From Bittman: Penne all’Arrabbiata

This recipe is adapted from the Bittman Project, our dear friends sharing all their knowledge about good Italian food and everything you need to know to be a better cook. Kate Bittman tested this recipe for an Italian gift bundle that we organized together for their readers, and here’s what she has to say about Penne all’Arrabbiata:

You know when people talk about the food tasting better in Italy? That’s because it often is. And while it’s tough to replicate the flavors of Sicilian almonds or fresh-picked San Marzano tomatoes, or real deal balsamic — you can find them in the United States — especially if you seek them out through GUSTIAMO. […] This dish is incredibly simple, but I was semi-shocked by how much GUSTIAMO’S SPECIAL INGREDIENTS brightened it up. Use the peppers to taste (I used a lot — they are so good), but “Arrabbiata” means “angry,” which is a reference to the heat, so this should be almost fiery.

Ingredients

SERVES: 2-3 people
TIME: 15-20 minutes

Extra virgin olive oil (3 tablespoons)
2 Garlic cloves, whole
Chili peppers, (2 teaspoons, or more to taste)
San Marzano tomatoes (400 g / 14 ounces)
Freshly ground black pepper
Penne (250 g / 1 bag / 8.8 ounces)
Trapani Coarse Sea Salt

Preparation

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Put the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the garlic and chili pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is lightly brown. Add the tomatoes, sprinkle with salt and cook on medium-high.
  2. Adjust the heat so the sauce bubbles enthusiastically and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and the mixture begins to thicken and appear more uniform in texture, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. When the water boils, cook the pasta al dente. When it’s done, scoop out and reserve at least 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.
  4. Add the pasta and a splash of the cooking water to the sauce in the skillet and toss to coat, adding a little more oil to create a slightly creamy sauce. Serve, adding a few small circles of peperoncini for an extra peppery kick and a crunchy touch.