley next to sliced lemons

More Citrus And Spice-Filled Recipes From The Modern Proper

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Lemony Calabrian Chili Pasta

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  35 min
  • Calories: 457


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 (24-ounce) jar DeLallo Italian Tomato Purée
  • 2 tablespoons DeLallo Chopped Calabrian Chilis, plus more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ pound DeLallo Shellbows
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • Minced parsley, for serving (optional)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium. Once the oil is glistening, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  2. Add the tomatoes, calabrian chilis, and salt and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 25 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook, according to package instructions, until al dente. Drain.

  4. Add the heavy cream, parmesan, and lemon zest and juice to the tomato sauce and stir until the cheese melts and the sauce is creamy, 3-4 minutes.

  5. Add the pasta to the sauce and stir until coated. To serve, garnish with parsley, parmesan cheese, and calabrian chilis if desired.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories457
  • Protein15 g
  • Carbohydrates46 g
  • Total Fat24 g
  • Dietary Fiber2 g
  • Cholesterol59 mg
  • sodium788 mg
  • Total Sugars6 g

Lemony Calabrian Chili Pasta

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.


    Any questions?

    Need to change up some ingredients? Unsure about a step in the method? Click the Ask a Question button above. We’re here for you.

  • Carol

    Delicious!! Lemon and Calabrian chili's are 2 of my favorite ingredients and the pairing worked beautifully. It was very easy to make. This is definitely restaurant worthy!

    Thanks Carol, we are so glad you loved it!

  • Kristine

    Amazing! Restaurant worthy!

    Thanks Kristine, we are so happy you loved it!

  • Robyn

    Delicious! I can't seem to get enough Calabrian Chilis. The lemon was fantastic! If I get a fat ass because of this pasta, it will be totally worth it.

    HAHA! Glad you loved it Robyn!

  • Jessica

    Such a winner, as usual. Really easy to make, seems pretty basic but the combination of flavors elevates it so much. My family raved about it…I added some seasoned ground pork so it would be accepted as a full dinner but definitely don’t need it. Will be making again for sure

    Thanks Jessica, we are so happy you and your family loved it!

  • Kay

    This was such a breeze to make and it was absolutely delicious. Definitely restaurant quality. I'm going to throw this into my fall and winter rotation, probably too often.

    Thanks Kay, we are so glad you loved it!