12 Pasta Recipes from Calabria. (2024)

12 Authentic Pasta Recipes from Calabria.

These 12 pasta recipes from Calabria are just a taste of what this Southern Italian region has to offer. Calabrian cuisine is based on traditional dishes made with locally produced or grown foods. It’s hearty and rich and full of authentic Mediterranean flavours!

12 Pasta Recipes from Calabria. (1)

Since spending some time in Calabria last year, I’m totally in love with the region and the food! We ate so well both on the coast and in the mountains. The Calabrians make and cultivate a lot of great foods and produce. I guess the most well-known are sweet Tropea red onions, olive oil, cacciocavallo cheese, Sila potatoes and the soft spicy sausage, nduja.

12 Pasta Recipes from Calabria. (2)

However, there’s so much more! And when it comes to pasta, there are some amazing dishes! Why not bring a taste of Calabria to your table with some of these 12 pasta recipes.

Click the recipe name to go to the recipe post and instructions.

Some info about Calabrian Nduja.

One of the most popular ingredients in pasta recipes from Calabria is nduja. For those who don’t know it, nduja is a soft, spicy, spreadable sausage/salami. It’s made with pork meat (typically from the throat, underbelly, head and shoulder), a bit of fat, salt and a lot of peperoncino (Italian red chilli pepper).

12 Pasta Recipes from Calabria. (3)

Nduja is one of the most well-known, if not the most famous, of Calabrian salumi. Nowadays you can find it for sale both online and in Italian specialty shops. There are also companies producing it in USA and UK.

12 pasta recipes from Calabria - meat.

Pasta with Nduja.

12 Pasta Recipes from Calabria. (4)

This is the simplest and most traditional pasta with Nduja recipe. The sauce is basically a homemade tomato sauce with nduja melted into it. The more nduja you put, the spicier it becomes. Calabrians make this dish with fileja, a traditional and ancient type of flour and water pasta. However, you can use any short pasta or even spaghetti.

Organic wholewheat pasta with nduja and mushrooms.

12 Pasta Recipes from Calabria. (5)

Mushrooms are a popular and delicious choice to pair with nduja. Traditionally, the mushrooms would be foraged or dried porcini. Calabria’s mountains are full of forests where a large selection of wild mushrooms grow. I used fresh champignons and pioppini (poplar mushrooms). But, you can use any of your favourite mushrooms.

Fileja pasta alla Silana.

12 Pasta Recipes from Calabria. (6)

Pasta alla Silana is one of the most well-known Calabrian pasta dishes. It comes from the mountainous Sila region. This very filling and hearty recipe is full of typical Sila foods. It is actually a pretty popular recipe in other parts of Italy and Calabria, so there are some slightly different versions. However, the main ingredients are mostly the same, tomatoes, sausage, guanciale, porcini mushrooms, caciocavallo cheese, peperoncino and pecorino.

Calabrian baked pasta with meatballs.

12 Pasta Recipes from Calabria. (7)

Known as pasta ‘mbruscinata’ or pasta chijna in the local dialect, this rich and wholesome Calabrian baked pasta with meatballs is a traditional dish for Sundays, holidays and family occasions. Although Italians would traditionally eat this pasta bake as a first course (primo), it’s so loaded with delicious local foods and ingredients that it makes a substantial main course too.

Pasta with Tropea onions and lardo.

12 Pasta Recipes from Calabria. (8)

Pasta alla Toranese is a tasty Calabrian dish made with Tropea onions and lardo (not lard). This recipe comes from the town of Torano Castello in Cosenza Province, Calabria. It is super simple with only 3 main ingredients; Italian lardo, Tropea onions and pecorino cheese. So full of Calabrian flavour and easy to make!

Ditaloni with purple cauliflower and pancetta.

12 Pasta Recipes from Calabria. (9)

I loved the idea of this Calabrian ditaloni with purple cauliflower because it looked so pretty in the pictures I found when I first came across the recipe. But it’s not just a pretty plate of pasta! It’s very tasty too!

12 pasta recipes from Calabria - vegetarian/meatless

Click the recipe name to go to the post and recipe instructions.

Fileja Tropeana.

12 Pasta Recipes from Calabria. (10)

Fileja Tropeana has a colourful and fragrant sauce of summer vegetables; zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes and Calabria’s famous red Tropea onion. There’s also some peperoncino (red chili pepper) which gives this dish a bit of a kick!Of course, you can use other sweet red onions instead and your favourite short pasta.

Calabrian ricotta balls in tomato sauce.

12 Pasta Recipes from Calabria. (11)

Ricotta balls in tomato sauce is a Calabrian recipe that originated among the region’s poorer farming and peasant population, particularly in the mountainous Sila area. Like so many of Italy’s traditional recipes, this is a combination of simple staple ingredients. The delicious ricotta balls are easy to make and you then cook them in a tomato sauce and serve over pasta.

Elicoidali with Tropea onions.

12 Pasta Recipes from Calabria. (12)

An easy but flavourful pasta recipe made with Calabrian red Tropea onions, white wine and Pecorino. Perfect for anyone who loves the combination of cheese and onions!

Long fusilli with pesto Calabrese.

12 Pasta Recipes from Calabria. (13)

Here’s a recipe to spice up your pesto life. Pesto Calabrese is a cold creamy sauce made from tomatoes, red bell peppers and ricotta. It’s very aromatic and slightly or very spicy, depending on your preferences, because of the addition of Calabria’s famous peperoncino (red chili pepper).

Homemade lagane with chickpeas.

12 Pasta Recipes from Calabria. (14)

Made with traditional flour and water pasta this nutritious vegan/vegetarian recipe is probably one of the oldest known pasta recipes. Versions of it were eaten by the Ancient Romans! It’s easy to make and, of course, you can use other types of pasta instead.

12 pasta recipes from Calabria - fish

Pasta with black olive pesto and tuna.

12 Pasta Recipes from Calabria. (15)

I’m always on the lookout for tasty pasta recipes which work well as salads too and don’t take long to make. This recipe for pasta with black olive pesto and tuna from Calabria ticked all the boxes. It takes no time at all to make, it’s very tasty and can be eaten warm or as a salad!

More recipes you may like:

  • Pasta recipes from Sicily
  • Pasta Recipes from Rome and Lazio
  • Pasta Recipes from Naples
  • Pasta recipes from Marche
  • Pasta Recipes from Trentino-Alto Adige
  • Pasta Recipes from Piemonte

If you do try any of these 12 pasta recipes from Calabria, I’d love to hear what you think.Please write a comment here on the blog or post a comment onthe Pasta Project Facebook page.

Your feedback means a lot to me!

Buon Appetito!

Save this post for later in Pinterest.

12 Pasta Recipes from Calabria. (16)

Want to know more about my life in Italy? Why notsubscribeto my newsletter? New subscribers get a free recipe e-book too!

12 Pasta Recipes from Calabria. (2024)


What pasta is Calabria famous for? ›

Stroncatura (or struncatura in the Calabrian dialect) is a typical pasta dish of Calabrian cuisine, and in particular of Gioia Tauro. Although currently widespread throughout Calabria, the area of greatest sale and consumption is to be considered the Tyrrhenian belt of the province of Reggio Calabria.

What is the most famous dish in Calabria? ›

'Nduja. There's perhaps no single ingredient that better represents Calabria than 'nduja. This fiery, salty, funky, and buttery pork salume is so integral to the local cuisine that there's a huge annual festival devoted to it.

What is the national dish of Calabria? ›

Nduja. This is perhaps the most famous Calabrian food. It's a spreadable spicy sausage which incorporates local chilis to provide heat. You'll find it commonly served on bread or pasta and it tastes fantastic.

What is the most famous Italian pasta dishes? ›

The most famous pasta dishes are:
  • Spaghetti Bolognaise.
  • Lasagne.
  • Fettuccine Alfredo.
  • Pasta Carbonara.
  • Ravioli.
  • Pasta alla Norma.
  • Spaghetti alle Vongole.
  • Macaroni Cheese.
Oct 24, 2023

What is the most popular pasta in Calabria? ›

Fileja pasta alla Silana.

Pasta alla Silana is one of the most well-known Calabrian pasta dishes. It comes from the mountainous Sila region.

What do Calabrians eat for breakfast? ›

A Calabrian breakfast can be quite hardcore first thing in the morning – murseddu is a shell of leavened bread, the soft dough moved then mixed with entrails, liver, pancetta, salt pork, and salami served with a hot chilli sauce.

What food is Calabria Italy known for? ›

From lamb and pork to eggplant, and seafood, Calabrian cuisine is packed with fresh meats, zestful produce, and the best homegrown spices for a good time, no matter your preferences. If you're not sure where to start, take a look at our food guide for a rundown of everything you need need to know.

What do you call a woman from Calabria? ›

So, for example, if you were talking about cooking from that area, it would be called cucina calabrese. The English adjectival form is Calabrian, thus Calabrian cuisine. The nationality is also taken from the adjective, so a person from Calabria (male or female) would be a Calabrese (Italian) or Calabrian (English).

What ethnicity is Calabria? ›

Three historical ethnic minorities are present in Calabria: Albanians, Greeks, and Occitans. The Albanian ethnic minority is the more populous, having settled in Calabria between the 15th and 17th centuries, and these populations are now located in the provinces of Cosenza and Catanzaro.

What is a Calabria pizza? ›

“Pizza Calabrese” which includes a minimal amount of cheese (that is to say, usually grated cheese post baking), a slightly thicker crust, possibly a bit of pomodori pelato, and multiple toppings (including mushrooms, olives, onions, etc.).

What are people from Calabria Italy called? ›

• Density. 120/km2 (320/sq mi) Demonym(s) English: Calabrian. Italian: Calabrese.

What cheese is from Calabria? ›

Pecorino Crotonese cheese is exclusively produced with milk of Calabrian sheep of 'Gentile' breed, one of the big autochthonous ovine Italian breeds with a low fat content. It is one of the most valued dairy products of Calabria.

What is Italy's number 1 pasta? ›

Barilla Pasta is Italy's largest dry pasta brand and dominates the European and American markets. With a long-standing reputation as one of the best Italian pasta brands in the United States, Barilla's products are made with high-protein durum wheat flour, ensuring top quality.

What pasta is from southern Italy? ›

In Campania, in the South of Italy, there are many traditional pasta shapes which can be combined with tomato or fresh fish sauces. Vermicelli, mafalde, scialatielli, paccheri, rigatoni, ziti and fusilli are the most famous pasta shapes from Campania.

What are 4 famous Italian pasta dishes? ›

There are four classic Roman pasta dishes: cacio e pepe, carbonara, amatriciana, and alla gricia. Each one is a variation on the other — alla gricia is cacio e pepe plus guanciale, carbonara is gricia plus egg, and so on. These four dishes are famous in all of Italian cooking, not just in Rome.

What type of food is Calabria known for? ›

Pork sausages play a central role, which with Nduja (salami that is not cut, but spread) have conquered the world market. Try soppressata, capocollo, pancetta and sausage from Calabria, for a sensory experience like few others.

What is Calabria Italy known for? ›

Calabria is famous for its crystal clear sea waters and is dotted with ancient villages, castles and archaeological parks. Three national parks are found in the region: the Pollino National Park (which is the largest in Italy), the Sila National Park and the Aspromonte National Park.

What is the region of Calabria Italy known for? ›

Calabria is the region of crystal-clear sea, the Riace Bronzes, Reggio Calabria and Capo Vaticano, a captivating mix of history and beauty.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Cheryll Lueilwitz

Last Updated:

Views: 5287

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (54 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Cheryll Lueilwitz

Birthday: 1997-12-23

Address: 4653 O'Kon Hill, Lake Juanstad, AR 65469

Phone: +494124489301

Job: Marketing Representative

Hobby: Reading, Ice skating, Foraging, BASE jumping, Hiking, Skateboarding, Kayaking

Introduction: My name is Cheryll Lueilwitz, I am a sparkling, clean, super, lucky, joyous, outstanding, lucky person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.