Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Creamy Arrabiata

Completed dish
I could have sworn I already did a blog post on Arrabiata, because it is my absolute favourite sauce to make, and probably the most delicious sauce in my repertoire. I’ve searched the blog and can’t find it though, so I suppose there isn’t a blog on arrabiata already. Any Foodie worth their salt will tell you that “arrabiata” means “angry” in Italian. It’s spicy and includes some kind of various pork product, and that makes just about anything delicious, in my opinion. My recipe includes cream, but you could omit this if you want to.

This is one of those recipes that taste better the earlier on you make it. In my mind, when I make this sauce, I am the sort of Italian who lives in the country on a vineyard and wakes up at the crack of dawn to go inspect my grapes and tomatoes and basil. Then, I wander into my cellar where I make my own olives and cheese, and I check on those various items. Then, I start this sauce from my home-grown canned tomatoes and drink wine all day and make my own pasta.
Sauce after deglazing your pot

In reality, I use my mother’s canned tomatoes and buy olives from Sobey’s. But the notion is nice and when you taste this sauce, you’ll feel like maybe you are a little bit Italian, if you go way back in the family tree. Also, I do simmer this sauce for as long as I can before I serve it, so your house will smell like Italy, even if you live in a suburban neighbourhood in Canada. At least the neighbours will be jealy.com!

After adding the cream 
Start with a little olive oil in a pot. Take the pork product of your choosing (I like the spicy Italian sausage in the deli section) and chop that up and dump it in the pot. Add a chopped onion and sauté. Just when your onion is taking on a little colour, add a serious amount of garlic. Little salt and pepper, and sauté that just until you can smell the garlic. (This is a sensory dish. Do lots of smelling and waving of your hands as you make it, it adds to the Italian experience). Now for the fun part, which you can now watch on the video! Deglaze your pan with some red wine. If you are cooking for someone whom you wish to impress, this would be an optimal time to have them in the kitchen, because it gets wonderfully fragrant and you look like a professional chef. Pour about a cup of red wine into the pot and then stir with a wooden spoon to get all the delicious bits off the bottom of the pan. Allow the wine to reduce by half and then add your canned crushed tomatoes. San Marzano tomatoes are a great canned option if you do not live in Italy and grow your own. Add a little sugar (secret ingredient- tell no one), crushed red peppers flakes (to taste, but remember we are adding cream, so err on the side of heavy). Stir and cover, simmering for at least an hour, but three or more is better.
Just before you are ready to serve the pasta (I recommend penne), take your sauce off the heat and add about a cup or so of cream. Warm the sauce gently and taste. If it’s too spicy, add a little more cream. If it isn’t spicy enough, add more pepper flakes. Serve with fresh basil and grated Romano on top. Enjoy!

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