Mains | 30 Minutes or Less, Cooking for One or Two | Pasta & Grains, Vegetables
START TO FINISH: 20 minutes
*Notes: Use 2 ounces of dry pasta for each serving, and toss with 1/3 cup of the sauce. The recipe makes 12 servings (4 cups).
2 ounces dry penne pasta for each serving, *see Notes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, *see Notes
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
Shredded Parmesan cheese, to taste, for serving
1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set hot cooked pasta aside.
2. While pasta is cooking, heat oil over medium heat in a 2-quart or larger saucepan. Add garlic and red pepper flakes to hot oil. Add chopped red pepper, salt and stir and cook for 2 minutes or until pepper begins to soften. Add tomatoes, and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer sauce until pasta is done.
3. For each serving, toss hot pasta and 1/3 cup of sauce together in a pasta bowl. Top each serving with shredded Parmesan cheese, to taste, and serve.
Sometimes a pasta sauce comes along that absolutely captivates me. That’s exactly what happened on my recent trip to the French and Italian Riviera. Today’s pasta sauce is so pure, so simple, and yet so different from anything I’ve ever eaten. I wonder how I’ve missed it this long. Italian restaurants (even in France) that dot the coast are as abundant as the tourists. And just like here in the U.S., some are bad, some are good and some are amazing. But we did our duty -- trying out as many restaurants as we could. Without fail every menu featured Penne all’Arrabbiata, (also spelled Penne Arrabiatta and Penne al’Arabbiata). After the third Italian restaurant, we decided to see what this staple was all about. We were hooked. No matter the number of l’s, r’s , b’s or t’s, the sauce was the same spicy, garlic-laden treat we just couldn’t get enough of. As soon as I returned home, I flew into the test kitchen to try my hand at the sauce. Cloves of garlic and bottles of hot pepper flakes later, I hit the perfect blend of spicy hot peppers and tangy sweet tomatoes that I remember. Because it is so much easier to find a 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes (than 14), my sauce makes 4 cups. At 1/3 cup of sauce per serving, it serves 12. But it won’t go to waste! The sauce freezes beautifully. Just thaw and toss with future batches of pasta for a really quick, delicious dinner. I’m still working on finding my way back to the salty ocean breezes that accompanied each meal along the Riviera. Until then, I’ve got a freezer full of a simple, classic pasta sauce that pleases all the same and in just 20 minutes.
Approximate Values Per serving*: 240 calories (8% from fat), 2 g fat (.5 g saturated), no cholesterol, 9 g protein, 48 g carbohydrates, 3 g dietary fiber, 139 mg sodium
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