Serious Eats: Recipes
Dinner Tonight: Spaghetti All'arrabbiata
All'arrabbiata means "angry style", and that's all you really need to know about this recipe. It's a tomato sauce with a kick. Usually that comes from crushed red pepper flakes, but I found this recipe from FX Cuisine that trades the flakes for a scotch bonnet, one fiercely hot chile (I used its close cousin, the habanero). I thought it was there just for a little shock value. I imagined the pasta so hot only those blessed with incredible spice tolerances could take it. But something happens to the chile during the cooking process. Since only a little bit is used, the shocking spiciness fades away into a glorious lingering glow that isn't, shockingly, that hot at all.
It also lends an incredible fruity flavor that transforms this into one of the better basic tomato sauces I'd made in ages. It's odd that that little chile could add so much flavor. That's fine and all, but I also wanted some ringing heat so I also added some red pepper flakes. If you are timid with spice, you might want to leave that addition out. Penne is most commonly used for this kind of sauce, but all I had was spaghetti and it held up well. This is basically a pantry meal, after all. It just happens to be one with loads of flavor.