Sunday, May 19 2024

Pasta allo Scarpariello is a traditional Italian dish that isn’t as widely known as other pasta dishes. The name “scarpariello” refers to the shoemaker (scarparo in Italian), and the dish is said to be hearty enough to sustain a hardworking shoemaker.

It’s a simple yet flavorful dish that typically features a tomato-based sauce with cheese and basil.




  • 14 oz (about 1 package) of your favorite pasta (spaghetti, penne, or rigatoni work well)
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small red chili pepper, finely chopped (optional for heat)
  • 1 can (14 oz) of San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves, torn (about 1/2 cup when loosely packed)
  • 1 cup of Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
  • Extra basil leaves for garnish
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente, usually about 8-10 minutes. Reserve about 1 cup of pasta water before draining.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and chili pepper (if using) and sauté for about 1 minute or until the garlic is fragrant but not browned.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Let the sauce simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens slightly.
  4. Stir in the torn basil leaves and half of the grated Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses into the sauce. Mix well until the cheese is melted and the sauce is creamy. If the sauce is too thick, add a little reserved pasta water to reach the desired consistency.
  5. Add the drained pasta to the sauce and toss to coat the pasta evenly. If needed, add more pasta water to make sure the sauce clings to the pasta nicely.
  6. Serve the pasta hot, sprinkled with the remaining grated cheeses and garnished with extra basil leaves.
  7. Enjoy your Pasta allo Scarpariello with a glass of red wine, if desired.
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