At least once a week, especially on those nights that time is limited, we enjoy pasta as a main course. Of course, we have our favorites, but once in a while, I like to try something new. Recently, I’ve started getting the Cooking Newsletter from New York Times and this is where I came across Mario Batali’s recipe for a Roman classic: Penne all’Arrabbiata, or “furious penne.” As its name might lead you to believe, this is a spicy dish and the spice, or “fury” comes from one source: dried red pepper flakes, or peperoncini.
Batali’s recipe calls for a tablespoon of hot-red pepper flakes, but as I use the Calabrian variety, which I believe are considerably hotter than most, I reduce this amount considerably. But let your own palate be the judge. It also calls for 1/2 cup of tomato paste, which is toasted briefly with the peperoncini in olive oil. This makes for an intense tomato flavor, especially if you use the concentrated Italian variety that comes in a tube.
Like many of Batali’s dishes, this pasta is finished with an additional 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil that contributes a silky texture to the sauce.
I urge you to make this recipe; it’s simple, quick, and well, just delicious.
1. Toast the tomato paste and peperoncini:
2. Add the chopped tomatoes and remove from heat:
3: Add the cooked pasta, some reserved pasta water, and toss over medium heat. Finish with olive oil.
Wine Pairing: Frascati, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo