Pasta arriabbiata refers to a tomato, red chili peppers, and garlic-based sauce. I found this recipe* using sun-gold tomatoes and butter and found it absolutely simple, yet delicious. You can use dry pasta, but we made homemade and the flavor made all the difference. You can also use traditional cherry tomatoes, but we absolutely loved the flavor of the sun-gold tomatoes, cooked down. Fresh parmesan, of course is preferred, but store-shredded is also fine. In the end, the sauce itself is very simple – both in ingredients and assembly. If you prefer to make this vegetarian, simply leave out the anchovy paste and add a bit more salt to taste.
If you are going to make homemade pasta, you will need to do so about 2 hours ahead: for assembly, and hour and 1/2 to rest and dry. If not, any shape will do. We made ours with orecchiette, but it is truly your preference. The recipe is here: Pasta – Orecchiette.
You will need:
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 pints sun-gold cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 tbs butter, unsalted
- 1 tsp anchovy sauce
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, dried
- 1 cup shredded parmesan
- Handful of fresh basil, torn
- Kosher salt, as needed
- 1lb dried orecchiette or
- 3 cups semolina flour (fine) & salt for fresh orecchiette (for making fresh pasta)
To make the sauce
- Heat olive oil in heavy pot (like a dutch oven) over medium heat. Also heat separate pot with salted water for your pasta.
- Add garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook until fragrant (about 2 minutes)
- Mix 1 pint of the tomatoes, a pinch of salt and cook until tomatoes burst and become saucy (about 8 -10 minutes)
- Cook fresh pasta in salted water (2-4 minutes, depending on type).
- Using slotted spoon or tongs, transfer pasta to tomato pot. Be sure to save a little starchy pasta water as a reserve.
- Add butter, anchovy sauce, and remaining tomatoes to the pot and stir. Cook until glossy, adding pasta water as needed, until it is creamy. Season with salt and stir in parmesan. Top with fresh basil.
*Pasta recipe is my own. The recipe for the sauce is from Bon Appetit.
Sunday sauce is a rich meaty traditional sauce to serve for a big family meal. It is best cooked low and slow for several hours. You can also add Italian sausage and or meatballs to the sauce, depending on the size of your meal. This makes a very double portion. I use it for a meal for 5-8 people, and freeze the rest for another meal in the future.
You will need:
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 4 pork short ribs (around a 1lb)
- 1/4 pound pancetta
- several Italian sausage links, spicy or sweet depending on preference*
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small carrot, peeled and chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 5-6 fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/3 cup red wine
- Two 28-ounce cans whole peeled Italian tomatoes, crushed by hand
- Two 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes.
- 2 pounds penne, ziti or pasta or your choice (one that can support a hearty meat sauce)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste* if needed
- 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
- In a large enameled cast-iron pot, heat 2 Tbs olive oil until shimmering. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper and add them to the casserole in a single layer along with the sausage links. Cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until browned, around 10 minutes. With tongs, transfer the short ribs and sausages to a plate and set aside..
- Pour off all but 1-2 tablespoons of fat from the pot. Add 2 more Tbs of olive oil. Add the onions & carrot, and a generous pinch of salt; cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, 7-9 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, pancetta and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Deglaze the vegetables and pancetta with 1/3 cup red wine until the liquid is evaporated.
- Add the tomatoes with their juices. Be sure to rinse a little of each can with some extra water to get all the bits, swirl it around and add to the pot. Season with red pepper flakes and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil.
- Return the short ribs, sausages and their juices to the pot, cover partially and simmer over low heat, turning the short ribs occasionally, until the meat is very tender and the sauce is thick, about 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
- 30 minutes before serving: Set a large pot of salted water to boil for your pasta. For your Sunday sauce – add fresh basil leaves 30 minutes before serving. Add more oregano or salt as needed. If necessary, add tomato paste in the last half hour to thicken the sauce as needed. Finish off the sauce with fresh grated parmesan cheese.
- 20 minutes before serving: In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. and set aside
- Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Transfer the pasta and toss well with some of the sunday sauce and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add some of the reserved pasta water and work it in. Top with additional cheese and pieces of meat from the sauce.
There are many iterations and recipes about how to make a good Marinara sauce. Here is what I use – I prefer it because it is simple and a proven winner over the years.
You will need:
- 1 28 oz can whole San Marzano tomatoes (certified DOP, if possible)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 7 garlic cloves, peeled and slivered
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 large basil sprig, fresh
- pinch, crushed red pepper flakes
Pour tomatoes in a bowl and crush with your (clean) hands or use a food processor. Pour 1 cup of water in the empty can and swish to get a little tomato juice. Save it for later.
In a large sauce pan or skillet, heat oil over medium – add garlic when it is ready. As soon as the garlic is sizzling (do not overcook), add the tomatoes. Then the reserved tomato water, the pinch of red pepper flakes, and salt. Stir.
Place the basil sprig (stem included) on the surface. Let it wilt and submerge into the sauce. Simmer until the sauce is thickened and oil on the surface is a deep orange, around 15 minutes.