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Pasta alla gingara: the original Calabrian recipe

Gypsy pasta

Gypsy pasta is a recipe full of fresh and colorful ingredients, cooked in different stages and combined to create an appetizing and beautiful dish!

Pasta alla gingara is a rich and colorful first course, it is often defined as a variant of pasta alla puttanesca , but it differs in the addition of tuna, anchovies, cherry tomatoes, olives and capers that give the dish a unique flavor. As per the Calabrian tradition, it can be flavored with the addition of chilli and fresh basil. The recipe is ideal for a family lunch or as a delicious dinner with friends.

The origin of spaghetti alla gingara is not entirely certain, in fact some say they were born in Veneto and others in Calabria. One of the most interesting stories, however, traces its origins back to 1725 , when a cook of Cardinal Marco Cornelio Bentivoglio tried to remedy a mistake in the kitchen. The cook was intent on preparing the cappelletti when she realized she had run out of filling : in order to avoid the wrath of her masters she decided to use the surplus pasta in a different form made with her scallop and improvised a sauce very similar to how we know today.

Let’s see together how to prepare Calabrian gypsy pasta.

Gypsy pasta
Gypsy pasta

Preparation of spaghetti alla gingara

  1. Brown a clove of garlic in a pan with a little extra virgin olive oil . Be careful not to let it burn, use low flame.
  2. Add the anchovies in oil and stir until they melt.
  3. Then add the pitted olives cut into rounds or halves, stir and add the capers.
  4. Incorporate the drained tuna well and mix the ingredients over a low heat.
  5. Add the cherry tomatoes cut in half, the chilli pepper and the basil, leaving it to cook for about twenty minutes.
  6. Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water, drain when al dente and pour into the pan with the sauce.
  7. Mix everything without mixing too strongly . Your spaghetti alla gingara are ready to go to the table!

For gourmets and lovers of pasta recipes with abundant and delicious sauces we recommend the recipe for pasta alla zozzona , with which you can say goodbye to the diet!


Like all pasta dishes with sauce, the ideal is to consume them immediately after preparation. In case you have any leftovers, you can keep them for a maximum of 1 day in the refrigerator. You can then revive the pasta in a pan with a knob of butter or consume it at room temperature .


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