Salsa alla Capricciosa

November/December 2009

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (31 votes)

This is a beautifully simple, but full-flavored tomato sauce from Lidia Bastianich. Serve over spaghetti or linguine, tossing the cooked pasta with half the sauce and some Grana Padano cheese, serving the rest of the sauce on top and passing more cheese.

"I have made this three times to unanimous rave reviews. My son even made it for his girlfriend's birthday and she loved it. He was surprised how simple it was, too. Kathy "
Salsa alla Capricciosa

7 Reviews for Salsa alla Capricciosa

Easy but Time Consuming

I grow san marzanos in my garden so i used my own in the recipe, it was about 7lbs total. Also I do not eat pork, so I used a thick cut "turkey bacon" in this recipe. As for the pepperoncinis, if you use the pre-sliced ones you are going to get A LOT more than if you use the whole ones. I used a whole jar of the whole pepperoncinis, and could barely detect any heat or spice. Also make sure you use yellow onions for their sweetness.
The sauce is decent, I deglazed the pan with a little white wine as suggested, after adding the onions. It still needed more sweetness so I added about a tablespoon of sugar which seemed to help. But it is still missing something, herbs maybe. I will add them next time, and use wheat pasta it seems that would be the best pasta for this type of sauce to contrast with the flavors.

San Marzanos, easy

I have made this three times to unanimous rave reviews. My son even made it for his girlfriend's birthday and she loved it. He was surprised how simple it was, too.


I like a bite to my food, but my husband and son aren't quite as enthusiastic about heat, so I cut the amount of pepperocini when I made this. Still, even I found it too hot. I did like the general flavor, though, and I plan to make it again with even less pepperocini.

Re: the tomatoes, I have used San Marzanos for a long time, but I do have to go out of my way a bit to get them. Either in Eating Well or Bon Appetit, a writer recommended Muir Glen Organic Tomatoes, and I find that they also have an excellent flavor. They may be easier to find for some folks.


I loved the idea of canning and freezing this sauce as holiday gifts, so I went the extra mile to special-order guanciale (ordered online) and find an Italian market that sold San Marzano tomatoes. The recipe was really easy, and turned out fabulous, but I plan to make a couple adjustments before my next batch. I agree with another person who commented about how spicy it turned out. We like spicy, but this was too much heat! So I will cut back on the pepperocinis and try a splash of white wine as suggested. There's no question the San Marzano tomatoes are worth the extra effort/expense to obtain. I'm also going to add more guanciale next time. I'm not sure how big a normal "slice" is, and maybe my slices were too small. Overall, a wonderful success!


Fantastic sauce. I used ground tomatoes from my local Italian deli since that's what I had on hand and sliced pepperoncini, again because that's what I had. We will make again and again, and we even used as a pizza sauce for deep dish pizza....awesome!


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