Arrabbiata, or ‘angry style’ in its direct translation, is a racy tomato sauce for pasta; typically penne due to its tubular shape and surface ridges allowing for maximum sauce cling. It is fiery and unapologetic, treasured by Italians who squabble over its authenticity, whatever it may be.
Playfully described as ‘The Cantankerous Tomato Sauce’ by www.thedailyeater.com due to the heat from the chilli (and the fact that it evokes passion/preciousness/anger in its devotees), this recipe appears to be used to represent a person who knows their stuff, culinary speaking. An episode of I’m Alan Partridge shows Alan having lunch with a significantly more successful colleague. Alan, unsure of what to order, looks to his co-eater who asks for ‘penne all’arrabbiatta’ in a faux Italian accent with a side of superiority; ‘this guy knows where he’s going in life’ is supposed to spring to mind at this point.
It should be known, though, that the appeal of this dish does not lie cheaply in its sassy name or in its status among its groupies. It has a vibrant yet simple flavour: something Italians are serious about. Italians do not deal well with ‘fuss’ when it comes to food and instead put their faith in top quality ingredients simply brought together. This sauce is exemplary of this ethos…if you get it ‘right’!
60ml extra virgin olive oil
3/4 clove of garlic, finely sliced
1tsp (or more, according to taste) crushed red chilli flakes
3 medium peeled tomatoes, chopped
2 tbl sp fresh parsley, finely chopped
Heat the oil in a large frying pan. When hot add the garlic and chilli flakes, cook until the garlic is golden brown (not too much or it will be bitter). Reduce the heat and add the tomatoes and a good pinch of salt. Cook uncovered until the sauce thickens, about 20 minutes.
In the meantime cook pasta to packet instructions or until it is al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce, stir to fully coat. Serve in warmed bowls with a sprinkling of parsley on each one.
Next up will be the review I did of the new Nigella Lawson book, Kitchen. This afternoon I am attempting her tomato curry with coconut rice so I will include that also, along with my opinion on it..naturally!
Until then x