Recipe Review

I Tried the Pasta Queen’s “Devil’s Kiss Pasta” and It’s Outrageously Good

published Jun 7, 2021
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Credit: Sara Tane

If you’ve never watched The Pasta Queen’s TikTok videos, I urge you to do so right now. Not only does her food look amazing, but her dramatic, voiceover storytelling is also some of the best free content currently on the internet. I mean, how can we forget her assassin’s spaghetti? She’s serving us delicious recipes and haunted stories of our ancestors all in one 60-second video.

In one of her recent videos she walks us through a creamy vodka sauce pasta and, folks, you’re going to want to buckle up for this one. The second I saw that pancetta, Calabrian chili paste, and vodka were all involved, I knew I had no other option than to give this dish a whirl.

How to Make Devil’s Kiss Pasta

At its core, this dish is not far off from your standard penne alla vodka — it just has some fiery additions, hence the name “Devil’s Kiss.” First, pan-sear some pancetta in olive oil. Add chopped onions, minced garlic, and tomato paste, then smoke the aromatics in a glug of vodka. Add some Calabrian chili paste (a spicy condiment made in the Calabria region of Italy) and fire-roasted tomatoes for a kick of smoky heat. Next, round it all out with a drizzle of heavy cream. Cook a short pasta shape (such as rigatoni or penne) to al dente and stir it into the tomato sauce along with some reserved pasta water and plenty of Parmesan. 

The Pasta Queen then instructs you to “massage like a temptress.” I went back to my notes from culinary school and I must have been absent the day we went over that technique, so I opted to gently stir everything together until the sauce was thick and glossy. Finally, the pasta is finished off with some fresh basil.

Credit: Sara Tane

My Honest Review of the Pasta Queen’s Devil’s Kiss Pata

I am a big fan of this dish. Frankly, I think it’s a better, more powerful version of penne alla vodka. There is nothing inherently wrong with penne alla vodka, but if I’m craving a creamy, tomato-based pasta dish, I would definitely choose the devil’s kiss (hehe) over anything else.

The pancetta added a salty, meaty bite, while the Calabrian chiles and fire-roasted tomatoes gave the creamy sauce a spicy kick and an interesting depth of flavor. I am not Italian, but one of my favorite pantry ingredients to cook with is Calabrian chiles, so shout out to the Italian grandmothers for putting me on to this gold mine of spicy, peppery flavor. This dish was a nice reminder to use this stuff more often.

Credit: Sara Tane

My #1 Tip for Making Devil’s Kiss Pasta

There doesn’t appear to be a formal, written recipe, but I think that’s all the more reason to embrace this dish. Add enough pancetta so that your meat craving is satisfied (or skip it if you prefer to keep the dish vegetarian). How much garlic do you add? IDK, how much garlic can you handle? Not sure how much Calabrian chile paste to add? Add a small amount, taste it, and see if you want more heat. The amount of cream you add should be however creamy you want the sauce to be. Does the pasta sauce seem too thick? Drizzle in some reserved pasta water to loosen it up. As always, be liberal with the Parm.

The measurements are inconsequential, so feel empowered to eyeball it and let your tastebuds be the guide on this fiery pasta journey.

Have you made Devil’s Kiss pasta before? Let us know in the comments!