Filei Piccanti al Pomodoro

I don’t eat pasta very much these days (I’m trying to cut down on the carbs), so when I do, I want it to count.  This hand-rolled Italian semolina pasta with fiery red chili and homemade roasted tomato sauce with fresh herbs fits the bill quite nicely..

Filei Piccanti al Pomodoro

For the Pomodoro Sauce

8 ripe red tomatoes, cored, roasted and skinned
2/3 cup yellow onion, finely diced
3-4 cloves fresh garlic, slivered
2 tablespoons raw olive oil, plus more if needed
1/4 cup (loosely packed) whole purple basil leaves, dried
1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh herbs such as oregano and green basil
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic has “melted” and the onions Oven-roasted tomatoeshave all but disappeared, about 20 minutes.  Drizzle in additional olive oil if needed to keep the vegetables moist while cooking, taking care to prevent browning.

Crush the tomatoes by hand into the pan with the vegetables.  Crumble the purple basil into the tomatoes and stir to combine.  Allow mixture to boil for a moment, then partially cover and reduce heat to low.  Simmer, stirring often, until most of the water has evaporated, about 30 minutes. The sauce should be very thick.

Cook the pasta according to package instructions, cutting the time by 2 or 3 minutes.  Stir enough of the boiling pasta water into the tomato sauce to thin it to a spoon-able consistency, then quickly add the pasta and herbs to the pan.  Stir and simmer for the remaining 2-3 minutes until the pasta is finished.

Season the dish with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste, then turn out into individual bowls.  Lightly drizzle with raw olive oil and top with a little sharp cheese, if desired and serve immediately.

This post is part of Meatless Monday, a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns,
in association with the Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health

0 thoughts on “Filei Piccanti al Pomodoro

  1. Wow, this looks great! I’ve been wanting to try an olive-oil-heavy sauce with some of our garden tomatoes, hoping that it will freeze well. But I’ve never heard of “raw” olive oil. How is that different from regular extra-virgin olive oil?

    • Thanks, Kim!

      By raw, I mean that it is cold centrifuge extracted at a temperature of 80.6F or below, ensuring the retention of the all-important *polyphenol antioxidant*s (around 300mg/liter or higher). Look for labels that say “100% organic, cold-pressed olive oil”.

      Sadly, there are no US labeling laws for “EVOO”. If it doesn’t say “100%” on the label (and very few do), it generally isn’t the good stuff. For some eye-opening reading on the subject, you might take a look at the reports from

      Hope that helps!


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