dinner, Italian, Pasta & Pizza, Recipes

spicy summer heirloom tomato orecchiette

In 15 minutes you can cook up this sure-to-be-loved pasta dish.

Oh summer tomato, how I love thee! Is there anything better than a big, juicy, ripe freshly picked summer ‘mater? Nope! While I do feel like cooking these freshies is a bit of a sin (they are so good just straight up) – this recipe was a great way to use up some of our late summer harvest.

Also, can we get an AMEN for orecchiette? It’s a perfect pasta. They’re like mini bowls of flavor-town. I adore the brand Giuseppe Cocco for Orecchiette which I pick up from Tony’s Italian Deli + Subs in Edison Park. If you’ve never visited it’s a must for an Italian sub and for amazing quality ingredients, especially olive oil. This place is yet another delicious treasure shared with us from our best pal foodie gurus D + Laura.

I love this recipe because it has few ingredients but each plays a perfectly delicious role in making this dish pop. The sauce is slightly sweet and has as much kick as you want to give it (with that sassy Calabrian chili paste). And the garden fresh basil on top of perfectly al dente orecchiette…uh, heck yes y’all!

heirloom tomato orecchiette pasta

This recipe is also super forgiving. If you don’t have a large heirloom tomato, you can use a cup of grape or cherry tomatoes or plum tomatoes would work great as well. You can also easily substitute half an onion for the shallots. I’m a big fan of tossing in ingredients you have on hand!

heirloom tomato orecchiette served in east fork pottery coupe dish

I hope you enjoy this incredibly simple but tasty pasta that showcases the best that the end of summer has to offer.

Spicy Tomato Pasta

Spicy Summer Tomato Orecchiette

A bright slightly spicy delicious and easy pasta dish, perfect for a weeknight meal.
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Italian


  • 1 Lb Orecchiette Pasta
  • 1 Extra Large Yellow or Red Heirloom Tomato
  • 2 Shallots
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Tsp Calabrian Chili
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Freshly Cracked Pepper
  • 2 Tbs Grated Parmesan for Topping
  • 1 Bunch Chopped Fresh Basil for Topping


  • Get a large pot of water boiling over high heat. While the water is heating, get the sauce going. Once the water boils, cook the pasta until al dente.
  • Dice the tomato and set aside.
  • Mince the shallots and garlic and set aside.
  • Add 2 Tbs of olive oil to a large saucepan and turn to medium heat.
  • Add the tomatoes, shallot, garlic, Calabrian chili, salt and pepper to the pan, stir together and cover with a lid. Cook for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and mush (official cooking term) the tomato pieces with the back of a wooden spoon. This will help get the bursty tomato juices into the sauce.
  • Turn the heat up to high and cook for just an additional three to five minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly.
  • Finally, remove the sauce from the heat and add the pasta, tossing together well.
  • Serve topped with fresh basil and parmesan cheese.
Keyword Easy Dinner Recipe, Fresh Tomato Pasta Sauce, Pasta Recipe, Spicy Pasta Sauce, Weeknight Dinner Recipe

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