It's not fair to complain about the weather, though we learned from one Jane Austin the only acceptable subjects of conversation are in fact the weather and the state of the roads. Don't get me started on the latter. Atlanta has not been kind to my tires. And, oh, the former. I can't handle this bitter, I-will-cut-chew, cold. Makes a dedicated tree-hugger yearn wistfully for global warming. The only way to fend off these mean-spirited temperatures is not to get mad, but to get even. Turn up the heat, with a dish both warm and hot. (alternative: get addicted to Lost six years later and HIBERNATE)
If you are buying jarred pasta sauce, just stop. There is nothing easier than throwing these ingredients into a giant vat and simmering. It's so flexible, half the things I listed are optional. Really, this recipe is just my basic tomato sauce with a little spice added in. Angry arrabbiata warms with spice anywhere from nudge-on-the-elbow to swift-kick-to-the-shin. This monster of a sauce needs a noodle not afraid to grab it by the horns, something like a grooved penne to soak it up. Though I also really love a wide, flat pappardelle, usually reserved for wild boar (omg, desperately trying to source some in Atlanta) or hare sauces.
Serves 487, give or take a few
1 1/2 onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled & diced (optional)
1 celery rib, diced (optional)
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons cooking wine or red wine (only if you already plan on opening a bottle)
3 28oz cans of diced Italian tomatoes (go for the San Marzano, seriously)
3 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 dried red chile (also optional, but awesome. Keep a bunch on hand)
1 teaspoon salt
1. In your biggest vat (stock pot or dutch oven), heat olive oil on medium high until shimmering. Add onion, celery and carrot and sautee to transparency. The celery and carrot are optional, but add a nice fresh taste (and hide some extra vegetables in there).
2. Add garlic and sautee another minute or two. Add cooking wine and simmer off liquid.
3. Add the diced tomatoes and remaining ingredients. You can start off on the weak side with the red pepper flakes, and add to taste as you go. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for as little as 30 min or until reduced to your liking, up to an hour and a half on low heat.
Keeps in the refrigerator for a week, and in the freezer for six months. Don't want to feed a village? Reduce to one onion, one carrot, one celery, two 28oz cans tomatoes, 3-4 cloves garlic and halfed seasoning.
- Leave out the spice entirely for a plain, basic tomato sauce (GREAT for use in other recipes)
- Sautee pancetta or un-cured bacon first, then the mirepoix/onions, adding the meat back in with the tomatoes to create an Amatriciana sauce