Two Years Ago: Sesame Seed Chicken Salad
Arrabbiata is a spicy sauce for pasta made from garlic, tomatoes, and red chili peppers cooked in olive oil. The word "arrabbiata" literally means angry in Italian, which supposedly is a reference to the spiciness of the sauce. If that's true, this recipe is more grumpy than angry - it's mildly to moderately spicy depending on how much crushed red pepper you add. Additional depth of flavor comes from the paprika and optional pepperoncini without adding a lot of heat. I just happened to have a jar of pepperoncini in my refrigerator (no idea why) so I added some, but didn't notice it in the finished dish so I listed it as optional. I don't think it's worth buying an entire jar just for this recipe.
In addition to being spicy, Arrabbiata recipes often include black olives and capers to give it additional flavor and texture. I particularly like the salty pop of the capers.
This is a simple, fast healthy and light pasta dish that won't weigh you down but is perfect comfort food on a cold night. And, it even qualifies for meatless Mondays.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup pitted black olives, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons drained capers, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
¼ - ½ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes, depending on your preference
½ teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
2 tablespoons stemmed, seeded and minced pepperoncini (optional)
1 28-ounce can crushed Italian tomatoes
1 pound hot cooked pasta
Grated Parmesan Reggiano
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the olives, capers, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, red pepper flakes, paprika, anchovy paste and pepperoncini and sauté for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and simmer until reduced slightly, about 20 minutes. Add 1-2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan to the sauce and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings.