Medium15-20 min4 ServesInexpensive


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Considering it as simple spaghetti with tomato sauce it would be a crime. Spaghetti all’Assassina is very special, spicy, crunchy and above all, it is burnt spaghetti. 

Literally translated as “killer’s spaghetti”, it is a cult in Bari and part of Apulian gastronomic tradition. To taste, it is really  a killer dish. It hits you for the crispiness of its protagonist: spaghetti. 

Instead of being boiled,the spaghetti is cooked directly in the pan by consistently adding water to it every time time the pasta absorbs it, according to the risottatura technique.

This way of cooking requires a lot of attention and religious application of all the rules imposed by the sacred “Accademia dell’Assassina”, starting from the type of pan, iron and of sufficient size to be able to arrange the raw spaghetti without having to break or fold them and proceed with risottatura.

Spaghetti all’Assassina step by step

Spaghetti320 g
Tomato puree400 g
Tomato concentrateTo taste
Chilli peppers2 or more
Garlic2 cloves, cleansed of the soul
Extra virgin olive oil100 ml
SaltTo taste

Preparation method

  • Before starting, know that, in addition to top quality spaghetti, what makes the most difference in the preparation of this dish is the pan, made of iron and at least 36 centimeters (14.17 in) in diameter.
    • It will be necessary to use a pan with a diameter of 36 centimeters that allows you to arrange the raw spaghetti without having to break or fold them and proceed with the risottatura.
    • The pan must be made of iron because it conducts heat in a different way from non-stick ones, so it allows to obtain the burnt effect.
  1. Preparing the broth separately
    • Prepare a broth with water, 300 g of tomato puree and enough concentrate one, to obtain a bright red broth.
    • Add the salt and bring to a boil.
  2. Heat garlic oil and chilli in the pan
    • In the iron pan put the coarsely chopped or dry crumbled fresh chilli pepper and the garlic. Use a whole clove and chop some more.
    • Add plenty of oil and bring to the stove.
  3. Pour the remaining part of the tomato puree into the pan
    • When the garlic begins to brown, remove the larger cloves and raise the heat.
    • Pour 100 g of tomato puree that you have kept aside. Obviously it will splash, but it is a necessary step.
  4. Put the spaghetti in the pan and toast
    • Let the puree dry then add the spaghetti and, without fear, let them stick to the bottom. Spaghetti must be toasted, do not rush.
    • When the pasta in contact with the pan is well toasted and caramelized, move it over the other spaghetti in order to obtain a homogeneous toasting. Help yourself with a spatula so as not to break the spaghetti in the operation.
  5. “Risottatura” with the broth you have prepared
    • Add a little broth at a time, as it is absorbed by the spaghetti. it is important not to pour the broth directly on the spaghetti but on the sides of the pan, so as not to drown the pasta.
    • Before turning the spaghetti, wait for the broth to dry a little, let the spaghetti toast well, then resist another 10 seconds and then turn the pasta; this process requires a lot of coldness and calm, it is important not to be in a hurry to turn the dough.
    • Continue like this for about 8/10 minutes when the spaghetti should finally be ready; clearly some spaghetti will be more cooked, others will be more al dente or crunchy.

At the end of cooking, you are ready to taste one of the most typical dishes of the city of Bari: buon appetito!

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