Italian for "devil." Culinarily, this term describes sauces (usually tomato based) that are moderately to liberally spiced with chiles. Such dishes can also be referred to as alla diavola and fra diavolo ("brother devil").
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.