Chili Crisp Is The Pasta Sauce Addition For A Layered, Savory Base

Pasta is one of the more generous pantry staples. Very little is required to transform noodles into a cohesive and delicious dinner. Whether it's wilted greens or odds and ends from a leftover charcuterie tray, almost anything can work as a sauce to your pile of pasta. With this fast and casual approach in mind, consider bringing one of your best condiments to the pasta party: chili crisp.

Made up of aromatic dried spices, garlic, and chilies that have been fried in a pool of oil, chili crisp is the kind of condiment that ups the ante of any savory dipping sauce. But this delicious mix would also perfectly coat a heap of angel hair pasta at home, imparting tangy heat with every bite. Think of it as a way to make a spicier, Asian take on spaghetti aglio e olio, the garlic and olive oil pasta that Italians love. Or you can layer chili crisp into your other favorite pasta sauce to underline its savory depth. It'll punch up a plain marinara sauce in no time and add some welcome spice to a butter-based sauce as well.

Upping the heat with chili crisp

Consider how complex or simple you want your pasta dinner to be. If you're running low on ingredients, keep it an ingredient-light meal by using 8 ounces of pasta, 1 or 2 tablespoons of chili crisp, and little else. Bitter greens like kale or arugula can be tossed in with this, as well as pungent herbs like parsley and basil. For added richness, you can sear off some bacon or pancetta and mix that in as well.

If you'd rather start with a more traditional sauce, look to a classic marinara recipe. Acidic and sweet tomatoes welcome a bit of heat (and crunch) from the chili crisp. Stir in 1 tablespoon of chili crisp per batch of sauce. As is, this mix resembles an arrabbiata sauce with an Asian twist, but feel free to add in some meatballs to make it truly retro Italian fare. A dash of chili crisp would even work well with vodka sauce, butter sauce, or a cheese-forward Alfredo sauce. Basically, anywhere you feel like adding in some red pepper flakes to balance out the richness of your pasta sauce, consider stirring in chili crisp instead.