Anyone that knows me knows that one of my favourite things to eat is simply pasta with a good tomato sauce (perfect example – my pasta with fresh tomato sauce), however add some heat to that tomato sauce and I'm really happy!
People say when you eat out (especially if you don't do it very often) you should try and order something that you wouldn't make at home, however I have to admit if I ever see Penne Arrabiata on the menu I am absolutely torn as I love it so much(and normally end up ordering it!)
Years ago when I was at University I was told by an Italian friend that Arrabiata literally means “fiery pasta” which I absolutely love, so feel free to make this sauce as fiery and spicy as you like! To make it more substantial you could add meat such as some spicy sausage.
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1-2 fresh red chillies, de-seeded if you want it less intense, or ½ – 1tsp dried chilli flakes (depending on how hot you want it)
2 x 400ml/ 1 x 28oz tin of tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper
Small handful of fresh basil leaves
400 - 500g penne pasta
Extra virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese, finely grated
In a large pan heat then oil add the garlic and chilli and cook gently for a minute before adding the tomatoes, sugar and seasoning. Simmer gently for at least 30 minutes, stirring from time to time. Check to taste the seasoning.
While the sauce is simmering cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to packet instructions. Once the pasta is al dente drain it reserving a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water. Add the water to the pasta sauce along with the pasta and stir well so that it's all evenly coated in the sauce.
Serve in either a large serving platter or in 4 individual bowls. Drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil then scatter the basil leaves on top and finally finish with a good grating of Parmesan.