Penne all'arrabbiata has its origin in the Rieti province, in Lazio, not far from Rome. Together with spaghetti aglio e olio and pasta cacio e pepe, penne all'arrabbiata is one of the most popular pasta dishes of Italy. It's simple, yet delicious, and naturally vegan, made only with a few healthy ingredients.
Servings: 2 people
- 2 cups penne (200 g)
- 8 oz whole peeled tomatoes (400 g)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 red hot chili pepper fresh or dry
- 1 handful parsley
- ½ gallon water
- 1½ tbsp coarse sea salt to salt the pasta water
- 2 pinches salt
In a large pot, put 2 litres (½ gallon) of water to boil.
Separate the leaves of the parsley from the stems. Chop the leaves coarsely and save 5 stems for later. Set aside.
Finely chop the garlic. Try to turn it into a garlic paste if you can.
In a non stick pan, add 2 tbsp of olive oil, the 5 stems of the parsley and the garlic. Warm up the oil on low heat until the garlic starts to fry gently. Turn the fire off, then add the chopped chili (or dry chili).NOTE: arrabbiata is a spicy pasta dish, but you can choose yourself how much chili you want to add based on your spice tolerance.
Turn the fire on one more time until the garlic starts to fry again (make sure the garlic does not turn brown), then when the pan is hot, quickly discard the parsley stems and add the peeled tomatoes with ½ cup of water to rinse the tomato can.
Add about 2 pinches of sea salt and let simmer on medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally and with a fork break down the peeled tomatoes. Then start cooking the pasta, but leave the tomato sauce simmering.
At this point the water to cook your pasta should be boiling. Add 1½ tbsp of coarse sea salt, then put the pasta in. Give it a stir with a wooden spoon, then let cook for 6 minutes, or about half the time suggested on the pasta package.NOTE: we want the pasta half cooked because we are going to finish it in the tomato sauce. This way, the pasta will release the starch into the sauce, making it extra creamy.
Once the 6 minutes have elapsed, drain the pasta but save the pasta water.
Add the pasta to the tomato sauce with 1 cup of pasta water. Let cook on medium-low heat until the pasta is "al dente" (cooked, but with a bite to it) and ready to be served. Stir frequently. It should take about 4 minutes. The pasta should be completely coated in creamy sauce.
While cooking, the pasta will absorb water, so you might want to add another ½ to 1½ cups of pasta cooking water if required.
Shortly before serving add the chopped parsley, give it a stir, and serve.
Calories: 572kcal | Carbohydrates: 91g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Potassium: 537mg | Dietary Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 515IU | Vitamin C: 46mg | Calcium: 87mg | Folate: 38µg | Iron: 3mg