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Killer spaghetti - enjoy
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5 from 1 vote

Killer spaghetti (spaghetti all'assassina)

Spaghetti all'assassina, which translates into "killer spaghetti", is one of the most iconic pasta recipes from Bari, the main city in Puglia. Created as a way to re-cycle the sauce left-overs, it is now a lot more than a simple cooking classic!
Cook Time35 mins
Sauce thickening15 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Primo
Cuisine: Bari, Italian, Pugliese
Keyword: Poor, Regional, Spicy, tasty, Traditional
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 450kcal
Cost: less than 1$


  • an iron pan
  • a wooden spoon
  • two pots
  • a ladle


  • 400 gr spaghetti
  • 700 gr tomato sauce Plain tomato sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 red hot chili pepper
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


  • Prepare the 2 pots and the pan. Pour the tomato sauce into one of the pots and start thickening the sauce at low heat. It will take about 15 minutes until the sauce is ready for the recipe.
    Killer spaghetti - thicken the sauce
  • In the other pot, pour 2 ladles of water and make it boil. When it's hot, add 2 ladles of the thick tomato sauce and mix them. Just make sure to save 2-3 ladles of thick sauce. You are making a sort of "tomato sauce broth" that you will use to cook the pasta, with a technique similar to the one used to cook a risotto. And similarly to what you do with risotto, while you prepare the broth toast the spaghetti in the pan, at medium-high heat.
    Killer spaghetti - broth and pasta toasting
  • Add the EVO oil, the garlic cloves and the red hot chili pepper: enjoy the smell and the music for few second, then...
    Killer spaghetti - spices
  • ... pour two ladles of hot tomato sauce broth. What a view! Now at medium heat, enjoy the slow cooking of the spaghetti in this delicious broth.
    Killer spaghetti - add the broth
  • When the spaghetti are not hard anymore, remove the garlic and the red hot chili pepper. Continue cooking, adding tomato broth or thick sauce, alternately.
    Killer spaghetti - almost ready
  • When the spaghetti are ready, add in the centre of the pan 1 ladle of thick tomato sauce, mix and switch the heat to the maximum. Enjoy the view of the smoke rising for 1 minute to 2, accordingly to how crunchy you want the result. In my experience and with my toolset, 1.5 minute is perfect. Now your first spaghetti all'assassina are ready. The result is a pasta with amazing taste, normal consistency apart from the crunchy ones, truely delicious. Enjoy!


  • I strongly recommend using an iron pan, as required by tradition. My choice here is a De Buyer mineral B ( I own 2 of those, with different sizes. Best purchase ever)
  • I give instructions for 4 people, as almost always, but in this case, the pictures refer to a 2 people preparation. Since it's spicy, my daughter was not part of the deal ;)