According to Classic Pasta at Home red pepper flakes make pasta sauce angry.
Look Williams – Sonoma, I’m here to tell you the sauce isn’t angry, it’s just talking! And boy does this Penne with Spicy Tomato Sauce love to talk!
What you’ll need
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes aka angry flakes
- 2 tablespoons of minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 1/2 pound of ripe Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 1 lb of penne
- 1/2 cup of grated pecorino cheese
Your first step is to heat some olive oil over medium heat in a nice large saute pan. Then add the garlic and red pepper flakes. The actual cookbook has a see note asterisk for this. This said note is basically letting you know that if you don’t use the full 1/2 teaspoon of flakes then you won’t be like a Roman.
My reaction to this note is represented below,
A 1/2 teaspoon is not that much sissies! I’d put at least a whole tablespoon.
Ok, I know. I’m being a spice snot. I will get over my spice elitism and advise you to adjust to whatever level you desire. Afterall, I did a ramen spice challenge this past weekend and none of my friends could handle it. One even asked me if I had magical powers.
If that is a power, well you can enlist me in The Mystery Men.
Seriously can someone do that for me?
Once you’ve determined your spice level, saute for about a minute and then add the parsley. Stir that for a few seconds and then add the tomatoes. Kick the burner heat up to medium-high to allow the tomatoes to simmer until they break down. Stir occasionally as you wait for this to happen. In about 15 minutes they should break down into more of a sauce consistency. Feel free to add water to thin out the sauce if necessary and salt to taste as well. Once you feel satisfied with the sauce texture, reduce the heat to low.
We are now ready to cook our pasta. Do so the usual way with boiled water and such. Follow your pasta box instructions for cooking time and when it’s time to drain the water, keep about a 1/4 of a cup for later use.
Combine the pasta and sauce together and toss to allow sauce to cover evenly. Then add the cheese and do the same, adding the reserved water as you toss.
Once the cheese and reserved water has been mixed evenly you are now ready to serve!
Do so by placing each serving in a pasta bowl and then topping with some cheese and parsley like below.
I was quite satisfied with the results of my angry pasta. It was simple, fresh, and “angry.”
Normally I love thinner and longer pastas like linguine, but the chunky tomatoes added to the texture of the penne making it juicy with just the right amount of chewiness. Also, there’s something about how the parsley and cheese fall into the grooves of the penne that make it bellisimo.
If you enjoy a little kick to your meals and want an easy, light pasta meal then this angry little pasta is your man!