Salsa alla Capricciosa

4.2 (31)
Salsa alla Capricciosa

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.

Yield: 12 cups, for 24 servings
Active Time: 55
Total Time: 120


  • 10 slices bacon or 6 ounces guanciale (see Note), sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 9 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 24 pepperoncini (about one 16-ounce jar), stemmed, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 4 28-ounce cans peeled San Marzano tomatoes (see Note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Cook bacon (or guanciale) in oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring, over medium heat until very soft, about 10 minutes. Add pepperoncini, tomatoes and salt. Simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, until thick and saucy, about 1 hour, reducing the heat as necessary to maintain a simmer.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Notes: Guanciale is unsmoked, air-cured pork jowl, similar to bacon, but fattier and without the smoky flavor. It’s used to add subtle, delicious pork flavor to Italian sauces, soups and vegetables. Look for it in Italian markets or online at
  • San Marzano tomatoes are a sweet variety of plum tomatoes with an extra-saucy consistency; they make excellent canned tomatoes. Other whole canned tomatoes can be used in their place, but the flavor will not be as special. Look for San Marzano tomatoes near other whole canned tomatoes in well-stocked supermarkets.


Nutrition Per Serving

calories 66
fat 3 g (1 g sat, 2 g mono)
cholesterol 4 mg
carbohydrates 8 g
protein 2 g
fiber 1 g
sodium 411 mg
potassium 42 mg

Nutrition Bonus

Carbohydrate Serving 1/2

Exchanges 1 vegetable, 1 fat

From EatingWell November/December 2009