Arrabbiata in Italian means "angry," and this recipe is for a spicy hot tomato pasta sauce. It is a typical pasta recipe from the region around Rome, but it can be found also all over the rest of Italy, with different levels of “anger”, from “annoyed” to “furious”, depending on the amount of peperoncino, the red hot pepper flakes you are going to use. In the United States, some suggest adding meat to the Arrabbiata pasta, like pancetta, but that is not per the original recipe, and makes it rather like an Amatriciana pasta recipe. Although some chefs do not recommend it, in my recipe I am suggesting to use fresh basil instead of parsley.
Top this easy, fast and tasty Arrabbiata pasta dish with some grated Pecorino (Romano), and you are set for another success at your table, Italian style.
Ingredients and Instructions (serves 4):
• 1 pound of penne pasta
• 3 tablespoons of olive oil
• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 2 cups of canned tomatoes, chopped and with their juice
• 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
• fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
• Parmigiano or Pecorino (Romano) cheese, freshly grated
1. Peel and finely chop the garlic, pour the olive oil into a large saucepan, and cook over medium-high fire until it just begins to turn golden-blond.
2. Add the chopped tomatoes with their juice, red pepper flakes, and a good pinch of salt.
3. Bring to a light boil, reduce the flame and let simmer until the tomato juice has reduced, which should take around 15 – 20 minutes.
4. When the tomato sauce is reduced, add the basil leaves cut in ribbons (they do not need to be perfect) and let simmer for an additional five minutes.
5. Meanwhile, fill up a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
6. When boiling, add a tablespoon of salt, stir, and then toss the pasta in. Stir again.
7. Cook the penne pasta, al dente, stirring from time to time. When done, drain and toss in the pan with the sauce, stirring immediately to coat the pasta with the sauce, which will prevent it from sticking together.
8. Finally, stir in the grated Pecorino cheese (or Parmigiano cheese, if you prefer) and serve at once.
Wine pairing suggestions:
For this pasta dish, I suggest a red, like an Italian Sangiovese or Valpolicella.