April 17, 2009

Fierce penne from Rome – penne all’arrabbiata

This is a super simple pasta dish to make and a perfect example of the Roman cucina povera. Penne all’arrabbiata means penne pasta in a rage… and their anger is expressed by being really spicy!

1 lb penne pasta
1 ¾ cup passata di pomodoro or good tomato sauce
2 Tbsp peperoncino (red pepper flakes – or 2 small and fresh hot peppers)
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water. Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium heat and using 2 Tbsp of olive oil, sauté the garlic together with the peperoncino for a minute or so (be careful since we don’t want to burn the garlic). Add the tomatoes and the remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Let the sauce cook for about 5 minutes, just until the pasta is al dente. Drain the pasta and toss it over the sauce. Give a quick stir, add the parsley, and your penne all’arrabbiata is ready to serve!

Instead of tomato sauce, you can also use about 15 oz ripe tomatoes (peeled, chopped and seeds discarded) or 15 oz canned San Marzano tomatoes (pelati).

If you want a less-angry version of penne all’arrabbiata, use 1 garlic clove and 1 Tbsp peperoncino.

In Italy, pasta is condita, which means seasoned with a sauce. That’s why you’d probably find traditional recipes a bit scarce in sauce by international standards.

So, there’s no cheese in this recipe? In traditional recipes, usually cheese is not added to a sauce when you’re using garlic.

Despite my love for Giada de Laurentiis, arrabbiata sauce does not call for pancetta or bacon. If you use pancetta then you’ll be getting something closer to pasta all’amatriciana. The use of onion is also a widespread mistake. In sum, onion, pancetta and cheese (even pecorino romano) are considered a sacrilege to the traditional recipe!
Posted by Daziano at 9:13 PM |  
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