Penne all'Arrabbiata: This simple dish from the Lazio region comes together quickly, and with the right, quality ingredients, can be elevated to supreme.
-1 large pot of salted water for cooking pasta
-1.1 lbs bag of organic penne rigate pasta
-1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
-1 jar (18oz) of DOP San Marzano tomatoes (recommended, but you can use other tomatoes)
-1 tbsp. Bomba di Calabria Hot Pepper Paste*
-Small handful of finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
-4 tbsp. quality 100% Italian extra virgin olive oil
-Generous amount (1/4 cup or so) of freshly grated Pecorino Romano
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add a small handful of Italian coarse sea salt. When the water has come to a full boil, add the pasta and stir. While the water is coming to a boil and pasta is cooking, put 4 tbsp. of olive oil in a large, preheated sauté pan on medium heat. The pan should be large enough to add your cooked pasta to later so it and the sauce can be stirred together. Put the San Marzano tomatoes in a separate bowl and crush by hand, or you can carefully crush them directly over the pan when you are ready to add. When the oil in the pan is heated, add the garlic and sauté until just golden, then add the tomatoes and stir. Add the Bomba di Calabria Hot Pepper Paste. Stir. Simmer the sauce until the pasta is almost ready. Reserve ¼ cup of the pasta water then strain.
Note: You want to pull your pasta off the stove and out of the water just before it is to your preferred tenderness. The reason is that you will put the pasta into the sauce and finish cooking it there so it will absorb some of the flavor and extra liquid in the sauce.
Add the pasta to the sauce and stir well over medium heat until the pasta is at your desired tenderness and is well coated. If your sauce is thicker than you like, add some of the reserved pasta water. Remove from heat and add half of the pecorino cheese and parsley. Stir well. Now you're ready to serve! Put the pasta into your serving dish, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and top with the remaining pecorino cheese.
Serves 6-8 people
*The Bomba di Calabria Hot Pepper Paste can be added small amounts at a time so you can adjust the heat to your liking.